Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Cleaning Saturday

I cleaned my clothes closet this morning, putting away those definitely-winter clothes and bagging up those definitely-not-going-to-wear-anymore clothes for Saint Vincet DePaul's thrift shop. Then I organized the closet rod left to right-- skirts & pants, tops & sweaters, jackets & dresses, and finally, at the mother's mink coat, encased in a red, zipped-up bag until I am cold enough and brave enough to wear it someday. It takes up far too much room in my 1930's size closet, but I don't care. Mom's coat stays in my closet; I look at it and remember...

After I finished that job, I proceeded to change the sheets (another job I often put off far too long) and then proceeded to float down to my study where two mailer bags of yarn sat--one from Knitpicks (sock yarn!) and one from Jimmy Bean's (Noro Silk Garden and purse handles for a purse I want to make).

It feels good to put heavy woolens away, line up my clothing, sort out magazines, and make meaning of the disarray that accumulates around me. Spring seems to call us to do that--ready things to begin anew, with promise and hope. How lovely.....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Knitting with others

Thursday nights are my "Stormbreak nights." Stormbreak is a local girls group home for girls aged 12-18 who cannot live with their families for a variety of reasons. I began going to the home last year to teach the girls how to knit; I continue to go because my time there with the girls and the all-female staff offers me a weekly girl fix, something I need with my daughter living so far away. Last year, we crocheted an afghan and donated it to the Women's Resource Center in our own "Pay It Forward" project. This year we have decided to participate in the Knit a Square project that benefits AIDS and HIV orphans in Southern Africa. The idea is for knitters all over the world to take leftover, scrap yarn and knit or crochet it into 8" x 8" squares to be mailed to the Soweto Comfort Club where women will sew all the squares into blankets distributed to children living in poverty in sub saharan Africa., I organized a knitting basket (photographed in the light of a spring evening!) for my Stormbreak night. I also intend to carry it to my classroom on Monday since after chatting with some of my students about knitting and crocheting, several of them indicated they too would like to participate in this project. What a good way to use up my yarn, really use it ALL up, what a good way for teenagers to help make a difference, and what a really good way to reach out to children who may really benefit from our not wasting anything.

“I believe that this could very well be looked back upon as the sin of our generation….and our children 40 or 50 years from now are going to ask, ‘what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?' ”
-Richard Stearns
President World Vision USA

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Knitting for others

Last night I finished a Guidepost Knit for Kids Sweater. I used yarn my son gave me for Christmas to fashion an alternating, striping pattern. For many years, ladies in our church have been knitting up this simple pattern, boxing up stacks of sweaters and sending them off so that children all over the world might have a hand knit sweater. It is an old practice, knitting for others in need. I enjoy reading about women in wartime throughout the ages who knit socks, vests, hats, or gloves for soldiers. Now it seems you can find endless groups to knit for--Warm Up America, Afghans for Afghans, The Mother Bear Project, Caps for the Cure.....etc. I highly reccommend the book Knitting for Peace:Make the World a Better Place Once Stitch at a Time for ways to use yarn and hands to warm others.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Reality Returns Tomorrow

Tomorrow I head back to school after a most magical spring break. It was a time to see films (Slumdog Millionaire, Lars and the Real Girl, Australia and The Water Horse), bake and cook, read and knit, walk and ride bikes, and sleep in and nap. I feel rested and restored.
We had almost the whole family here this weekend (our son-in-law was home in North Carolina); it is pretty special to put two extra leaves in the table, run the dishwasher after every meal, and see toys and bodies strew all over he house. With our family living from Pennsylvania to North Carolina, making time to gather doesn't happen easily, so we don't take it for granted. I do so love my family and feel so blessed to have wonderful children, a magical grandson, a generous son-in-law, and a vivacious daughter-in-law to be! Spring is truly on its way and life is good.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Break

Saturday: Morning cartoons with Uncle Rob

Friday: Making pie with Alex

Thursday: Alex uses yarn in a new way...

Wednesday: Welcome bag for Barbara and Alexander's visit!

and fellowship over dinner with younger friends...

Tuesday: Finshed two washcloths and two tribbles--one to keep and one to give away.

Monday: Chicken Corn Chowder and Potato Rolls

Saturday: English Muffin Bread and Herb Roasted Chicken.