Friday, February 28, 2014

madeleine l'engle.

If it can be verified, we don't need faith...
Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason.  Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys.
- Madeleine L'Engle

Thursday, February 27, 2014

super heros.

 You know what I've been thinking about? I've been thinking about superheros.  Why?  I was working at a conference a couple weeks ago and it was thick with talk of them. 

I'm not much of a super-hero gal myself. Superman flies around in his underwear and Spiderman is, well my grandson dresses like Spiderman most days. Batman has his gadgets--and the rest of them seem to save humanity while breaking a lot of stuff. 

The speaker had gone through them all when he paused, swept the room in one wide glance and started talking about Wonder Woman--yes, Wonder Woman. Standing there with her lasso of truth.  

You know what I'm talking about, he said.  A woman who speaks the truth is a fearsome thing--an amazingly fearsome thing. 

I stood in the back corner of that room,clipboard in hand, and wondered, am I that woman?  Do I speak the truth, wrapped tightly in the love of God? 

I scanned the room myself, saw the faces of women reflect what was being said--and took it into my own heart.   

The thing is, Jesus never hedged. He spoke truth that went straight to the heart of the matter because love was at the root of it.  

Wendell Berry wrote:
I know that I have life only insofar as I have love.  
I have no love except it come from Thee.
Help me, please, to carry this candle against the wind.

I too, want to carry a candle against the wind.


Here is a link to Efrem Smith, conference speaker:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


There is a twilight zone in our hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves-our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and our drives-large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness. 

This is a very good thing. We will always remain partially hidden to ourselves. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. 

The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. 

We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That's a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility, but to a deep trust in those who love us. 

It is the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born. 

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

braided creek.

There are mornings when everything brims with promise, 
even my empty cup.
~ Braided Creek

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I have the most ill-regulated memory.  
It does those things which it ought not to do and leaves undone the things it ought to have done.  But it has not yet gone on strike altogether.
~Dorothy L. Sayers

Monday, February 24, 2014

There is a certain happiness in knitting to make someone warm. 

I made this hat a couple weeks ago and I think she looks like a little babushka nestled in her carseat.  She's far away in the Windy City--but her dad snapped this early this morning and it met me as I opened my computer.


I like to think I knit on purpose, that there's a method to the madness.  

William Morris wrote, Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

Very rarely do I pick up the needles just to keep my hands busy. I pick them up to make something warm, something soft, something pretty.

My daughter gave me yellow galoshes for Christmas.  I love them.  The other day it rained and I wore them to work, expertly avoiding the puddles as I made my way across the street.  Bob took a picture of me, green raincoat, yellow boots and all.

And standing there I realized, Why am I circumnavigating the puddles? That's what these yellow boots are for--making a splash!

When I knit on purpose I make a splash, it spills over onto other people.  A hat, a sweater, a coffee cozy.  Someone feels remembered, maybe they're a little warmer inside.  

I know I am.  

These days there are fewer things lying about my house, but I love each one. Some you might look at and wonder why--that won't trouble me.  If I know it to be useful, or believe it to be beautiful...that is enough.

~ lindasinklings 

You can find the pattern for the little
'babushka hat' here:

Babushka Hat

Friday, February 21, 2014

She had long accepted the fact that happiness is like swallows in the spring.  

It may come and nest under your eaves or it may not. You cannot command it.  When you expect to be happy, you are not...

...and when you don't expect to be happy, there is suddenly Easter in your soul, though it be mid-winter.

~ Elizabeth Goudge

Saturday, February 8, 2014

All the darkness in the world 
cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.
- St. Francis

Friday, February 7, 2014

When I'm tired, crabby, or just frustrated, there are few things that pull me to center better than sticks and string.  

A long, lean pair of birch knitting needles and an especially fat ball of wool; this is the start of something.

I like having a project going and one waiting in the wings.  There's no hurry in it, no desperation to get it finished, just the quiet sense of something in the making.

A couple months ago I was at the kitchen window, remembering a kindness long past.  I had opened a drawer and the memory was there waiting for me, lying in wait the way the crackle of a candy wrapper puts you back in a shop,standing at the counter with a dime clutched in your hand--sometimes.

A woman had made my life easier when I was just a girl, bringing beauty to a chaotic corner.  I stood for a while, holding that drawer, and remembered.  

I wanted to do something but what if she thought it silly?  I hadn't seen her in years and years.  The drawer won over silly.  I got out needles and wool, made her a shawl, wrapped it, sent it, included a note and let it be.

I wanted her to know she had brought beauty into my life--and that I was thankful.

A few years ago I made a tiny coat for my grandson, wrapped it and sent it off.  Every stitch a prayer for his growing up years, thankfulness for his little life. 

It was a looking-forward coat. Would he be funny? Would he like to run fast? Would he be a poet, a thinker, a talker?  Most of all, what would he hold in his heart--

The coat was meant to keep him warm against the cold, the prayers to hold him fast.

If the coat was a prayer,
...the shawl was a blessing.


You can find the patterns here:
Duffle Coat
and here:
Sandy Cove

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Even idiots occasionally speak the truth accidentally.

- Dorothy L. Sayers

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Little Brown Hat

Just finished this hat for a very small boy in a very cold part of the country. 

He goes from pulling it over his face completely to perching it on top of his head in a gnome-like point. 

The pattern can be found on ravelry for free. The original website is no longer available, but a direct PDF download is available through an archived link:  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We were in Chicago, the whole group of us converged together were out in the woods.  My grandson was up ahead hiking with my daughter, I could see the play of conversation as his head bobbed back and forth with a story, squinting up to hear her reply.

She pointed at something and he nodded, his eyes serious, picking up the thread of talk as he dragged his sword-stick along the ground.

We came to fork in the path, and Will yelled back, 'Which way Dad?'

Knowing it came around as a loop, his dad said to the four-year old,
'Use your judgement Will.'

Frustrated Will turned to the group at large,  
'I can't do that, I don't know where that means, judgement!'

~ lindasinklings
We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, February 3, 2014

A big snowstorm is on the way--of the knock-your-socks-off-and-burrow-under-the-covers variety.  Everyone and their right hand neighbor is on the way to the store to stock up because that's what we do, we stock up.  Seeing the cupboards were fairly bare I popped in the car to do a little cupboard-filling myself...and ended up at the bookstore.

The wood creaked under my feet, reminding me that I needed eggs and bread and milk but I kept going. 

'Do you have Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books?'  

The owner's eyes lit up as he made his way through the maze of shelves, knelt down to the lowest and reached back to pull out a single copy.  

'It's one of my favorite's--she's wonderful,' he said, brushing the dust from his faded jeans.  I took the book to the register and his wife rang up the sale, their tiny daughter perched in her bumbo seat on the counter.  

Back to the car I saw the clouds, reality set in and I took a breath. I don't have eggs or bread (I'll go fight it out with the crowd for the leftovers) and the Chobani coconut yogurt that tastes like pie will certainly be all gone...but I have a book.

Bring it on.

This is the blog that was once on tumblr - I will on be posting some of the gathering days bits from time to time that had a following.  

Quotes, thoughts, ideas and ramblings--they will all find a place here, and yes the odd photo or two that I steal from Bob's camera of things I knit.  I am a compulsive knitter but a terrible photographer, having been surrounded by camera-obsessed family members that now unfortunately live scattered across the country.  Maybe I should learn.  

Maybe not.

Soren Kierkegaard wrote,Life must be lived forwards, but it can be understood only backwards.  

I tend to reverse that.  But I'm learning.

~ lindasinklings


Hello, sun in my face.
Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields...
Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness,
in kindness.
-Mary Oliver

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hopping along...

Three little rabbits for three little girls...I don't imagine they will have half the fun toting them around that I had knitting them.  

The patterns are wonderfully written and the bunnies so much fun to make.  

There's a little fox that I have my eye on next for my grandson.  Hmmm.

You can find the patterns at: Little Cotton Rabbits
Man is born broken.
He lives by mending.
The grace of God is glue.
~ Eugene O'Neill