That wet wool smell.

I continue to felt wool pieces that I've knitted.  Every time I do I find myself thinking about mini-scenarios from my childhood.

Funny how much I hated that wet wool smell as a child.

I had a lot of things that I hated, but knew better than to complain loudly.

I hated wet socks inside my shoes, I hated wet shirt cuffs or sleeves, inside my coat, I hated water running down my back inside my clothes from the rain.  I walked to school - no weather exceptions.  And our winter clothes were wool.  I distinctly remember the coat room at *Lucretia Mott School #3 downtown Indianapolis.  You could find the coatroom with your nose.  They were in the hallways outside the classrooms.  We weren't allowed to leave anything overnight - but believe me something always got left and grew more rank in the overnight.  I'll add one more thing to my "hate-list" that stinky coat room. 

So when I work with wet wool, I remember the most curious things.  Like one day I was felting (shrinking) a purse I had knit out of wool yarn and alpaca combined.  I had a quick memory flash of coming home from school, not only having wet wool winter clothes on, but also having stepped in some dog doo-doo in the snowy slop on the sidewalk.  I was thoroughly disgusted.  I think odors really effected me back then and my recent washing the wool/alpaca mix gave me a slight reminder of the odor ...

Now, I start thinking about that school building and some of the memories.  Like Tommy T., the guy everyone laughed at, talk about bullying, it was horrible..  He was the nicest guy, just a little larger than the rest of us with big thick glasses.  He had round cheeks that were always flushed and wore baggy pants.  He was always smiling.  When we moved to the suburbs in junior high - he moved too and we ended up being neighbors.  He was unofficially my first date, Halloween, I was 15.  The neighbors threw a party for all the teens in the neighborhood, it was the night the coliseum in Indianapolis blew up, from a propane explosion.

Yep, that's just the way my mind wanders when I smell an odor from my past.  Weird how that mind works!

*Lucretia Mott, a Christian (Quaker), a wife, mother, teacher, an activist, woman's rights leader and evidently extremely effective in the anti-slavery movement of the mid 1800's.  She made here mark in history, and a school was named after her in Indianapolis, in 1906.
One of her quotes:

"We too often bind ourselves by authorities rather than by the truth."


Definately a one-day project - another knit felt purse finished.

Another Knit Felted purse.  Jenn really like the purse I made with wool yarn and alpaca sock yarn.  It turned out pretty cute, and is a great spring accessory.  She's a February girl so purple was perfect. 

It's been great visiting with our son in Kansas, we were glad to have a washer and dryer right off the kitchen.  I sat in front of a good movie and made Jenn a purse, then felted it in the next room.  So much better than going to the laudro-mat to felt an item.

This is one of my favorite bags - and the picture in natural light just highlights the details. I know what I did wrong on this one - because it is still in the family!  The strap i-cord wasn't stretched well enough before the piece was dried and assembled, therefore it stretched out quite a bit.  Live and learn!!

I've been looking into kicking up my weaving a bit, still have some questions for my instructor, and hope to move forward on weaving wider pieces.  I get stuck on the same width no matter how I set up my loom (which is stored currently while we travel).


Turn Signal Problems. And MOTORCYCLES really are everywhere.

Mind if I Rant?

We figured it up last year. We have done an average of 45,000 miles a year, for the last 10 years, yes that is not a typo. We've averaged that many miles. (Truck and bikes totaled.)

Now, when I rode my Harley it had what is called a self-canceling turn-signal. meaning - if I forget to turn it off, it goes off soon enough for people behind me to get the message.

On the other hand, on my Yamaha FJR 1300, if I turn a signal on it stays on -we even put auxiliary lights (extra flashing dash lights) in my view to remind me to turn off my signal. It's very dangerous to leave them on, as people are even more tempted to turn in front of a motorcycle if it looks like they can beat the small little vehicle, and the light left on is like a welcome sign. "Please turn in front of this tiny vehicle, it won't hurt that much to land on cement right in your path."

But that is not the topic tonight. Fooled you.

I'm talking about people driving vehicles, locally and on interstates, that basically assume that since they know they are changing lanes or turning, that everyone in every vehicle on earth should know that too!!

I'm miffed. Every near miss we've had (not that many d-i-l) but each one involves people turning without signaling.

The only major accident we've had was someone not only turning left hitting us when we had the right-of-way, at a red light, but also no signals and turning from the wrong lane.



Here's my thinking,

Once people are real close to home, or
when they are driving the same route everyday, and/or
they are distracted by texting and nearly miss their turn, or
when they have a lot on their mind, or
when they are running late, or
when they are just out for a drive, or
when they are in a strange place, or
when they are in the wrong lane and need to exit right now no matter what the consequences, or
when people simply are thinking of themselves and absolutely no one else on the highway,

they simply do not push that little bar down,
or up as the case may be ... just one more nerve wracking thing to remember, I guess...

Hey, at least turn-signals cancel in most vehicles ... you have the advantage over me.

I'm retraining myself to turn the bugger off!! I shift from 1st to second gear then check my signal, nearly everytime I complete a turn, unless I have something else on my mind, like someone turning in front of me, in which case I must upright my bike from the lean of the turn before I can hit the brakes ... then the turn-signal may have to wait its "turn." They called me "flasher" one year on Run For The Wall, because of my continuous flashing signal. At lease I use them.


Back to knitting.


That kind of sums up winter.

I designed and wove this s

(Hanging from a limb below - and folded to the left)

My loom wasn't used a lot this winter, this
piece I drew out on graph paper and started it over 4 times. It is 11.5" wide and 63" long with long fringe, it drapes, it is out of sock yarn and it just flows over the shoulders. It was really fun to design and weave.

As we work our way back East, leaving Arizona, I did a little review of the ministry opportunities we had this winter for our next newsletter. Riding in the mountains last week on my motorcycle, I was reminded of the winter 4 years ago, same ride, same route, same group of people, Arizona Bike Week, but the weather was extremely different.

Not only was there snow on the ground that year, but it started spitting snow while we were on the 3rd leg of a five part ride near Flagstaff. In other words we had ridden as far from the starting and/or ending point as we would be all day, and now it's snowing, we're in the mountains, and we're all on motorcycles. We're not dressed for it, and NO ONE is happy about the turn of events.

After warming up a little at the lunch stop and taking a potty break, we were about to leave the establishment that provided the break for us, when I noticed a lady crying. I had seen her on her bike earlier, and in the parking lot as we parked, she was riding her own bike.

I told the hubby I'd be right out, and approached the couple. I asked her if she was OK, and she said she was freezing and this was her first long ride on her own motorcycle and that she had to ride it back because that was her only transportation home. We talked a few minutes, and some of us offered her more clothing - the man she was with even offered to take her home on his bike and come back to get it another day. She considered that offer, then I suggested that I could pray for her, and she was honored that I would offer, and her friend said, "please do." So, I asked God to give her the wisdom to decide what to do, and that if she chose to ride to give her the courage and protection she needed to arrive safely. She stood and hugged me and he shook my hand, and we were on our way down-hill in the spitting snow.

Some friends of ours weren't ready to leave when we were, and they left after this lady, so they had the opportunity to check up on her down the road. They told me later that they passed her - she was taking it pretty easy on the downhill, but by the time she headed out of the mountains on her motorcycle the Sun was shining and they said it looked like she was pretty content with her decision to finish the ride herself.

I love encouraging people. This blog is supposed to be about encouraging, 1st my sisters, and then of course the general public who happen by here. If I'm aware of my surroundings and stop to encourage someone else everyday, then I end up being pretty positive as a result ... good stuff.

Well here is s brief picture summary of my winter projects.
In the heat of Arizona it is really weird knitting with wool and weaving winter clothing items, but I love knitting and weaving with wool, no matter where I am or what the weather.

The creamy turquoise with a touch of mauve scarf is part mohair and the fuzzy yarn gives it some texture as the colors blend. I used the same yarn on the loom for the warp thread as the yarn I used to weave (weft). So there are occasional blends of plaid, very subtle.

These wrist warmers are a quick knit out of some bulky wool - a Christmas give from our d-i-l. I've made a lot of articles out of my Christmas YARN - so much fun to have a variety of specialty yarns I would never buy for myself - a real treat!

This little purse was an experiment in off-white wool knitting. I simply knit from the base up, added a strap and flap, then dyed it in Kool-Aid. Tie-dyed at that. Turned out pretty cute - pretty small, but I know a little girl who can wear it across her shoulder!!



If God Needs Hard Working Angels ...

If God needs hard-working Angels to help him organize the masses when things like Haiti Earthquake Disasters happen, I could almost justify losing Nona from our realm to His.

(I honestly do not know how I feel about angels, I don't know if they are real, I'm not sure we get our wings or bells ring in Heaven when we die, or if we turn into the hubby's kind of Warrior Angel and go to war up there, but I do know Heaven got a super hero when Nona left us - and our world is not the same.)

She was one of those ladies that simply could not say no to a need.

If it was a pair of miss matched socks it went into the bag for Haiti. She didn't correct the young Haitian men when they pulled new purple t-shirts from the donations bags and instantly put them on. She just noted that they had no idea the saying, "Purity Seminar" and the pink flowers were meant for girls. It was clothing to them.

If the vegetable can was dented, but didn't reek when opened it was served to the masses. Canned bacon fried up in the mornings with handmade biscuits, and bottled coke doled out on about the 5th or 6th day of a mission trip after enduring the horrific heat and dirt of an organized trip to the Mission, she cared for the volunteers and Haitians alike.

Traversing mountains and rivers were all in a days labor as she mentally prepared for the next day, the next meal, the next team, all while managing 3 kids, a focused, driven husband and their eager followers across the rugged terrain of Missions Work.

So, is she organizing you up there, God? My guess is, since there are no tears in heaven, she's busy, she's served all the Haiti earthquake victims their Heavenly Banquet and now they are sorted out by their talents, they've polished streets of gold, helped set the banqueting table and she's started cooking classes for that wonderful Supper in the Sky that we'll all enjoy in Jesus presence when we join Him, and Nona!

Questions for Nona:

Have you met my brother-in-law Norman, yet. He came about a year after you. He is so missed, he's the guy with the amazing smile.

Your sweet granddaughter came your way this year - it was very sad here, but we knew she was with God (and with you).

I miss you girl, and I know your sweet family and many people who knew you have wonderful memories to hang onto till we're reunited. Do you go to the Pearly Gates each day to greet new arrivals, or stay in the kitchen, or do you have a new comfort zone?


Haiti Mission
My Tribute to Nona Last Year

Outdated words? Stricken, Smitten, Afflicted - Reconciliation.

A news commentator solicited electronic comments from viewers when the Health Care-Reform Reconciliation Bill was signed last week.

His request: "When was the last time you used the word 'reconciliation' in conversation?"

My first responses, in my mind was:

I am reconciled through Christ, but haven't heard the word lately or admittedly used it in daily conversation.

In reference to the Health Care Reform Bill.
Law and Order uses it in court scenes.
I reconcile my bank account.
Pastors preach about it (or should).

But, if we think about it, we do this every day. We back-up and re-state conversations to reconcile misunderstandings. We make calls to clarify billing statements to "make them right;" we excuse ourselves when we are in someone's path; or apologize when we are in the wrong (or not). We adapt, resolve, accept even more so as we experience life and learn from trials.

WOW! This really is a word unused in America, unless you are "churched," a "believer," or have faith in a power greater than you making ammends with you, or are in the court system or accounting.

Reconciliation: To rec·on·cile (rkn-sl)
v. rec·on·ciled, rec·on·cil·ing, rec·on·ciles
1. To reestablish a close relationship between.
2. To settle or resolve.
3. To bring (oneself) to accept: He finally reconciled himself to the change in management.
4. To make compatible or consistent: reconcile my way of thinking with yours. See Synonyms at adapt.
1. To reestablish a close relationship, as in marriage: The estranged couple reconciled after a year.
2. To become compatible or consistent: The figures would not reconcile.


Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

By: Thomas Kelly

Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See him dying on the tree!
This is Christ, by man rejected;
Here, my soul, your Savior see.
He’s the long expected prophet,
David’s son, yet David’s Lord.
Proofs I see sufficient of it:
He’s the true and faithful Word.

Tell me, all who hear him groaning,
Was there ever grief like this?
Friends through fear his cause disowning,
Foes insulting his distress;
Many hands were raised to wound him,
None would intervene to save;
But the deepest stroke that pierced him
Was the stroke that justice gave.

You who think of sin but lightly
Nor suppose the evil great
Here may view its nature rightly,
Here its guilt may estimate.
Mark the sacrifice appointed;
See who bears the awful load;
It’s the Word, the Lord’s Anointed,
Son of Man and son of God.

Here we have a firm foundation;
Here the refuge of the lost;
Christ, the rock of our salvation,
His the name of which we boast.
Lamb of God, for sinners wounded,
Sacrifice to cancel guilt!
None shall ever be confounded
Who on him their hope have built.

Hymn # 116 from Lutheran Worship
Author: Geistliche Volkslieder
Tune: O Mein Jesu, Ich Muss Sterben
1st Published in: 1850

Romans 5:10 (New International Version)

10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!


You can buy this poster.