Monday, April 30, 2012


   When the plastic coating fell off my Walmart barrettes, first one and then the other, I used the bare hardware for a while. Finally I got around to snazzing them up.

   The blue one is made from my handy little buttons. The one pictured below is made of a felted rose from my stash of extras.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Common Experience

   How often do we scramble and scheme and set our hearts on a certain path in life, only to meet with an insurmountable obstacle. The wall to our progress is devastating at first, but when we quietly examine the situation, we realize that another path, a turn in the road that we had never thought of and wouldn't have chosen, is actually superior in every way.  This poem reflects the common human experience of those who walk by faith.

       The Wall

I’ve tried so hard to manage things,
And make them work by pulling strings.
I’ve laid my plans and thought up schemes
To seal my fortune, catch my dreams,
But efforts clever and well-planned
Could not secure them to my hand.

I reached a wall of solid rock,
Which proved a most effectual block.
It stopped the course I’d tried to run,
And screamed in silence, “Now be done!”
Too high to climb, too tight to crawl,
I had no choice but face the wall.

With nowhere now to run or hide,
Nor any outlet for my pride,
I had to face reality,
And let my life and fortune be.
The wall with adamantine force
Had stopped my crazy, wilful course.

I stood, my spirit almost dead,
Until a nudging turned my head,
And opened to my curious eyes
A gentle, but a sweet surprise —
Without my planning, aid, or thought
I found a path I’d never sought.

No running now; no cunning ways;
Just thankfulness and quiet praise.
My energy, my heart, my will
Are channelled in their efforts still,
But something’s different; something’s new
In everything I feel and do.

Nita Brainard
April 12, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Owl Headband

    I'm on a headband kick right now. I haven't quite run out of wool for making felted cell phone bags, but I needed a change, and wanted some gifts. On my list is someone who I think might enjoy the owl cable, so borrowing from other free patterns, I developed this:

The back portion of the headband is worked in plain ribbing.

DK weight yarn
Size 3 needle, double points or small circular

CO 108 stitches. Join, being careful not to twist stitches.
Work 2 rounds in K1 P1 ribbing.
Work 2 rounds in Basic Pattern:: [K1, P1] 7 times, [P3, K8]  7 times, P3, [K1, P1] 7 times.
Work 1 round in Cable Pattern:   [K1, P1] 7 times, [P3, Cable 4b (Place 2 st on cable needle and place in back of work, K2 then K2 from cable.), Cable 4f (Place 2 st on cable needle and place in front of work, K2, then K2 from cable.] 7 times, P3,  [K1, P1] 7 times
Work 7 rounds in Basic Pattern
Work 1 round Cable Pattern
Work 1 round in Basic Pattern
Work 2 rounds Eye Pattern:  [K1, P1] 7 times, [P3, k1, P2, K2, P2, K1] 7 times, P3,  [K1, P1] 7 times.
Work 2 rounds Basic Pattern.
Work ! round Cable Pattern
Work 1 round Basic Pattern
Work 2 rounds ribbing.
Bind off in ribbing. Weave in yarn ends.

Using contrasting yarn, make french knots over the purl stitches that form the eyes.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Poems for Dark Times

Hope in the Darkness
When all is black, there’s still a light
That makes the deepest valley bright;
There’s still a purpose to believe,
A Rock to which my soul can cleave.

When passion reigns, and reason flies,
And dark confusion clouds my eyes,
Through dim and blurry sight I see
One hope that yet remains to me.

Lord Jesus, You are there to give
The hope that feeds my will to live.
To honor You and give You praise
Is joy enough to fill my days.

When nothing else makes any sense,
You are my shield and sure defense.
When every earthly prop is gone,
You give the strength to carry on.

Light on the Inside
Though nothing looks the brighter;
    My path is still the same,
My God, I want to thank You
    And praise Your holy name.

 Dark clouds are all around me;
    No sign of light is here,
But in my heart I cherish
    The thought that You are near.

I don’t know if You’ll answer
     And give me all I ask,
But still I know You love me
    And in Your love I bask.

I cast myself upon You;
     I turn to You my face,
And so am I illumined
     In e’en the darkest place.

I cannot help but trust You,
    Though darkness still remains;
Your light is on the inside
    And fills my heart and reins.

Nita Brainard 2009

Monday, April 9, 2012

Buttons and Bobbles

   Even if you only know how to cast-on you can "knit" these handy little discs. I have used them instead of a bobble to cover a button and so made a smaller version of my sturdy felt button.
   I also use them as a knob on a flap with a snap or velcro underneath.

   Or just to form a flower to decorate a bag.

   Both of my pictures show felted discs, but they can also be used without felting.

The method:

Using any yarn and a correspondingly sized needle, Cast on 12 -18 stitches. Then pull each stitch over the last stitch you cast on. (Start by pulling the second to last one over and work your way down the needle.) Cut your yarn and pull through the remaining stitch. You will have a circle with a pie shaped piece missing. Using the tail of yarn, sew up this pie shaped gap.  If the opening is too large to sew up neatly, try again with a couple more stitches. 

If you want a bigger disc, you can also knit one row before removing the stitches.

The blue discs in the picture above were made with Reynolds Lopi, size 13 needles and 16 stitches.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Home Tour, Main Floor

   The Lord has greatly blessed me with the house I live in, and I have been meaning to show you the inside. I thought I would wait until it was finished, but as the Lord seems to think it good for me that it not be quite finished, I will show it to you as it is.

As you come in the back door, the laundry room:

 Then from the porch/laundry room into the kitchen:
There are stairs to the basement behind the stove.

This is taken standing by the stove. 

Once the light is repaired, we will finish the wall.

 From the kitchen into the dining room:

Standing between the dining and living room, looking back towards the kitchen door and my desk. 
This window looks west and is great for viewing sunsets.

 In the dining room is a door way to the upstairs:

 Standing at the rarely used front door:

View of my door and the doorway into Lee's study:

 Lee at his desk:

 From the study, you go into a bathroom: