Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knitting Away

I've completed a few knitting projects that I thought were especially cute that I wanted to share with you!

The first project was three hats, commissioned by my sister-in-law for her two kids (my niece and nephew) and her sister. She told me what she thought would be cute and shared a few pictures on Pintrest, and this is what I came up with!

There was a zebra, a koala, and a dinosaur. I was able to take a few pictures of the kids modeling their hats during Christmas Cabin.

The other two boys are wearing their Christmas hats from last year. :) Yay!

The next project I cast on was for an adult sized sweater. I'm making Tea Leaves Cardigan using Cascade 220 Quarto yarn, a present from my mom from Christmas. I made my first ever swatch to make sure the sweater was not either too huge nor too small. I've cast on, now, and I'm 29 rows in. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Last but not least, I knit my nephew Ben a dino hat for his first birthday! This was the third attempt at a hat this winter, and this time, finally, it fit! The problem wasn't Ben's head, but rather that I didn't use a pattern any of those times. The final time I based it on a pattern, but I was still doing some improvisation, but fortunately it fit. Phew! A picture of it on Ben's adorable head is forthcoming.

And, on a related note, I'm thinking about starting a little shop in Etsy to sell knitted children's hats. I enjoy it and it might let me make a little extra money. I'll let you know when I make the plunge!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Looking at 2012

The first time I remember making a resolution for the new year was when I was in middle school. At that time, The Brink -- our middle and high school youth group -- did an all nighter at the church. It pretty much involved lots of pop, pizza, movies, and silly dares such as running outside in bare feet. Yet in the midst of the craziness, probably before we popped in our traditional girl movie, Little Women, I pulled out a new journal to record my goals and aspirations for the year.

A new year always brings a feeling of quiet anticipation, just like before my pen hits the first page of a new journal. The story of my life will soon be written there, but I don't know what it is yet. If I were really awesome, I would try to coordinate a new journal with each new year, but my rate of filling pages ebbs and flows over the course of the year, and I inevitably finish a journal mid-year, with a new journal to start on an inauspicious day such as March 13 or September 25.

This year I didn't really make an resolutions. Recently I made a 30-before-30 list, so that gives me some goals to work towards over the next few years, but I didn't want to make a resolution just because the clock was ticking. But last week, I was challenged to pick a word that would highlight an idea that I would like to dwell on this year. The word that has emerged from my contemplation has been humility.

Humility, synonymous with lowliness, meekness, submissiveness, an antonym of pride. Yikes, right? In our world, humility is not a valued trait. We'd like athletes to be humble, but as for us, the regular folks, we want to be revered and loved. We're encouraged to endorse ourselves, to highlight our best characteristics, and to be blunt about our best qualities. But as someone who is not of this world (1 Peter 2:11), I'm called to live a life of humility, mirroring Christ's humility.

"In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing, by taking the very nature of a servant..." (Philippians 2:5-7)

There are an abundance of verses about humility, and I could copy a bunch of them down, but let's be honest: if Jesus exemplified it, that's what I need to emmulate. Enough said. For me, as this year begins, humility means thinking of others more than myself. It means using my gifts and talents for the glory of God, not for my own gratification. It means serving others, day in and day out. It means making myself nothing that He may be glorified.

When all is said and done in 2012, I want to look back and see how the year was characterized by the indwelling of the attitude of humility in my life. I'm praying that it grows within me, even though that's a terrifying prayer. Growth is worth the discomfort, and I'm anxious to becoming more like Christ each day. Life is fleeting, much too short to remain stagnant. Therefore, let 2012 be filled with growth!

The Lettered Cottage