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Avoiding a side seam

A knitting pattern I use over and over again was published by Woman’s Weekly many years ago. It is a charity knitting supplement called Loving and Giving. There are patterns for a premature baby set, a hat and scarf set, fingerless gloves with a mitten top, an Oxfam top, a bed-jacket and bed-socks, men’s socks and a blanket made from squares.

I have not used every pattern in the leaflet, but I have used the premature baby clothes pattern more times than I can remember. A friend of mine, learning that I was knitting premature baby clothes, asked, “Who is expecting a premature baby?”

I explained that I donate the clothes to the special baby unit at the local hospital.

I used to knit Oxfam tops until I learned that the charity was unable to send all the tops they received and had to pay for storage of them. This situation may have changed. (Oxfam tops are T-shirts knitted in bright colours.)

The premature baby set consists of a cardigan, hat, mittens and bootees in three sizes. I do not always knit the cardigan. At present I have a partly completed set and plenty of yarn for more. I sometimes adapt the pattern to avoid side seams. As written the cardigan is made up of two fronts, a back and two sleeves. The button and buttonhole bands are a garter stitch border knitted as part of the fronts. More care is required with the knitting if the two fronts and back are knitted as a single piece, as in the photo. If mistakes are made with the buttonholes, for example, it takes longer to put them right than on a smaller piece of work. The extension to the bands is joined to the heads of the sleeves and the cast off edge of the back.

Fronts and back with bands and extensions

Fronts and back with bands and extensions

I also mentioned knitting avoiding a side seam in an earlier post.

I prefer to have my knitted items used locally than to send them to Knit for Peace. It is better for the carbon footprint. However it is good that there is an organisation, which matches knitted and crocheted items with those in need of them.

 

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Religion and faith

A rehearsal for choral evensong may not be the first place one would go to look for inspiration for writing. Nevertheless a comment made by the visiting choirmaster struck a chord with me!

At the beginning of one work, our entry was not confident and together. He likened it to people trying to use a moving walkway and acted out the way that they might hesitate before getting on. Our walkway was the introduction on the organ; we had to get on at the correct point without hesitation.

The thought which occurred to me was that taking a step of faith is very similar.

I remember as a pre-teen being convinced that Christianity was the best religion. I had been brought up in a family where both parents were confirmed members of the Church of England and I had attended Sunday School from an early age.

At (day) school we studied comparative religion, looking at the major religions at that time – Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Humanism may have been mentioned as well. It seemed to me that if everyone practised the teachings of Jesus Christ the world would be a wonderful place.

What I didn’t understand at that time was the difference between religion and faith.

Religion is concerned with rules. Judaism, from which Christianity arose, is full of rules. Christianity includes the Old Testament (similar to the Hebrew Bible) and the New Testament, which begins with four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, the story of his early followers (The Acts of the Apostles), letters (Epistles) to Churches and individuals and a vision of the future (The Revelation of St John the Divine).

The letter to the Hebrews lists people of faith from the Old Testament and explains how they lived out their faith. Hebrews 11

Christianity differs from other religions in an important way. Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Messiah. Adherents to Judaism are still waiting for the Messiah. As far as I am aware in Islam Jesus is regarded as a prophet, but not as the Son of God. In the Old Testament the Spirit of God rested on a few individuals, sometimes only for a short time, while they performed an important task or prophesied.

The prophet Joel looked forward to a time, when God would pour out his Spirit on all people Joel 2:28-29

Christians believe that this began on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given to those who believed in Jesus Christ. Acts 2

It is easy to mistake Christianity for a set of rules. Anyone who tries to be a Christian by obeying rules is bound to discover that it is impossible. However, Christianity is a way of living in a relationship with the living God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through this relationship, which is strengthened through worship, prayer, Holy Communion, Bible-reading and fellowship with other believers, Christians are changed from within to become more Christ-like. We need to trust God to give us his strength rather than act or speak in our own strength.

Our society emphasises self-improvement, but Christians should be looking to God to improve them. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Christianity can only be proved to be true from within. Without taking the step of faith and beginning to trust the God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, it is impossible to know whether Christianity is true. There is no benefit to those, who do not believe and trust.

It is like knowing that the moving walkway would save time and effort, but failing to step onto it.

Have you taken the step of faith?

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

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The Blogging from A to Z Challenge Road Trip

Each year after the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge there is a so-called Road Trip. This is for participants and supporters to visit more of the blogs, which took part in the challenge.

This year I have decided not to sign up for it.

In previous years I have signed up and failed to visit many more blogs than I followed during the challenge itself. This year the terms of signing up are particularly stringent. It is a commitment to visit all the other blog, with the possible exception of those with adult content.

Bloggers are invited to link their favourite post on their own blog from the challenge.

I have a few favourites on mine.

A is for Architect attempted to set the tone.

B is for Bank robber was a bit cheeky. I had in mind a couple of books I have read, which I didn’t include in the post: From Prison to Praise by Merlin Carothers and Jonathan Aitken’s book Pride and Perjury: An Autobiography. Both autobiographical books tell of how the writer’s time in prison led them to faith in Christ.

H is for Horticulturalist gave me the encouragement to continue writing, when I discovered that a name I had chosen was particularly appropriate to the subject matter. It is also the only post, which I illustrated with one of my photos.

X is for Xylophonist has a link to a Youtube video of a very talented musician, who happens to be deaf.

Z is for Zoologist mentions my concern for environmental issues.

If you wish to comment on any of my A to Z posts, my About page is still open to comments.