Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Knit On . . .

My fascination with knitting continues.  I am sticking to beginner level stuff until I am more confident, but that fits well with my short attention-span and ensuing love for small projects.  This week, I tried a couple new dishcloth patterns.

First is the "Almost Lost Washcloth".  I'm sure it has another name, but that's what the lovely ladies at Simply Notable call their version. I enjoy this pattern because it is nothing but basic knitting, but produces a finished project that looks much more complicated. You can find a link to the pattern for the smaller version on the same site.

Next was the "Rudy Cloth" from Down Cloverlaine.  I think the pattern is adorable, but the design is actually kind of hard to see in reality.  Even though it's just knit and purl, it's a confusing pattern to follow because each row is different.  Since the pattern doesn't show up well (or at all) while you're working, it's easy to get off.  Not conducive to TV watching while knitting.  There are dozens of other picture designs out there, so I may give this idea another try, but it's not at the top of my list.

What are you knitting, sewing or crafting this week?  Visit our host, Heather @ Books & Quilts, to link to Needlework Tuesday and see what others are creating.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Though She Be But Little . . .

Image courtesy of

"Top Ten Tips for bringing out the best in a strong-willed child"

"The tools you need to successfully manage your child’s behavior"

"Time-proven methods for dealing with misbehavior"

These are just a sampling of the promises made by books for parents raising a strong-willed child.  Twenty-some years ago, we read them all - and laughed.  These people did not have a clue what "strong-willed" meant.  We were raising a daughter that took "power struggles" to a level these authors couldn't conceive.  

I don't mean to give you a picture of a demon-child with glowing eyes and her head spinning around backwards.  She was (and still is) a beautiful girl who was loving, compassionate and just plain adorable.  But when she made up her mind to do (or not do) something, her will became an impenetrable wall, and I spent hours, days, weeks pounding my head against that wall.  

In spite of our frustration, we understood that her strength and determination were part of how God created her; and since He does not do things randomly, He had a reason beyond what we could see.  About age 17, she began to mature into her iron will, and emerged from college as a woman who can focus that resolve.  Along the way, I learned to avoid the self-inflicted headaches and marvel at the things she can accomplish.

Amanda now works for a treatment foster care agency.  Her clients are the children who have been so severely abused and neglected that they require therapy and more specialized care than standard foster care can provide.  There are no words for the level of depravity and torture these little ones have endured.  Advocating for these children is a stressful and painful job, and I fear for the physical and mental effects it has on Amanda, but I also stand in awe.  

Amanda called a few weeks ago to tell us that she had been offered a promotion.   Her boss praised her as "a natural" at this job - for not being afraid to stand up and have a voice.  And there it was - the reason God created our strong-willed child. The "impenetrable wall" that wore me out now stands between innocent children and the people who have irrevocably harmed them.  It stands against a system that is so overloaded that what is best for the children often gets drown out by what is expedient.

Would I prefer that she had a different career?  Yes and no.  Of course I would prefer that my beautiful, petite girl have days filled with sunshine and butterflies - that she never even know that this evil exists.  But I wouldn't deny the strong, determined woman the chance to use the compassion and fire that God placed in her.

"Though she be but little, she is fierce" 
- William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Old Dogs and New Tricks

Who says an old dog can't learn a new trick?  I have been whining for years that I wish I could knit.  I learned the very basics as a teenager, but never pursued it.  I picked it up again a couple years ago, but got frustrated and quit.  I guess the third time really is a charm.   After hours and hours of knitting and "un-knitting" the same yarn just for practice, I am finally able to do four basic stitches . . . and I am OBCESSED!

Dish cloths/wash cloths seemed like a simple and usable way to practice, so I've tried several patterns.  The first few had some pattern issues.  Actually, they had some issues with my ability to follow the pattern.

Eventually I struck on this diagonal pattern that is so easy to do, even I can't mess it up (at least not much).  

My favorite design so far is this lattice pattern.  It makes a thicker, textured cloth that is better for scrubbing. 

The original pattern includes a crocheted picot edge that gives the cloths a fancier look, but this old dog can only handle one new trick at a time. 

This post is part of "Needlework Tuesday" hosted by Heather @ Books and Quilts.