Monthly Archives: March 2019

Winter Skirts

This skirt transpired from a pattern at Mama In A Stitch along with a grab bag of locally-processed fibers from the Kurth Valley Fiber Mill. It contained a variety of golden-dyed skeins of alpaca, llama, wool, angora, and even some buffalo fibers. I had started the poncho but not far into it decided the pattern would make a great skirt for wearing over leggings. With a little added color from a random skein of bright orange/pink/army green/yellow wool, I realized I could mesh this with the slightly tougher llama fiber (as in sidebar picture) for the waist and hips and then allow the softer alpaca to hang for the rest.

Three-tiered Alpaca-Wool-Llama Skirt
You will need:
US size K 6.50 mm crochet hook
Approx. 75 yds llama, 75 yds wool, 300 yds alpaca (2 skeins, these are all approximate as I obtained them from a small local processor and didn’t jot down the exact lengths of each skein)

Size:
Approximately 16” wide (32″ circumference) at the waist, 19.5″ wide (39″ circumference) X 20” long.

Gauge:
Approximately 12 stitches and 9 rows per 4 inches.

HDC: half-double crochet
BLO: back loop only
DC: double crochet
SS: slip stitch

Starting with the waist (llama)
Ch 112, SS to first chain to join in the round
Round 1: HDC in each of the starter row chains, working in the round, SS to both loops of starting chain to join in the round
Round 2: Ch2, HDC in BLO beginning with the first open chain and repeating through all, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round
Round 3: Ch4, DC in 7th ch from hook (this is the 3rd ch on row below), *ch1, skip1, DC*, repeating between * throughout the round, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round
Round 4: Ch2, HDC in BLO beginning with the first open chain and repeating throughout, SS to both loops of starting chain from previous row to join in the round

Repeat rounds 3 and 4, three more times.

Switching to the hips (wool) and the body (alpaca)
This is where you begin working all rows as HDC in BLO, beginning each with a chain 2, and SS to both loops of first HDC of previous row.

To increase from the waist to the hips, I worked two HDC in BLO in one chain, once every 10-12 chains (an increase to 122-124). (I meant to do this every 10 chains but toward the end worked every 12. I ended up with 120 total. Considering the fiber and the stretchy-ness of the stitch, you can choose if you want more or less so there is some flexibility here. If you want to increase to the hips a little more then work two HDC in BLO every 10 chains (this increases your count from 112 to 124). If you want to increase less, work two HDC in BLO every 12 chains (this increases your count from 112 to 122).

I ended up with a seam that runs slightly diagonal which for these fibers, and the skirt, I liked how it turned out. I’m not an experienced crocheter so if you want to get a straight seam you can find out how to adjust this (in a skirt, not working in a circular pattern which increases, like a hat), here (https://wilmade.com/crochet-a-straight-seam-joined-rounds/).

Tie off and weave in ends.

Now, the funny part of this is that while I knit or crochet, I tend to find myself working out other mental gymnastics usually associated with Scripture. And for some time I’ve often wondered if there is something more to
Deuteronomy 22:11 “You shall not wear cloth of two different kinds of thread, wool and linen, woven together.” other than the symbolic reference where it is resurrected in Matthew 9:16. The verse from the old testament, similar to other precepts and laws laid out by the Lord during old testament times, were then, taken as literal commands.

Similar to Deuteronomy 22:9 “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited,…” where the aim of the command seems to be to maintain healthy crops by keeping seeds separate.

So why, I’ve wondered, would the Lord be concerned with giving precepts of this sort, with regard to the ancients’ clothing, and how, if at all, can it be applied today. This certainly goes deeper than it would appear on the surface (and more than this post is intending to express) since to understand the Lord is to know that He is concerned with ALL aspects of our lives. For after all, “even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Luke 9:16).

But perhaps sometimes, his precepts really are just a simple as they seem (which again goes to show his great concern for even the tiniest details of our lives). Because now I find myself wondering how I’m going to wash this skirt, where the wool and llama are quite resilient but the alpaca is soft and vulnerable to damage. On retrospect, I should have (and originally intended for) the wool to span only 2-3 rows to break up the colors between the llama and alpaca. But since I completed 6, it may have added too much bulk and especially with respect to the care instructions.

So, depending on your fibers, there is a lot of flexibility in the number of rows for each but if you’ve made it this far in the post, it’s a good idea to consider the stretch and composition of the fibers that you decide to use. My goal was to have a warm yet durable skirt for wearing over leggings in the winter. I may return to the fiber mill to pick up more llama as I think this is a great material to use for this type of skirt, especially around the waist and hips where there is more tension. The alpaca, however, gives it a nice flow without being form-fitting, as you might find in a cotton-polyester blend.

Guarding your words

Exodus 23:1-2 “You shall not repeat a false report. Do not join the wicked in putting your hand, as an unjust witness, upon anyone.

Neither shall you allege the example of the many as an excuse for doing wrong, nor shall you, when testifying in a lawsuit, side with the many in perverting justice.

In both my custody case, as well as in my criminal case, these precepts set forth in Scripture were blatantly, intentionally, and maliciously ignored by nearly every party from attorneys to judges to probation officers and claimants. What good are affidavits when they, in our culture, are easily used to manipulate people and there is no moral conscience of any of the people involved. And moreover, when they are not held in contempt? When there is no justice?

There is not one shred of evidence that any of what was said in the affidavits against me was true. I was forced to play along with their game, just to see my daughter again. I was forced by my county government’s lack of critical thinking, and underwent forced psychotherapy (for a condition that did not exist). It existed only in the lies fabricated on a falsely sworn set of affidavits.

Following the forced psychotherapy, not a single psychologist suggested anything further than mild anxiety and/or *maybe* depression – a documented fact from my sessions. Not enough for a medical prescription. And obviously not enough to remove a child from her mother. Yet that is exactly what was done.

And still, 4 years later, I am still subjected to, those lies. Those lies became my reality. So whomever said a lie could not become truth, well yes. Yes it can.

Because my custody issues drag on and on and on. Because the harassment I experience around me goes on and on and on. I was falsely labeled as “crazy” and now this is the only reputation I have. Because the label was applied yet the evidence never accepted as truth. This is precisely how one becomes anxious and depressed (not that she was in the first place, as falsely claimed).

It has become rather clear we here in America have lost touch with truth. We prefer the easy path, to lie our way into whatever we want to get. I think we like to think “most people are good” (I used to anyway). But now I no longer do. I have been shown exactly what kind of evil exists in the world. Scripture itself provides hundreds of examples of “guarding your spoken word”, that which “passes your lips”. In nearly all cases there is an emphasis on the fact that it is what actually comes through your mouth. A rather sharp rebuke can be found in the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 6:16-19:

16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

“…the Lord hates.” Wait, what? The Lord hates?

There is a reason God despises these things. Just a little white lie here, and a little white lie there….and the cumulative effects of all these little white lies is a destroyed life (lives) with none to care. Does God care about LIFE? (This is not even a sound question.)

The point here, I guess, is the necessity to evaluate ourselves. Do we love liars and praise falsehood? (It seems so, and in fact, by listening to the news every day, it would seem we idolize falsehood….and I’d be seriously concerned with what Scripture tells us if I were to write a post on idolatry.) Do we care about life?

For further consideration, is to suppose a person’s “filter”, i.e., the ability for a person to decide on his/her own which words to choose to “pass through one’s lips” (whether directly face-to-face, or in type, correspondence, journaling, etc….), is removed without consent, or knowledge. Again, Scripture has the answer. Thank and praise the Lord.

So unless we consider that perspective, while we still cry out about witch hunts, porn stars, and Russian collusion…and this is OUR (as a nation) “reality”. Our tweets and posts and comment threads, the 24-7 news feeds, a continual flow of words (outright, filtered, spoken or written). How does that stand to Scripture, given the many and numerous warnings weaved throughout the Bible….

Proverbs 18:1-4
[1] In estrangement one seeks pretexts; with all persistence he picks a quarrel.
[2] The fool takes no delight in understanding, but rather in displaying what he thinks.
[3] With wickedness comes contempt, and with disgrace comes scorn.
[4] The words from a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the source of wisdom is a flowing brook.

 

The case for the need of a Savior. Is it possible for mankind to ever fully recover truth, on our own? We seem to strive daily for truth, honesty, and justice and equality for those who have been deprived such. But if we are honest with ourselves and our history (world history even), is that truly possible?

I read recently in an area publication that there is a “great falling away from God’s word and truth. A great apostasy.” That we’ve fallen away from God’s word is not new as is evident in our culture of the past few years alone, never mind the 60s, 70s, and up. But worse, it seems, is our ability to self-regulate the truth (a direct consequence of falling away from God’s word). Words in the English language mean something entirely different that their original meaning and if you’re not “hip on the latest” buzzword or fictitious “story”, you simply have absolutely no idea what people are talking about.

Chuck Schumer talked about the border wall not even being a “border wall”. Well then, Mr. Schumer, what is it? In English, please. Similarly with a “space force”. Anyone care to enlighten? No, because you can’t. Because you can’t.

But you could make the case for a Savior.

To further unravel this thread (which man alone cannot): our elected officials are speaking truth yet we perceive it to be something else. The idea is that what sounds like fiction is truth. Fiction has become truth. It’s the bywords and phrases and “stories”, when not elaborated on with explicit and definitive explanations, where this occurs.

It’s the story about a doorpost dog. It’s the story about hawks along the river. It’s the story about bears on the interstate.

It’s gotten to the point where by trying to be wise (crafty, one might say) we have, or will eventually, no longer be representatives of truth, honesty, or justice and equality….and instead have unwittingly spurned God’s word and seem to be making only fools of ourselves.

How long can we go on where the dog turned cat turned unicorn turned popcorn bowl… and wait, where were we again? I know where it has gotten me. To dig deeply into the word of God to see where truth is (and thankfully so). And as such, rightfully, the devil has eroded our sense of truth, our realities are twisted, and as we grind further and further into that kind of madness we easily fall away from the Word of God.

Now, His word is myth and if you rebuke that and say “no, everything in the Bible is true” (i.e., as every Christian should), you will be standing in the “wrong”.

America, it is time we choose which side we want to be on.