Volunteering: Coordinator for local homeless shelter

July 2012, I’ll officially take on the role as homeless shelter coordinator for my Lutheran church. 

It’s a volunteer position, and it’s something I’m really excited about. 

I enjoy volunteering  since I’m in direct contact with the people who benefit from the services; it also gives me a chance to engage and learn more about them. If I desire to be Christ like, at times I need to step out of my comfort zone, and do things I normally wouldn’t do. Interacting with those at the homeless shelter isn’t new to myself, since I was introduced to the ministry when I was eight years old.

The church my parents attend also had a similar ministry. I can still remember that the children’s Sunday school group, sang at the Baltimore Rescue Mission; this was around Christmas time. Initially I was nervous, some of the guests looked “strange,” but I soon realized they were people too, and I shouldn’t treat them any differently. My parents were helpful with that. At that age, I determined when I got older; I would somehow be involved with the homeless. Throughout my adult life, the way I’ve done this is volunteering at homeless shelters.

Regarding the new position, I have a lot of ideas, and am eager to discuss them with others on the servanthood committee, to get their feedback. I must say that I’m impressed with my Lutheran church. At times, some people assume that groups that are church based are disorganized. Not so at my church, outside of the obvious Christian message, the meetings I’m attending are no different from the ones I attended in the corporate world. My church definitely believes in having things done decently and in order.

The ministry isn’t new to myself, since I’ve been volunteering with this current local homeless shelter, since I learned about the ministry in January 2012. Before that time, I was going downtown to assist. It’s nice to be part of a church that has several ministries available to those who attend the church. I also volunteer with the food pantry, and the quilting group. About five years ago, if you were to tell me that I’d be this actively involved with a church, I would have told you that you were nuts!  Although I’ve always tried to be nice to others, and was always involved with outreach ministries. I was doing that on my own, since for many years I stopped going to church.

One of the many things I love about my Lutheran church is that they put their faith in action. So yes, there are numerous ministries made available for those who truly want to serve.

Getting active, doesn’t always mean you have to give money to an organization. There are other ways to help… 

These ministries require only a few hours of my time each month to serve others. The challenge that many volunteer groups face, is finding people willing to make the time. Many of us spend hours weekly/monthly doing things we want to do, how many of us take the time to help others?

There are a lot of people right here in the United States that are suffering; especially with our current economy.  Sometimes people simply need to know that there are those who care about them. At times, people get so caught up in our fast paced society, that they forget to be compassionate towards those who are less fortunate.

The Night Shift and knitting; stockinette scarf update

This has always been one of my favorite songs, and I heard it on Memorial Day.


My daughter and I stopped by A.C. Moore, when this song started playing, and I stopped and listened for a bit. It brings back a lot of good memories…

We were at A.C. Moore because I needed to purchase yarn.

As I’ve mentioned already, I do a lot of work with charity based organizations; several are generated from my Lutheran church. A. C. Moore was having a sale on Lion Brand Vanna Colors, $1.00 per skien. It’s my first time using it, and I must say I really like it a lot.

The skien is only 101 yards. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if I know that I’ll be making items for those who might not have a lot of money. I always choose a yarn that doesn’t need special care, and so acrylic blends are always a good option. I was impressed with how soft this brand was, acrylic yarns have come a long way.

Knitting stockinette scarf 1 05 30 12


I’m happy to say that this yarn is working wonderfully with the knitted stockinette scarf that I’m donating to the local homeless shelter. This scarf is about 24″ now. I volunteer (make breakfast) and am the church coordinator for this ministry.

I won’t be donating the items until the cooler months. I’ve set aside a tub for all my charity based crocheted and knitted projects. Amigurumi toys will be finding their way into this charity bin also.

Social studies; last big project is done

Whee, I’m not sure which one of us is more thrilled…

My daughter or myself, her Social Studies project is done!

My daughter is an A student, I do challenge her to always do her best; even at times when she might not want too. “You’re work, is a reflection of you, Make that impression memorable!” is something I always say.

You know how hard it is to keep my mouth shut while my daughter works on her project? I loved doing things as a child, naturally I have years on her, and can think of some very cool ideas she could do for her project. Which was about the three branches of the United States government, but I really can’t. I can offer suggestions and say, “Oh, that’s great!” or… “Do you really think you want to do that?”

But, I can’t do the project for her…

I can offer support and make suggestions, but ultimately it’s her project, so the work must be completed by her.

So yes, my daughter is thrilled that this project is done.


And she’s sort of feeling like these kids.

You’ve got to love the one in the middle, flexing that would totally be me, seriously…

I have photos of me flexing when I was four years old. For some reason, that was a favorite pose. And so began my fascination with bodybuilding. So it’s no surprise that hobby, bodybuilding, is something I still do today, right?  As a teenager Juliette Bergman, Cory Everson, and Rachel McLish (all bodybuilders I might add) were the celebrities that I liked. I had no desire to have a rail thin <gags> ” runway model” physique. I’ve always loved muscle.

And my daughter? Why, she’d be the one to the far left; a hat, sweater, skirt, gloves, and leggings all covered with cute dots.

Now that’s completed time to pull out my crochet hook. I do have a crochet bag to complete for my daughter teacher.

Knitting a Hogwarts scarf for my Dad…

Ok, it’s official I’m knitting my father a Hogwarts scarf.

Oh you didn’t know that I loved Harry Potter? Well I do…

Although I’ve read all the books, I can’t say the same thing about the movies. Which isn’t surprising, since I don’t watch a lot of television/movies.

Harry Potter Luna Lovegood

I know there are all sorts of Harry Potter quizzes out there, perhaps I should take one, to find out what house my father would belong too? Then make him a scarf in those colors.

But, I might just use the pattern and do my own thing. The Harry Potter pattern was found while I was doing a search for knitted scarves. It was created by knitting designer, Lauren Kent. I retrieved the Hogwarts scarf knitting pattern via the WayBack Machine since the site knit.atypically.net, is now inaccessible. Even though it’s paid until 2013. Perhaps she’ll start writing again? Who knows, I’m thrilled that I was able to retrieve the pattern.

My next decision is to choose a yarn. The knitted scarf has to be warm, servicable,  and definitely something that can be tossed into the washer without fear of shrinking, since I know my mother would be quite annoyed if she had to use a special setting for my fathers hand-knit scarf.

You know…

If I were a Harry Potter character, I most likely would be Luna Lovegood. I really don’t care what people think about my choices. I don’t mind differing opinions, in fact, I find it refreshing… But if a person thinks I’ll change my mind on something I strongly believe in, because I’m “pressured”… well they don’t know me as well as they think.  Why would I do that? If it goes against my belief system…

Some of  my friends/acquaintances tell me that I march to the beat of a different drummer. In all honesty, I think that’s a polite way to same I’m, barking mad.

Yard work and knitting; working on a new knitted stockinette scarf

Memorial Day was a busy one for myself, and I have the aches to prove it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the amount of destruction I did to all those wild plants growing near the woods. Many of those plants were taller than I. I guess that’s not saying much, since I’m only 5′.

But, I had a great workout, three hours nonstop weed whacking with my handy scythe. As I used it, I thought… “Wow, this could really put a hurting on someone!” It cut down small trees easily.

The main plant that received a lot of the my attention is this wild plant, that I haven’t bothered to identify (yet). It’s been in this area since I can remember….

And it must be the plant kingdoms version of the cockroach. That sucker is hard to kill! You think you’ve dug up all the roots, but it still comes back.

While I don’t have pictures of all the yard work I did yesterday, or the mystery plant that sort of resembles bamboo, I did take photos of my knitting. To be fair, when I’m working, I don’t have time to take pictures. If I’m constantly snapping photos, I can’t be working, can I? 😉 But I’ll try to take outside photos later today.

During my down time, I did frog the knitted stockinette scarf and  it was reborn as the knitted scarf you see below. My daughter was completing a school project, and I was giving her pointers. With knitting, I don’t have to look at my work. My hands “know” where to go.

Knitting Stockinette scarf 3 05 28 12

As you see, the yarn color and weight have changed. It used to look like this…

Knitting Stockinette scarf 1 05 28 12

It’s now been upgraded to a bulky yarn. The exact color is Mulberry. I did decide to use the same knitting stitch; stockinette. I must say that I like this one much better than the other stockinette scarf that I’d made.

If you look closely, you might see streaks of black mingling within the mulberry. I like it, it’s very subtle.  My circular knitting needles stayed the same; size ten. I was contemplating on using a size 15 circular needle, but perhaps I’ll use them next time?

Knitting Stockinette scarf 4 05 28 12

While working on this scarf, I realized that my father could use a scarf, for the colder months.  He only wears them at his home. But, since he does a lot of yard work, A thick scarf, such as this, would come in handy, and perhaps my mother wouldn’t fuss at him so much about staying warm?

The scarf he uses now, he’s had for years. It’s a dull chocolate brown, and it has seen better days. I actually believe it’s part of an ensemble; scarf, hat, and gloves that he received from work. That was at least fifteen years ago. He’s been retired for about eight years.

So I do believe its high time that he received a scarf upgrade, don’t you? He tossed the matching brown hat, the moment I made him a hat. It’s similar to the crocheted chunky hat I made for my five-year old nephew.

So yes… my father appreciates handcrafted items. I do put a lot of effort into anything that I create, and as I mentioned in an earlier post. The recipients won’t find any mistakes with their hand crafted item, since I’ll rip them out in a heartbeat until it looks perfect. Once this scarf if finished, I’ll cast on a scarf for him, and then some matching gloves.

They’d make great Christmas presents, But I’ll gift him with the scarf and gloves, as soon as the weather turns cold.

Stockinette scarf update; looks fine… but I’m still frogging

Yesterday I had the chance to work on this knitted stockinette scarf.

This is one of the items that will be donated to a local charity group.

Knitting Stockinette scarf 1 05 28 12

Although the stitches look fine, there’s something I’m not liking about the scarf, and so I’ll be frogging this project. What I do like is how the scarf drapes, and I like the color… just not for this scarf. I’m thinking this color will be used to knit a cowl. We’ll be staying home this Memorial Day, and I’m sure I’ll have a chance to crochet and knit. 

This new scarf will most likely be created using a cable or seed stitch.

Knitting Stockinette scarf 2 05 28 12

I believe I spent about six hours knitting this. Good thing I don’t mind ripping out my stitches, eh? 

Whether I’m crochet, knitting, jewelry making, sewing, or making soapmaking…

It’s all the same…

It’s the process that fascinates me!

Recently my fascination has been focused on yarn, which is made apparent to the numerous posts about crochet… and now knitting.

I love watching the hanks of yarn turn into something amazing. Occasionally I’ll make mistakes; everyone does at some point. But, I don’t hesitate to frog the project. With crochet it’s a lot easier to fix, since you only have to pick up one missed stitch. Knitting isn’t as easy since you’re picking up an entire row, to correct mistakes. But knitting doesn’t have to be complicated, if you get into the habit of adding a lifeline. In the above picture, you can see a lime green yarn woven through stitch. That’s my lifeline. While the row was still on my needles, I wove the yarn into that row using a darning needle.  If I make a mistake, I have only to frog back to my lifeline.

When it comes to crafts, some people are usually surprised about the amount of items or projects that I make. But that falls back to enjoying the process. Once I’m completed an item, I’m usually moving on to something else. Over the years, the speed and accuracy with all my crafts have increased. But that doesn’t happen overnight it comes from a lot of practice.

I must say, not being afraid to rip out mistakes guarantees the items I gift to people will be a high quality hand-crafted item.

Happy Memorial Day

Today’s Memorial Day, it’s a time set aside to honor those who’ve died. 

Vietnam memorial

 Last year I shared a lot of Memorial Day facts

I love history. Over the years, I’ve read a lot about this particular holiday. Did you know In 1865, freed slaves took part in a huge celebration in Charleston, South Carolina? The celebration was held at the Washington Race Course now known as Hampton Park.

What’s interesting is that this location had served as a temporary Confederate prison camp for captured Union soldiers. Mass graves on the site contained Union soldiers. I found it fascinating that in 1865 freed slaves removed bodies from the mass graves and placed them into individual graves. They also placed a fence around the graveyard, and declared it a union graveyard.

So do stop by if you’re interested in reading additional Memorial Day facts, check out that post… you might learn something new.


Photo Source: Mass Casualities