Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My New Yarn Baller

For the first crochet class I held, I made yarn balls to save on cost. Since we are making baby hats and baby hats don't use that much yarn. I figured it would make since to divide each skein in half. I could really get by with dividing it into thirds, but trying to do that by hand can get a little tricky. For the first class I started making the yarn balls by hand. I used this center-pull method that I found online. It worked, but it took forever and I was discouraged by the fact that I needed to make 30 balls. I enlisted the help of a few trusty friends to get them done. I wasn't satisfied with doing it that way, so I purchased a handy yarn baller for the next class.

I love brilliant minds and the mind of the person who came up with this is just genius. It's not a fancy contraption, but it sure does work well.

You start with just an ordinary skein of yarnthread it through the yarn baller

give it a few whirls

and Voila! A lovely yarn ball.

I bought mine online at Joann Fabric. I couldn't find them in any stores.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Brain Hurts

I have not posted much lately because I have been so busy with work. The school year is in full swing, and as a tutor I have been busier than ever. Normally if I work 8 hours in a day, I may get 15 students, 20 max. Lately, I have had that many students every hour!

As soon as one logs out another one pops in. My brain is fried. Whew! #:-S

The brain is definitely a muscle, and mine is truly getting a good work out. Too bad I can't massage it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pardon My Mess

I called myself orgazing my photos in Photobucket and whatever I did has sent my blog haywire. Pardon my mess, while I figure out what in the world I did!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Gardening Update-A Path to Follow

Update 9/14/08 to add images

Here is a nice photo of our zucchini plant:

This is one of it's flowers:
And here is one of the zucchini on it:I still don't know what this plant is:
But it has flowers on it so I am expecting to see something budding from it soon. :-) I must remember to label next time!
As I have been focused on getting my thoughts together for the new school year, I haven't given much attention to our small garden outside. A part of my daughter's morning routine is to water the garden and plants outside. She has done a wonderful job with this and as a result the plants are thriving nicely. It' time that I started mapping out our fall garden and get things going as it will be fall very soon!!

As I sat here thinking of the garden and all the lessons to be learned from it, my mind went back to the bean plants. When I first planted to bean plants, the thought never occurred to me to stake poles close by for them to have something to attach themselves to. The plants sprouted, and then they developed these little "arms" which my daughter and I were both fascinated by. We couldn't seem to figure out what they were for. As the arms grew longer, they started to attach themselves to the arms of the other bean plants. They intertwined and became tangled and created a huge mess!

I separated them, trying my best not to damage them. I came back the next day or so only to find that they were entangled again. It was then that it occurred to me that they were tangling themselves together because no specified path had been laid out for them. Instead of growing upward, they were growing outward. When I finally provided poles for each of them, they stopped growing outward, grew upward instead, produced flowers and bore fruit!

What a powerful spiritual lesson in these bean plants. We as Christians can be sprouting and growing, but if we do not have a specified path that we are following, a path that leads upward, we will become entangled amongst ourselves.

Are you wrapped up and tangled up in others? Or is the path you are taking leading upwards?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peace-True or False

A dear friend of mine forwarded an article to me from Crosswalk.com entitled "Christian Self Defense". There is a situation amongst other parties that I am dealing with that could use some of the principles outlined in this article and at first glance I began to apply them to that situation. But as I read further, I realized that these principles could and should be applied to my own life.

I despise confrontation. So much so that the flesh side of me would rather avoid the truth than deal with a fight. I realize that this is a MAJOR character flaw on my part. For the majority of my Christian life, I viewed Christ as peaceable, docile, gentle, loving, you get the picture. Doesn't the Word say " Behold the lamb which taketh away the sin of the world? Aren't lambs sweet and soft and fuzzy?

As I continue to walk this never-ending path of growth, I have come to realize that yes, He is that Lamb and everything that lambs represents, but He is also a God of truth and peace. And sometimes things have to get ugly and rowdy before they become peaceful.

I am reminded of the time when Jesus flipped the tables over. He had to disturb the peace, to bring order to God's house. So the question that I must ask myself as someone who avoids disturbing the peace at all cost is, when I allow wrong to continue because I don't want to "disturb the peace" am I really facilitating peace? And of course the answer is no because I often come away having this altogether too familiar conversation in my head: "Why didn't I say this? Why didn't I do that?" Basically my silence on the issue or avoidance of it altogether creates an unrest in my soul which attributes to false peace. I have temporarily created peace on the outside, by I am warring inside.

Here is one of the paragraphs from the article that I identified with:

In stark contrast to this way of life, both the Old and New Testaments are
replete with conflict, often accompanied with God's approval and favor. However,
Paul's admonishment "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at
peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18) has been taken to mean that we should never
"disturb the peace." Here's something we need to know: this is absolutely true,
when it applies to actual peace. Where there is real peace, we are to keep
peace. But where there is not peace, we are to make peace, and that can require
conflict. Peace is not merely the absence of tumult; peace means that things
have been made right, and where they have not been made right, it is wrong to
pretend perpetually that there is peace, justice, respect, and goodwill (see,
for example, Jeremiah 6:14)

The word balance comes to my mind. Jesus Christ was the epitome of a balanced life. When life is balanced, every now and then the boat will be rocked, the only other option is to be still. And we all know that if the boat is still, that means it isn't going anywhere.

As you strive to make true peace in your life, remember Isaiah 26:3 -Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Resources for Knitting and Crocheting

Updated: 2-11-10

I will update this post regularly with resources on how to learn to crochet and knit and easy patterns to make. To check back, click the link on my nav bar.

Ravelry-One of my favorite sites of all time! On this site you document your progress on any project you are working on and you can interact with other knitters. They have tons of free patterns!


The art of crochet by Teresa has some great links to videos on how to crochet. See the links of the right hand side of her page.

Crochet Pattern Central- a great website for free crochet patterns


One of my favorite websites for knitting is Knitting Help. This is the website that I used to teach myself to knit.

Here is a great video that demonstrates both the Continental and English versions of knitting.

Baby Hat Patterns
Knitting on the Net

More Patterns

Bev's Site For Charity Donations


This Weekend's Crochet Class

In my last post, I talked about the preparation's for Sunday's crochet class. Close to 30 people showed up for the class. I was a bit overwhelmed with the positive response. When I initially had the idea for doing the class, I thought that I would have about 5 people, 10 at the most. God kept impressing my heart to prepare for 30 and so I'm glad I listened!

The four hours for the class was definitely not too much time. It was just right. There were some students who were actually able to complete a hat (which was my original goal) and some students who were still trying to perfect their hold of the hook and yarn. A couple of students became completely frustrated and left.

For the next class. I need to give a little more time and have a few more suggestions on how to hold the yarn. I also had two lefties, so I need to review some video of how to crochet left handed. My Mom is left handed, but she only writes and eats with her left hand. It's almost weird to say she's left handed since she bowls, irons, cooks, plays tennis, etc... with her right hand.

At any rate, at this point, I'm trying to decide what to do for the next class. The class is supposed to be once a month. I had a few people ask me if I would be willing to hold another class this week to help them one on one. So I will probably be back next week holding a tutorial class.

I am looking forward to the fellowship and excitement of the next class.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Preparation For This Weekend's Crochet Class

I am just about finished with all my preparations for this weekend's crochet class. We will be making this newborn hat. The pattern can be found here.

This particular hat pattern uses a size G hook, so I drove all over town finding hooks for everyone in the class. I ordered 20 online for the next crochet class so I don't have to run all over town trying to find them next time! @-) Here's all the supplies we will be using:I made folders for each person in the class. The folder includes a cover page which has the title, purpose and scripture on it (Knitting Hearts-Binding hearts together, one stitch at a time;

A reference page for all the stitches we will be learning
A copy of the pattern we will be making

plus another pattern that they can make later.

And a reference sheet that includes all the abbreviations for crocheting

I started making yarn balls for each person in the class. The skeins of baby yarn that I purchased were 6 oz. Each and the hats we are making only take about a 1/2 oz of yarn each. I figured 3 oz. of yarn for each person would be more than plenty to make a couple of hats and pom poms to match. Great idea right? Until I started making them. Whew!
#:-S Who knew they were so much work?? So needless to say, I ordered a yarn baller for the next batch!

For the class, we will learn:
How to tie a slip knot to attach the yarn to the hook
How to make a chain
Single Crochet
Double Crochet
Half Double Crochet
How to read a pattern
How to make a newborn hat
And then we will use the remainder of the class to actually make the hat. I've got 20 people signed up so, we'll see how many actually show up. I've got a little nervous excitement going on!

My goal is to have them finish most of the hat in the class. People are more likely to continue on with a craft once they can see the fruit of their labor.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Journal of Knitting Hearts ♥

On Saturday July 12, 2008, my Pastor preached a sermon about financial blessings. As he was ending his sermon, the Holy Spirit impressed me to go up for his appeal. I had no idea what his appeal would be and so I slightly ignored the impression. When he made his appeal, he asked 3 people to come to the front of the church. The Holy Spirit had already told me to get up and go, but because I am not always obedient to His promptings, I stayed seated. Two people got up and went to the front. Of course, it was not 3 because I was the 3rd person. Realizing that God was really serious about me getting up, I made my way to the front.

The Pastor issued a Financial Blessing Challenge giving us each $100 to invest into our surrounding church community. I begin immediately to pray that God would show me what He wanted me to do with the money, not realizing that He had already been preparing me for this very day.

So let's go back in time about 5 months. I participate in Sew Crafty Friday, hosted by Shereen . Each Friday, crafters link up to share what they have been working on through out the week. In February, there was a participant, Denise, who was making hats for the hospital in memory of her daughter. I was moved beyond explanation by the concept of donating hats to the hospital. It was not something that I was even aware of. This concept of ministry was heavy on my heart and so I immediately contacted her to get the pattern for the hats. She did not have a pattern and so my journey began to find a pattern to make hats for babies.

As I searched for patterns, I came across and organization called Stitches From the Heart. After reading how this ministry got started, I was further compelled to be a part of something like this.

My first hat pattern that I fell in love with was a knitted hat. The only problem is that I didn't know how to knit. I had never even held knitting needles in my hand before. A lady at my church teaching a quiliting class and is very crafty so I bought some needles and asked her and another lady to teach me. They both have different methods and so I went home frustrated and discouraged. I still couldn't get knitting off of my mind, so I did some searching on the internet and found http://www.knittinghelp.com/ What a wonderful site. They have videos that teach you how to knit and after watching all the video's I made this hat. The pattern can be found here.

In the second service at church, my Pastor explained the challenge and then asked more people to come up and join. My daughter accepted and immediately I thought that maybe God had given me this idea for her. She was not interested at all and decided to invest her money into the animal shelter nearby. After praying for another 30 days, I finally accepted the call that God was laying upon my heart. This ministry was for me and He would equip me to do it. He had in fact already been preparing me for it months in advance.

On Sunday, September 7th, I will begin the first class to teach others how to crochet this hat. Thanks to Bev for providing such wonderful hat patterns.

The name of the ministry is "Knitting Hearts"-Binding hearts together, one stitch at a time. I am still looking for a scripture to go with it.