Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fulfillment in God

I like to knit.  I REALLY like to knit.  To paraphrase Sam I Am from my favorite Dr. Seuss Book, Green Eggs and Ham:
I will knit on a boat
I will knit with a goat
I will knit in the train
I will knit in the rain
I will knit with a fox
I will knit in a box
I will knit with a mouse
I will knit in a house
I will knit here or there I will knit everywhere
Ok, silly I know, but you get the idea of how much I like knitting right now.

And that's the key - "right now."
In the not-so-distant past, I really liked quilting.  And before that, I really liked scrapbooking. You see, I am a craft dabbler. I get intensely interested in a particular craft, and it takes my attention, time, and money for awhile.  Then another craft catches my attention, and I really get into that.

These are hobbies, and I enjoy them.

But when GOD caught my attention, He kept it.  I love God more than any hobby.  There may come a day when I can't knit, quilt, scrapbook, etc.  But there will not come a day when I cannot love God.  He is what fulfills me, not knitting.  I have to be careful that my current hobby does not take precedence over my time and fellowship with my Father.
 Matthew 6:33:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
God must stay first, before the work of my hands, before everything.
He is the One Who rescued me from death, Who set my feet in high places, Who sustains and provides for me.  He is the One Who gives me the desires of my heart.

Speaking of the kingdom to come, God says that His people are the work of His hands:
Isaiah 60:21:
Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

In the beginning, God spoke and all was created.  He is our Maker.
Psalms 95:6:
O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
I still enjoy quilting, scrapbooking, knitting, and other crafts that have occupied my hands, (and they do offer ways for me to bless others as well), but in God is my fulfillment.

Proverbs 4:5-13:
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.
Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Washington County Farm and Fiber Tour 2016

The signs guided our path
More Beautiful Land on Blind Buck Road
Blue skies! Moderate temperatures! A light breeze! Rolling hills!  Farms and Fiber!  This is the backdrop for our experience at the 2016 Washington County Farm and Fiber Tour.  We had the opportunity to visit several Fiber Farms in the area.  We were able to see the animals that provided the products we later bought.  We saw some beautiful landscapes and talked to some wonderful people.

Just in time for Baby Lambs!
Our first stop was at Fiber Kingdom and Moments-in-Time Creations.
 There we had our first exposure to animals and were able to pet sheep and newly-born baby lambs.  Lily greatly enjoyed petting the baby lambs.
Beautiful Farm Store

Sheep on Blind Buck Farm
We then walked to the farm store, which was very difficult to find, but after some keen detective skills, I found the credit card symbol on a door and we walked into this stunning fiber store.  They sold yarn from their Angora Rabbits and the sheep, but their main stay appeared to be weaving.  They had products from the weaving, it was gorgeous.

 We then found another barn that held the Angora Rabbits.  Sparkle was out in a cage and Lily was able to pet her.  We learned that Angora Rabbits produce just as much product in a year as sheep.  Angora Rabbits can be shorn every three months.  Also, the fur is cleaner (as the rabbits are kept in hanging cages) so more products is usable.  Although this was an effective way to breed/keep the rabbits, it did not appear to be the most sanitary of conditions.  The same building also housed ducks, chickens, and two cats.

At Blind Buck Farm, we found many treasures (once we found the store).  They had an activity where "kids" (Kym and I) could dye yarn with kool-aid.  Kym and I both made projects from this yarn later.  I made two small hearts and Kym made a rectangle!  Lily enjoyed getting in on the action, but lost interest when she saw that an adorable Angora Bunny was out to play with and pet.
She loved playing, petting, and (most notably) picking up the bunny.  She spent the whole time in the shop with the bunny.  Afterwards, Kym and I kept finding Angora bunny fibers on her sweatshirt!

Lily LOVED this Angora Bunny
Our next stop was another farm on Blind Buck Road, Birken Hill Farm & Fiber.  They had many animated creatures at this farm.  We met the famous Alpaca, Cruiser!  He likes to sniff people's hair.  We all allowed him to do this.  Some more willing than others.  We also got to meet another sheep that came right up to the fence.  Lily was okay with this until the sheep let out a loud, "BLEEHHHH."  And Lily ran away because the sheep was, "too loud."

 Kym was able to buy yarn made specifically from Cruiser.  This was a really neat feature of the tour is that we were able to purchase product and see the animals that this product was made from.
Sarah Getting "smelled" by Cruiser

Kym getting acquainted with Cruiser
Lily Loved Cruiser

Beautiful Scenery at St. Mary Convent

Our last stop was on the way home at St. Mary's Convent.  This farm was located in Greenwich and was known for breeding Cashmere Goats.  I actually learned for the first time that Cashmere only came from goats and not all Cashmere Goats produce Cashmere.  There are very specific guidelines to what constitutes Cashmere and what is just really soft wool.
Facts About Cashmere

The "Goat" Cart
 Lily got to play with more animals!  She loved meeting the new Herd Dog-in-training, Dixie. The dog was extremely soft and we learn at only a few months old, that she was deep in training.

 She also got to ride on a "Goat" cart with her new friend, Mica.  She was able to take a small ride down the long driveway and even "drive" the cart.
Dixie at St. Mary's Convent

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tutorial - Make a No-Sew DPN Cozy

I like to knit socks concurrently on two sets of double pointed needles (DPNs), and needed a couple of DPN cozies to keep the stitches safely on the needles when not in use.  There are patterns available for sewn cozies, or you can buy cozies on Etsy in a variety of cute fabrics, but I wanted something quick, easy, and right now.

I figured out how to make a no sew version, and thought I would share how I did it on our blog.
Scrounged around in my craft room, I found supplies to make a set of no-sew felt cozies.  

Some of the benefits of this style are:  
  • felt can be cut without unraveling (unlike fabric)
  •  no finishing is needed (although a needle felted design would be a nice touch)
  •  the felted texture holds the needles securely (no need to sew up the ends of the case)
  • extra needles can be poked through the felt for safe keeping
  • they took only minutes to make!

Supplies needed:
  • Thick felt
  • Denim buttons (the no sew snap on version)
  • Cutting tool - scissors or rotary cutter
  • Fiber for needle felting (optional) 

Step one ~ measure your needles and cut felt a in a rectangle a bit longer than the needles

 Step two ~ insert denim buttons 1/2" up from bottom, and 1" from outside edges

Step three ~ mark placement of holes, and cut small slits (approx 1/2" long)
on opposite edge of buttons for buttonholes.

Step four (optional) ~ needle felt a design on front of cozy
I felted a flower garden on one....

and a butterfly on the other

Step five  ~ use needle or awl to poke a double set of holes
in back of lower button portion of cozy to hold extra needle(s)

Step six ~ lay your DPN project  in case, and close buttons

You are ready to go....
These work marvelously to keep knitting safe on the needles. 

Have knitting, will travel!

Friday, April 15, 2016

While I wait....I knit
With time this will be a sweater

Waiting on the Lord

                                                                                    Willing  Abiding  Intimately Trusting                                                           

I wish that I was clever enough to come up with this acronym.  I, however, am not that clever, but a wonderful woman that I know created that acronym and it is a constant reminder of how to deal with my difficulties in waiting on the Lord.

June 2011

The past two years have been a struggle for my family in the sense that we have been waiting to hear the plan that God has for our life.  Almost five years ago, my husband and I said "I do."

 The journey began!

I became pregnant and had Lily Eve in November 2012 and my whole life changed.  I knew then that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom!

Lily 4 Months Old

My husband took the Forest Ranger state exam in 2013 and we just recently heard that he was not going to be getting into the academy.  He had pushed his body so he could pass the physical exam as well as enduring a psychological exam.  Out of the almost 400 applicants, he was number 15 and they took 13 people into the academy.

The whole time we had hope.  Hope that our future would be secure.  That Bill would have a career, and that I would be able to go back to staying home full-time with Lily.

Bill applied for a job with the Watervliet Arsenal.  It was another opportunity for him to learn new skills and even go back to school.  Unfortunately, that door closed too and he was not able to get an interview because he did not qualify for the position.
Lily 3 Years Old

Another seemingly disappointing event.

We know that God's plan is bigger than ours and even though these opportunities fell through we stand on the fact that there is something better.  I prayed, Lord knows I prayed, and I asked God to shut the door if this was not His will.  And He did!

1 Peter 5:7 says, "Give all your cares to God, for He cares about you." [emphasis mine]

Lily and her Daddy have a very strong relationship!
So to me, the acronym is this.  I need to wake up each day with a willingness to trust in the Lord.  At any given time I could give up, but part of the reason I have been victorious in Life is because I refuse to give up!  And I need to abide, meaning to long time.  And also I need to intimately trust that God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself, and that He is looking out for my family's well-being.

Jeremiah 29:11 states: "I have plans to prosper you," says the Lord.  "They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope." [emphasis mine]

There is no definitive answer yet and that is okay!  I could write an entire blog of the blessings that have occurred in the midst of this storm.  One of the greatest things is that Lily and Bill have been able to form a strong bond by being able to see each other all the time.  I am so grateful today that I do have God in my life and Godly people around me to share my life with!

I continue to live one day at a time, loving the Lord, my Family, my Life!

New Jersey 2014

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Grounded in God's peace

Happy Easter!  This weekend I have had more time to knit then I have in a long time. It seems that for the last couple of months I have been a disorganized knitter. Well, yesterday I came across a pattern, and so far I am mastering it. It feels so good to be able to put something in order, in such an organized and detailed way.
There have been so many life situations, in the last several months, that have been way beyond my control. I have taken much comfort in knowing that God has been carrying me through. I just would like to feel my feet firmly planted on the ground!
Often, when I knit, my mind quiets down, and is in a better place of discernment of God's will for me. He often reminds me to not be troubled or afraid.
A stitch knit, a worry gone. As I knit, I can meditate on that God is love.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Screen shot of a recent Ravelry project page
I am a recorder.  If you were to check out my project pages on Ravelry, you would see "in progress" photos of most items I've knit, the dates they were started and finished, how much yarn was used, etc.

A page from one of the many scrapbooks I've done

And it isn't just with knitting.  As far back as I can remember I have kept journals, diarys, and, (once I became a Christian) prayer books.  My earliest scrapbook dates back to pre-teen days.  I've scrapbooked vacations, birthdays, and chronicled the "everyday" as my children, and now, grandchildren, grow up.

A page from one of my illustrated verse books
My bookshelves contain numerous notebooks and sketch pads with subjects that I've studied from the Bible such as love, the bloodline of Jesus Christ, the Levitical priesthood, tithing, fear v.s. faith, etc.  Some of the books are filled with Bible verses and illustrations.

I record to establish what I am learning, to commemorate,  to remember, and (sometimes) to share with others.

God has recorded His creation, the history of His people, His heart, and most of all His plan and purpose through His son Jesus Christ.  When I was a brand new believer, a teacher suggested that I put away all other reading materials, and read just the Bible for three months.  In following that instruction, I developed a daily habit of reading God's Word.  It also helped build my faith because God was my teacher.  He helped me understand His Word.  He enlightened the eyes of my understanding.  He has shown me great and wonderful things while studying His Word, and in  bringing it to my remembrance throughout the day.
The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. Psalm 103:17 and 18
 My recordings, scrapbooks, journals, and prayer books fade, and will eventually turn to dust.  But God's Word stands forever.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 40:8
God instructed the king of His people to write down His Word so that he would read it all the days of his life, that he would learn to fear the LORD, and would keep His ways (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

If you have not yet established a habit of reading the Bible, and would like to, one tool I have been using this year is following a reading plan from The Bible Project.  They offer a manageable daily schedule to take you through the entire Bible in a year.  The plan includes fun animated videos on YouTube which provide an overview of each new book as you get to it.

You might also like to have a notebook to record what you are reading, your thoughts and feelings, perhaps some drawings, whatever will help you remember what you are learning.

Happy Knitting,