Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moving my heart to get my fingers moving

There’s something about the cooler weather of fall that makes me want to pull out the knitting needles or crochet hook, root through my yarn stash, and make something. I scour the internet for patterns for new projects, I look at items in the store and think “I could make that”, and I look at my bins of yarn and say to myself, “I really need to use up some of this yarn!”

This year was no different. Well, maybe it was a little different, as I actually finished up a project and used up quite a bit of scrap yarn. I made myself a Granny Square jacket, and got past my usual reticence about sewing things together. I had it put together at the end of September (although every time I wear it, I’m finding yarn ends that still need to be tucked in).
Finished for Homecoming 9/29/12

Then it was on to other projects: another crocheted sweater for myself, a trapper hat for my daughter, a chemo cap for a friend. I found a book at the library with patterns for sweaters knit from the neck down with no seams (my favorite!). I started looking more closely at "Trapper Hats" in the store, since they're so popular right now. I started playing around with hat patterns and came up with a “monster hat” that made a little guy’s face light up. I figured out how to alter the pattern to make it fit an adult, and started playing with colors and patterns.
Projects, projects, projects!

Going through my yarn bin, looking for just the right color, I found an unfinished pair of fingerless gloves that I started last year. I added those to my list of projects to work on.

As I was sitting and knitting last night, I thought about how working on a project that will bless somebody else lifts not just their spirits, but mine. I thought of how I was working on a chemo cap for a friend. As I watched it taking shape, and felt how soft and cuddly it was, and how it would meet a need in her life, it lifted me out of the gloomy mood that I had found myself in. I experienced the same thing with the little boy’s “Monster Hat.” It was a green earflap hat with teeth on the front edge and eyes on the front. As I put the finishing touches on his hat, I couldn’t help but smile as I thought “He’s going to love this!” (He did.) I thought of other hats I could make: that brown yarn would make a cute bear hat, if I added ears and eyes. I could skip the eyes and do a hat in rainbow colors, with a rainbow braid for the tie string. I could make an orange hat and put jack-o-lantern features on it, with a green pom-pom on the top. So many ideas…

So, as I was knitting last night, I was thinking about how I can use my knitting & crocheting projects this fall for a greater purpose. Then I got it. 

My daughter Connie is going on a missions trip in early 2013. She and about ten others from our church are going to the Bethesda Outreach in South Africa, a home for children orphaned by AIDS (Bethesda Outreach). Connie is not doing traditional support-raising for the trip. Her share of the trip will come to about $1,600, but she is not sending out support letters. She let her friends know about the trip through Facebook, asking them to pray, and letting them know how they can send in financial support. Whatever doesn’t come in, she will cover herself. I’d love to send in a big, fat check to support her on her trip, but the money’s just not there right now. So, as I was working on a purple monster hat last night, I thought, “What if I sold these hats on ebay and put all the money I make from them towards Connie’s support?” 
Connie's 2010 Trip to Uganda. She can't wait to go back to Africa!

So, for the next few months, I hope to have a steady stream of hats and fingerless gloves on ebay, starting with today’s “purple people eater” hat (shown in the picture above). Hopefully by the time Connie leaves for Bethesda in late January, I will have cleaned out a good portion of my yarn stash, and made a significant contribution to her trip!

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