Monday, August 27, 2012

Christ Alone

For I determined not to know any  thing among you,
   save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1Cor. 2:2
Christ alone provides an answer
      To the ills that plague our race.
Nothing frees and nothing cures us,
      But the cleansing work of grace. 

We may educate the masses;
      Tell them where the dangers lurk,
But to stem the tide of evil
      All our teaching doesn’t work.

We may think we’re doing something
      When we advertise our cause,
But the end of all our labor
      Wins us only man’s applause.

Yes, the world itself applauds us,
      When we stand against the worst
Of the sins its prince has fathered
      And society has nursed.

If we want to make a difference
      That will last eternally,
We must follow Christ our Savior
      To His death on Calvary.

We won’t win the world’s approval.
      We will seem to them as fools,
For we must refuse their methods,
      Living by the Bible’s rules.

We weren’t given a commission
      To attempt to clean the mess
That lies cluttered on the surface
      Of a core of wickedness.

For the Lord Himself is coming
      And will judge the world with fire —
But to turn men first and save them 
      Is His burning heart’s desire.

Nita Brainard
August 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Wrapping

  You saw the afghan. You saw the poem I wrote for the card. Now you get to see the wrapping. I don't pretend to sophistication, but when it comes to practicality, I have an edge. Paper wrapping is pretty, but it ends up in the trash. And when wrapping something soft like an afghan, it requires a box besides. Why not wrap gifts with something useful?

A simple draw string bag can be used to store the afghan, sheets, or linens for years. I made this one out of the lining from a cast off set of drapes. A more elegant fabric and a better seamstress could make something much classier and still very useful.

For the present I didn't draw the string, but folded and pinned it.

I added some yarn and a felt flower. When I have one available, a reusable brooch is nice for adorning this type of package.

                                          Even if it wrinkles, it won't tear!

No losing the card to this gift! The envelope is pinned on under the flower.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Wedding Poem

Composed for use in wedding cards. Feel free to adapt it for your own use.

From this day we walk together;
   We have made a solemn pact.
Be it sweet or stormy weather,
   It’s a step we can’t retract.

You’re the one that I am choosing;
   We will share life’s changing ways;
Every other love refusing,
   Through the journey of our days.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Starting with a Purl Row

   My instructions for bags knitted in the round usually begin with this line: Starting with a purl row . . . There is a reason for this. When you use the long tail cast on (the only pleasant cast on), the stitches in the first row you work have a tight twist at the base that resembles a purl stitch. This is often on the front of the work. It makes a neat edge, and it looks very nice as the edge of a ribbing for a sweater. However, when you are working in the round, it is a little more difficult to pick up stitches in this twist. The other side of the cast on stitch has a loose horizontal piece at the base which is easier to see, easier to count, and easier to get your needle into. If you start with a purl row, then when it is time to pick up the stitches around your bottom piece, this handy yarn will be there waiting for you on the knit side of your work.

See the nice diagonal yarn at the bottom of each stitch?

Picking up stitches on this side of the cast on is a breeze.

Only a line of twisted stitches shows
where you cast on and picked up.

After felting you see no indication at all of where the stitches are picked up,
and it is very difficult to tell the front from the back.