Saturday, May 24, 2008

B is for Blankets and Balance

I see that this post is a little more timely than last time. At least I will have 2 posts listed in May ...

Blankets --- knit, quilted, cheater. I think I like sewing and quilting the best out of the three. These will all be donated to hospitals or NILMDTS photographers when I get them packaged up. But my quandary is where do you send blankets when it is summer in most parts of the US? Can hospitals still use them or do they have room to store them until cooler weather approaches?

Heavenly Angels In Need has a spreadsheet which lists hospitals and photographers with needs. There are so many and I have so few blankets ... how to choose where to send them. Do you find that the need overwhelms you at times? I sure do ... I can get discouraged at the thought of not doing enough, working harder, making more things ... all this at the expense of my family and friends. I can find myself ignoring friends, not keeping commitments, telling my kids I don't have time because I want to sew. Not good for them or for me!

In some sense this is good because it gives me the drive to make items to help those who are grieving or can't afford things for their baby. But what it really points out to me is that I always need to be checking the balance in my life. Am I keeping things on a fairly even keel or is one part of my life taking over ...

This scripture has also been helpful: Jesus is speaking to the disciples after Mary had poured very expensive perfume on Jesus' head ... "The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me." Mark 14:7. The disciples were appalled that Mary would waste the perfume when she could have sold it and used the money to help the poor.

I can really use this in my own life. My kids will only be the age they are once and my biggest mission should be to raise them up in the way of the Lord. It all comes down to balance ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

S is for Socks and Sweater

Wow, it's been more than a month since I posted last and I am really getting a pile of finished items ready to donate. Most of the items are going to Heavenly Angels In Need (HAIN) and a couple are going to Mittens For Akkol (M4A). This is the first time I have knit anything for M4A and all the ladies on the yahoo group seem very nice and willing to help!

So onto "S" is for socks and sweater. First up a pair of socks for me ... yes I do actually finish some things for myself and my family! Not often though.

These are Jaywalkers, a free knitting pattern that used to be on Magknits (which is no longer online). If you are part of Ravelry you can download the pattern from their pattern library. Knit with 2.25mm needles and Pagewood Farm Denali Hand Dyed Sock Yarn. Very nice and machine washable too.

Next, a pair of large socks for M4A. These are from the pattern Sandal Sox by Sharon Philbrick. Knit with leftover worsted weight yarn, they knit up really quick on 3.5mm needles. They have ties around the top of the sock that you can tighten so they stay up since there is no ribbing up there. I think I made them bigger than the pattern by casting on 48sts and making the foot length 10.5" long.

M4A is having a sock challenge for most of the year. They are trying to knit socks for 2 orphanages in Kazakhstan. Check out their website if you want to help.

Finally, a sweater also destined for M4A. Pretty wild looking in the picture, but it looks much calmer (and prettier) in real life. Knit with Ella Rae's 100% wool yarn on size 4.5mm needles. I used Margaret Hubert's top down knitting pattern for women's size small. It is about 33" around ... too small for me but should fit a teenager just fine.

Next time I post it will be "B" is for Blankets. Hopefully less than a month in between posts!