Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spring Knitting

Yes, a whole season has gone by, with not much knitting to show for it.  However, I haven't yet posted pictures of the things I made way back for the gift exchange with the Langley girls!  My secret gift person that I was knitting for was Anna, who is a fellow linguist and a beautiful, sincere and joyful person.  It was so fun to make these projects for her!  First up, I knitted her the "Musica" fingerless gloves pattern.

Fair-isle really is exhausting.  Next glove/mitten pattern I do (which will probably be the Norwegian Totoro Mittens) I shall do doubleknit to save myself the agony of fair-isle knitting.  Anyhow, the other sizeable project I knitted was a simple Leaf Lace Scarf with beads.  The crochet method of adding beads to knitting has revolutionized the way I do lace.  It's so easy!  I love this colourway of yarn because it really does look like a dappled forest.  Here are a few pictures from knitting to blocking to finished project.  Incidentally, I learned that the foam inserts from inside my DDR mats make excellent blocking mats for knitting.  The pins stick into them really well.  Who knew they would come in so handy?  See them in action below!

Lastly, I finally looked up some online tutorials and discovered what the heck a crimp bead actually is, and made a few little stitch markers for her.  Yes, one of them is a dinosaur.  It's more awesome that way.

Now, in terms of current knitting, I became addicted to the lace-beads combination and have started the Haruni shawl with silver beads placed throughout.  The yarn is a gorgeous Malabrigo Lace that I fell in love with at a local yarn shop (while I was just browsing and trying very hard not to buy anything) and might be a good choice if I ever decide to knit the Here Be Dragone Shawl.  The first half chart of Haruni is actually quite memorizable so this has become my carry-around knitting for the moment because of its compact size.

I am also so very nearly done DS' scarf, the current project for the knitting request list.  This scarf has been sitting at nearly done for about a month now because it has gotten to the size that it's very hard to carry around.  But, soon it shall begin its journey to the Netherlands and find a new home there. (Picture only given of scarf in jellyroll form, because it's a surprise!)

I shall soon be finishing a couple potholders that I'm (much belatedly) giving out as prizes for the Retro Sig Week Contest at GotWoot.  Grats again to the winners, Archangel and Ryllharu!  Feel free to poke me if you don't have any news on this within a couple weeks, because sometimes I forget about these things.

And speaking of GotWoot, we now have our own fansub group.  The team is led by the amazing and talented Sapphire, and currently is releasing House of Five Leaves, which is a fun samurai anime with quirky characters and a unique art style that might take a bit of getting used to.  We've got an irc channel up and running as well so you can always visit #gotwoot on

Lastly, here is my latest baking adventure.  This week I was given the privilege of bringing a birthday cake for an amazing friend of mine at small group.  Now, I love these kind of opportunities because I get to try out new recipes and use everyone as my guinea pigs, hehe.  Anyhow, I wanted to do something special for her, because she has really impacted my life and blessed me more than I can say, and I feel like this birthday for her is fairly significant, so I wanted to mark the occasion with something elegant and extravagant.  What better time to try out making fondant?  The base cake was just a basic chocolate cake recipe I found on allrecipes.  Rating: satisfactory.  I used this online photo tutorial for making marshmallow fondant, and this stuff is fun!  By the time I'd finished kneading the different food colourings into my little fondant chunks, my hands looked like I'd been tie-dying all day.  The shapes I used to decorate the cake are reflective purely of the cookie cutters I own.  Verdict:  very fun experience, and tasty fondant!

Oh, and before I bid you all goodnight, I have just discovered that LeVar Burton (who you should be familiar with if you ever watched Reading Rainbow or Star Trek) has just launched a debut comic book entitled "Con-CERNed".  As the name suggests, it follows a physicist who is working at the Large Hadron Collider who gains superpowers and is purported to be a tale about "physics, family, and consequences."  The geekiness rating of this is off-the-scale, but it makes me oh so very happy.  Read the comic here!  (As a side note, you should check out the LHC on Twitter too, because whoever is tweeting there is hilarious, as I discovered via my friend and fellow blogger Beth).  Have a lovely evening and a fantastic week my friends!  Catch you next time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Worth

So, I had a meeting this week with my pastor.  This is a meeting that I put off for months, and once set, awaited nervously.  I was scared.  Really, I had no good reason to be scared.  But somehow, the thought of this meeting filled me with fear and trepidation.  Lately I have been trying to confront my fear, so finding myself so afraid of this meeting really bothered me.  I was praying the night before, asking God why.  Why did I have so much fear about this?  It wasn't an issue of trust.  It wasn't an issue of submission to authority.  And then suddenly the answer hit me.  I didn't think I was worth his time.  My fear came from a lack of value in myself.

Worth is something that I thought I knew about.  It's easy to discuss worth academically.  It's like a thousand dollar bill, which is created with a value of one thousand dollars.  Nothing will ever change that, because it's the nature of the bill.  It can never be separated from its innate value, and it doesn't have to do or achieve anything to earn or maintain that value.  It was created with great worth.  Likewise, you and I were created with great worth.  All of our actions, anything we do or don't do has absolutely no effect on our value, because that value was stamped onto our souls at the moment we were created.

It's easy to intellectually agree with such a comparison, but more difficult to truly believe it for our own lives.  Even if I said I believed it,  I wasn't living as God's priceless treasure.  I was living as someone who needed to earn my value.  I felt like I needed to prove myself in order to be of worth.  Upon realizing this and recognizing it in myself, I saw it for the lie that it is.  But still, my heart was unconvinced.  The fear settled about me like a heavy blanket, and though I knew I could get past the fear by confronting it, I couldn't think of any way to address the underlying issue of self-worth.

So the next day I wrote down my Google map directions and hopped on the bus to get to my pastor's house.  I'd been feeling really tired all day long, and I don't know what it was about that particular evening, but I just wasn't thinking straight.  Somehow I got off the bus at the wrong stop and got lost.  Really lost.  Usually when I get really lost I just phone my brother and get him to look up directions for me on his computer, but he was out at a social function.  I couldn't call my pastor either because I hadn't entered his phone number into my contact list.  I kept walking, hoping that perhaps just after the next street, or the next one, that I'd reach my destination.  I was assaulted by discouraging thoughts such as, "You should just go home.  This whole meeting was a mistake.  It's way too late to have a meeting now, you better just give up and catch the next bus out of here before you humiliate yourself."  It would have been easy to just go home and pretend nothing had happened, but I'd come too far to turn back.

This was the point when my pastor phoned me, wondering where I was.  I relayed the situation, and it was determined that I was so far away that he'd have to come get me.  Now, as a young professional and a generally capable person, it is rather painful to appear incompetent.  I was completely helpless, and just needed to stand still and wait to be rescued.  Now instead of just taking up some of his time, I had caused him to have to drive all the way out and find me.  However, it was in this moment of embarrassment and mortification that God spoke to me.  Remember the parable of the lost sheep, where the shepherd leaves his flock and goes out searching for the one lost sheep?  Every time I heard that parable in the past, the lost sheep was someone else, and I was always one of those secure sheep back with the flock.  But that day, I was the one that was lost and my pastor left his kids at home to come out looking for me.  God spoke to me, "Because you're worth it."  And how much greater is my worth to God that He rescued me while I was helpless and died to save me?  He didn't do it begrudgingly, but willingly because I am worth that much to Him.  That's a staggering amount of value to hold, and suddenly what my mind had previously known, my heart began to understand.  My worth is already given.  I don't have to say or do anything to earn it.  And you know what?  I wasn't afraid anymore.  Given a glimpse of my own value, all the fear lifted off of me, and I walked into that meeting completely at peace and unafraid.

There is an amazing amount of freedom in knowing one's own worth.  It's not pretentious or self-important worth, because it derives purely from our creator and not at all from our own efforts.  That's true freedom.  Freedom to be who we are because we were created so amazingly and beautifully.  And the more I can see that in myself, the more I can see it in other people.  As I learn just how great a value God has given me, I see more and more of that measureless value displayed in the people around me.  So, my synopsis of this incident is this:  I'm worth it.  And did you know?  You're worth it too.