Making For Others {HK edition}

I’m having trouble starting this post. I hope you are well. It’s been such a strange Spring. We are well, although our season was hard. Hard. Hard. We’ve made it back to solid ground now. Standing on solid surfaces holding hands with each other now and Jesus. Maybe someday I’ll say here why this season was so difficult. Maybe not.

I haven’t been reading a lot at all. I did listen to The Waiting, It stirred a lot of surprising emotions and made me think deeper about my kids birth moms which is a good thing I think. I picked up Father Brown off my shelf but haven’t read more than a few pages. I seem to be in a bit of a reading rut but now that school is officially out for all the kids (as of Friday) maybe I’ll add a “reading hour” to our daily routine and join them. I’m knitting the Be Brave Wrap and have cast on Rye Light socks. I’’m going to link this post to Ginny’s May Yarnalong, I know— it’s a miracle.

We are so near Summer that I can almost feel the heat. Soon we will all start our mornings outside and stay as long as we can stand it before retreating to the cool indoors for the remainder of the day. I’ve been thinking about how we’ll shape our days here. We all need routine to feel some safety, some calm. Something solid to soothe our wondering.

But this year is not like any other year. I can’t see us coming out into crowds in the near future. I’m still content to go out for groceries on my own or even better asking hubby to bring them after work. We are staying in on purpose, I’m thankful that we can and mindful that not everyone can.

I am acutely aware of a few groups of people far away who cannot just go out in the near empty streets to play before returning to the cool comfort of large rooms. Of elderly men and women who work all through the day in whatever season it is. They push large stacks of cardboard that they collect in the streets of their city. It is their occupation. It is the way they make very little money that they will try to live on in one of the most expensive cities in the world.

When they are able to return home it is often to tiny and uncomfortable spaces (cage homes) stuffed with all of their belonging. Sometimes they never get to leave the elements. Never get to get in out of the heat or cold. Never get to leave the wind or the rain completely. Some (and more than you might think) will tuck themselves behind or beneath stacks of their bags and belonging tucked under bridges or corners outside. No matter how harsh the weather.

All of their circumstances add up to a terribly hard way of life. Some have been known to sleep at tables where families gather to happily eat their French fries in the daytime hours. Although I am not sure those dining rooms are open for those nights of restless sleep these days.

This faithful group serves these elderly poor (and many others in Asia) everyday.

I am also thinking of children who’ve moved into the same city with their families. Moved from other countries into the full to overflowing city that is Hong Kong. These children have their own first language but in school, and to be able to do school, they learn Chinese and English all at the same time. Their lessons are hard. The places they live are often full and are always small. But it is a blessing that there is an indoors to go to.

My friend and his family serve these children, and others. They offer tutoring after school, even during breaks when other kids get a respite from schoolwork. They offer kid’s clubs of all sorts, neighbor ministries and vacation Bible schools along with the near daily tutoring. They offer care, support, resources and prayers to these children and their families and in this season masks, gloves and sanitizer when they have them to give. Shanti (which means peace in Hindi) Ministries serves so well asylum seekers and ethnic minorities in Hong King everyday.

This season I am putting my fingers to work for the elderly poor in Honk Kong. Things to keep them warmer next Winter. And also for the children in my friends clubs and for their mamas or aunties. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time.

I think I’ve been overwhelmed before the start. Decided my little bit is not enough. But setting that aside I’ve set to work and My process has always been something akin to what Elizabeth Chanin says about infusing the thread in her hand sewn creations with good intentions, rather my solitary work will also be filled with slow and intentional prayers for the ones who will wear them.

This is how I tend work. Praying for who would receive the gift. I’m not fast but in every stitch of the handmade thing there is also love and prayers. Hope and redemption is prayed for. That hearts would know the love of God and seek Him. Health and freedom and strength in the good and bad. Grace and mercy and peace. All good things from heaven for them.

Edited June 2020: I’m using a few free patterns to make these works- or at least that is the plan today. I’ve cast on going to focus on hats. I like this free two-by-two hat pattern and This similar free hat pattern. The rib makes for a stretchy comfy fit for any size head.

Here are a few free patterns that you might like to use: This is the pattern for mittens. This is the pattern for a hat. This is the pattern for super warm woolen socks. I like this one for the mamas and aunties. I also like this hat a lot. I made for one of the boys on his birthday. It’s very stretchy so I reckon it would fit many heads. I’ll add other patterns here if I need to.

Feel free to join me. Or rather, would you consider joining me? You can send them straight to the ministries in HK (linked above) or send them here and I will send in the later days of Fall November, whichever you prefer.

Please pray. And remember that you can always send them financial donations if you prefer. It will not be wasted. Promise. Inquire about any of this and share as you like and thanks for stopping in.

Blessings, t

A New Year & Yarn Along

It is a New Year. One of my resolutions is to read more – or rather to read entire books- you know, to the end. I always have a stack of books that I am “reading” but I have not finished many books this year, err this past year. Too busy or tired or vegging out in front of the t.v.

A stack of unfinished books leaves me feeling that I am behind which leaves me feeling stressed. Boo. For someone who loves the well written word- it is wrong that my stacks of beautiful books should leave me feeling something so ridiculous as stress. I love books. I love to read. I must figure out how to enjoy them again. That is my goal. ❤

Just now I am reading Blood And Thunder and I am Knitting some socks- no pattern just socks. I’ve knit enough socks to wing it now. The yarn is ZOMBIE something-or-another (I lost the info) and a white wildfoote luxury sock yarn.

I was so happy that Ginny started Yarn Along again 🙂 I nearly forgot- but managed a post just for the occasion and am so pleased to join her today. Yay, thank you ma’am for starting it up again!

TWO MORE THINGS: ✌️

I wanted to add my favorite resource of the week is this podcast the topic is How To Provide A Healing Home For Wounded Children. It is so good. Gosh- can’t even tell you- so good. If you do foster care or have adopted please have a listen. ❤

Also if you need a sock pattern- one you can really rely on- you might try this one (it is free) I love all of her work.

Okay folks, have a blessed day!<
Tina

Wee Heart Christmas Ornament -a free pattern-

Since Hubby and I were married it has been our tradition to buy a new Christmas ornament every Christmas Season. We have continued that tradition with every new baby birthed to us, foster kiddos living with us and now with our adopted one. Our collection has grown and is very eclectic (just like us)!! But this year I wanted to make our ornaments rather than purchase them.

So in honor of one finalized adoption this year and another set to finalize in the the Spring of 2018 I made these wee heart Christmas Ornaments for each of us. You know, because Love Makes A Family. ❤️💙💙💗💗💗❤️

I tried several variations but the one I liked most is written out for you here, a gift of sorts. Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays to you!!

Yarn
Opal sock yarn or any fingering weight yarn. These 15 gram balls gave me 5 wee hearts!

Needles
Size 0-1 US (2.0 MM -2.5 MM) Set of DPNs

Materials:
Scissors
darning needle
Stitch marker or progress keeper
Ribbon (optional)

I prefer a lightweight progress keeper after a few rounds rather than a stitch maker but either works just fine for telling one where the start is.

Abbreviations
K
Knit
P Purl
M1 Make 1 increase knit into the bar between stitches (Make 1 explanations here).
KFB
Knit in the front and back of the same stitch
Row
Sl1 Slip 1 stitch
SSK Slip Slip Knit
K2tog Knit 2 together
St(s) Stitch(es)
DPN(s) Double pointed needles

Filling Your choice of filling
Suggestions: Poly-fil, yarn scraps, fabric cutting or felt scraps. I used acrylic yarn scraps that I had from a crochet blanket I made last year.

The Pattern

Body Of Heart
Part A

Cast On 4 and divide over two needles.
Row 1: K all (4 sts)
Row 2: Kfb, Kfb (8sts)
Row 3: K all
Row 4: K1, M1, K to the last stitch, M1, K1- needle 2: K1, M1, K to the last stitch, M1, K1
Row 6: K all (12 sts)
Repeat Row 5 and 6 until you have 44 total stitches and spread them over four needles.
Note: When the knitting gets tight or uncomfortable on my hands I added another two needles dividing the stitches evenly across four needles.

Top Of The Heart (Left Side)
Part B
Row 1: K1, M1, K9 (right front needle)
Row 2: K9, M1, K1 (left front needle)
Row 3: K1, M1, K9 (left back needle)

Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (22 sts)
note: Now you will be working on the two left-hand needles only.

Turn your work
Row 5: Sl1, SSK, K5, K2tog, M1, K1 (10 sts)
Row 6: K1, M1, SSK, K5, K2tog,K1 (10 sts)

Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (20 sts)

Turn your work
Row 7: Sl1, SSK, K4, K2tog, M1, K1 (9 sts)
Row 8: K1, M1, SSK, K4, K2tog, K1 (9sts)

Continue in this manner until front and back left needles have 8 stitches each- then go to Part D for the right top of heart or for continued instructions for the body continue with Part C.

Part C
Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (18 sts)

Turn your work
Row 7: Sl1, SSK, K4, K2tog, M1, K1 (8 sts)
Row 8: K1, M1, SSK, K4, K2tog, K1 (8sts)
Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (16 sts)

Part D
Holding both left hand side needles together Kitchener stitch the left hand side top of your heart closed -doing your set up in reverse since yarn is at the front rather than the back – I am calling this the Backwards Kitchener Stitch because I couldn’t find a tutorial for it. If you know what it is please feel free to comment or leave a link in the comments. 😉

Reverse Set Up
– So rather than the set up starting in front when doing kitchener stitch-
1. Insert darning needle as if to knit on the first stitch on the back needle and pull yarn through leaving that stitch on the needle.
2. Insert darning needle as if to purl into the first stitch on the front needle and pull yarn through leaving that stitch on the needle.

Backwards Kitchener Stitch

1. Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to purl and pull the yarn through letting that stitch fall off the needle- pull snug.
2. Insert darning needle into the next stitch on the back needle as if to knit and pull yarn through leaving that stitch on the needle.
3. Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to knit and pull the yarn through letting that stitch fall off the needle- pull snug.
4. Insert darning needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl and pull yarn through leaving that stitch on the needle.

Continue until all stitches are off needles and sew the end into the top of the heart and weave ends into the inside of the heart.

Top Of The Heart (Right Side)
Part E
Turn your heart around and begin on the inside of the back needle.
Row 1: Purl all (22 sts)
note: Now you will be working on the two right-hand needles only.

Turn your work
Row 2: Sl1, SSK, K5, K2tog, M1, K1 (10 sts)
Row 3: K1, M1, SSK, K5, K2tog, K1 (10 sts)

Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (20 sts)

Turn your work
Row 5: Sl1, SSK, K4, K2tog, M1, K1 (9 sts)
Row 6: K1, M1, SSK, K4, K2tog, K1 (9 sts)

Turn your work
Row 7: Purl all (18 sts)

Turn your work
Row 8: Sl1, SSK, K3, K2tog, M1, K1 (8 sts)
Row 9: K1, M1, SSK, K3, K2tog, K1 (8 sts)

Turn your work
Row 4: Purl all (16 sts)

Backwards Kitchener Stitch these stitches together (see Part D)

Fill your heart and sew it up closed with an invisible seem.

To finish:
With a crochet hook make a chain
pull the yarn through the middle top of the heart and tie a knot
cut the yarn and weave the remaining yarn in to make a loop to hang your ornament.
You could also use pretty ribbon to hang your ornament!

Feel free to use this pattern as much as you like but please be kind enough to link your projects here. Thank you!

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