Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Riding Out the Storm

This has been a tough week, not that tough weeks are new. Talk to anyone these days and you'll get a dose of reality sure to weigh down your heart. But this week brought a few challenges I wasn't in the mood to face. In my Facebook status, I likened it to the scene in Empire Strikes Back when Luke is getting battered by the assortment of mining equipment Vader is tossing at him while fighting Bespin's winds, which are howling past him through a broken window.

A family crisis was the worst of it all. But even as we ached over the loss of someone we'd yet to hold, I had to deal with two very unusual situations that tested my patience and my faith. I failed the first part of the test, but I had so many resources pop up from various sources, I made it through the second part all the stronger.

Through it all, I wasn't able to write. I just could not sit down and type the next scene of Lookout or Heart of Eden. But I needed to turn my hand at something, so I picked up yarn and needle, and with a dedication that once made employers glad they hired me, I started making things. And then I started tearing things apart.

This week wasn't the time for project problems, and I was having them left and right. My fault. That's what I get for choosing new patterns to work with instead of picking something I could do in rote.

I started with a baby throw, which I wanted to make for a young lady who is expecting her first child after battling cancer. Instead of working off an initial chain, the pattern starts with a ring and the subsequent rows are worked at an angle. The Lion Brand pattern calls for their new Homespun yarn, and I chose the multicolored Tudor print. Soft, beautiful, but spotting the stitches is very difficult at first, and halfway through my first attempt, I realized the angle wasn't wide enough. I'd missed something early on, so I ripped it apart and started again. And again. I finally got it right, and am once more halfway through the project. My review: it's worth the effort.

I also started a pair of fingerless wrist warmers for another lady who is in the midst of cancer. Her frail arms and hands are often cold, and she mentioned a pair would be helpful to her. I've not yet mastered knitting-in-the-round, which is required for this project, so I dug around my crochet folder for the pattern I'd saved, and made one using a skein of Bernat Cashmere yarn that I picked up last year. I was quite dissatisfied with the finished product, so I ripped it apart and purchased a couple of circular needles and a skein of wool yarn. It's time to learn knitting-in-the-round.

In addition to that, I'm making a pink "Fun Fur" scarf for my daughter. I have far too many projects on my plate, especially while trying to get a draft on paper, but I like to make things. I like to see pieces of clothing and blankets form in my hands, and I like to share them with others, especially those who have bushwacked through more difficult terrain than I. I hope they view it as a gift, not from me, but from the Lord, who sustains us in trying times. But for God's grace, we would all be dry bones lying in the valley.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. (Psalm 5:11)

No comments: