Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Latest Things

Here's a look at what's developed at Harbor View Studios lately. A mohair sweater (a 6-week project), which someone liked enough on Ravelry to offer to buy it (sold!), 
some booties for a friend's daughter,

more booties for a friend from Bible study,

and fingerless gloves for a new friend's birthday.

 Since I slipped and fell down the stairs last Thursday at noontime, I have been recovering and it's been great to have these little projects going. I am getting around better every day, but I am not back to the gym yet and it is still painful to sit, stand or bend.

It is surprising when I found myself sidelined by pain and Fidget simultaneously getting sick I was content to be at home knitting. Even booties, which can be a sad thing to knit if they are not for you and you've always wanted more children. But God has given me real joy. I notice I am not often still to hear His voice unless I am sidelined for a time, and when I am I find Him faithful. This is how I know He is real: He gives me joy in the un-joyful of life, somehow. He makes me want to celebrate others' blessings as if they were my own. And I find that laying down what I wanted gives me a freedom I didn't have when I was so hung up in my desires. He is good.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Friend at the Elms

Here are some pictures I took at The Elms this weekend, a historic home in Newport, RI. One of my very oldest, dearest friends came for a short visit and we jammed all we could into our time together. We got to knit (she made a sock, I worked on the Whisper sweater), cook (steamed dumplings, minestrone, roasted red pepper calzones, spinach manicotti) and bake together (ethereal bread and cinnamon- blueberry turnovers), and I was finally able to give her the painting of the Belgian post box that I recently made for her. 

She is a photographer and yet she didn't bring her camera. So she is going to have to put up with my snaps of the Elms and anything else I got in focus while she was here. 

Here is the stable, I think. After we left the fine old home we wandered the grounds and there were no signs telling us what was at the back of the property. We imagined being stable hands and living at the top of the building on the right, looking out the verdigris window of the slate roof.

We thought this whole thing made a super setting to a mystery we haven't written yet. We are always imagining mysteries. But now that she is a professional and I am a home schooling mom, we don't write as many stories as we used to. 

What memories we made, listening to the self-guided audio tour and cracking up as we hit the buttons at the exact same time so we could hear everything in tandem.We spent a good time in the butler's pantry, imagining just how we would have liked it- or not- working there, on constant call, choosing the dishes for each gathering and doing all the other tasks necessary for the 8-12 weeks the Elms was open each year. No photography was allowed in the house, unfortunately. But outdoors was another story. We were fascinated by the circular tradesmens' entrance which was covered from above by wisteria vines so residents of the house would not have their view spoiled. 

I hope the fountains will be turned on when we return. I am going to take Fidget for a field trip one day soon. Her eyes are going to goggle when she sees this place. I am sure mine did.

It is already springlike here. I imagine the garden will look even better when the lush bright greens of spring return.

What a blessing is a lifelong friendship. I am so thankful for this week together. It was such a happy time. Fidget cried almost all the way home from the airport after the drop-off. We do hope our dear Aunty visits us again!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I got to have a new friend over today. She admired these cute little planters that Fidgie got as Easter and birthday presents so I thought I'd include a picture of them (they're from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens gift shop). We got to share a lot of things at our first tea date; I got to hear about her miraculous adoption stories. We got to cry a little together as sisters in Christ immediately bound together in Him, talking about the deep things of faith. But we didn't get to pray together before the Pres came home. We did get to the tea and cookies though! I made my favorite chocolate flaxseed cookies with my last cup of flour right before she arrived. What a blessing to have a new friend.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Joy and Sorrow

I had just finished this drawstring sleeper for one friend when I found out another friend has miscarried this weekend. It is hard to have a divided heart, with joy for one and crushing sorrow with the other.

Psalm 34:18 -The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

While I do not understand, I am learning to say, The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I love how this little baby kimono is coming out. I just bound off the bottom and need to get a little bit of elastic for the bottom and then knit the sleeves.

Just over a year ago I expected to be making tiny clothes for my own coming little one. But it was not to be. This week at Bible study we had a healing conversation about miscarriage and how God ministered to us through others during our trials. 

I am finding a lot of satisfaction in knitting for someone else's baby right now. It is surprising how God blesses us when we reach out to others; my own neediness is forgotten as I think about someone else's needs or what I can do to minister to loved ones. 

This week at another meeting of women I got to share my testimony; how God reached into my young, dark life and traded me a heart of flesh for my heart of stone. Reaching out to others, whether sharing my testimony or ministering to a new friend mourning her miscarriage, as I also was privileged to do this week, is humbling. Jesus laying down His life for me compels me to give where I can. The richness of the blessings I receive from this small giving are so great as to be incomprehensible. God is so good. 
At this my soul cries, This is what I was made for! 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grow towards the light

Fidget's new bean shoot from a school project. Yesterday at lunch the Pres turned it away from the window.

Here it is this afternoon.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus,his Son, purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1: 5-7

Friends, let us walk in the light!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Work in Progress

 Here are my latest works in progress.

'Whisper'  mohair sweater from Hilary Smith Callis. Complete all but the arms. It is supposed to have short sleeves but I got plenty of this thread-fine yarn to make long sleeves. In fact, I got so much of this yarn I might have to make matching hat, gloves and pants! As you can see a bit on the sailor collar, this is a see-through garment. It will be a light layering piece in fall, and maybe in spring too. With the haziness surrounding the strand, also called the yarn's halo, it is surprisingly warm and comforting to have on my lap as I knit. For now though it is on hold because of the next project...

A little drawstring sleeper for a friend's baby who is coming in April. I realized the Whisper was taking me so long I needed to get this one made before it's too late. Babies only stay tiny such a short time, I can't afford to have this arrive late and for her not to be able to cozy up in it for as long as possible. The yarn I used (color M-85, Antique Mauve) is bulkier than the pattern calls for, so I have gone down in needle size to a 5, and so far the size seems right. I love working with this pretty yarn. The next best thing to having another baby of my own is to knit something tiny for a friend's baby.