Why I Crochet

Posted by on Jun 18, 2014 in Life on the Hill | 8 comments

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

Yesterday’s post was about why I knit. Today’s is about my picking up crocheting a year ago.

For all the same reasons as wanting to learn to knit, such are the ones for learning to crochet with one additional reason.

It seems that crocheting goes faster, especially when it concerns a hat.

While waiting at two appointments on Monday, I completed a simple hat out of bulky yarn that reminded me of the color of straw, but is way more comfortable for a scalp that has lost hair due to chemotherapy. I just need to add a flower to finish it.

It was convenient to tote along and once the increases were done, I didn’t have to look at the pattern again. Single crochet stitch is the only stitch required for this one.

I didn’t stress about the wait, and I got something done while I waited.

My sister Louann taught me how to crochet last summer at our annual Sister Retreat, and I have enjoyed it ever since.

Other projects I’ve completed since then are a plethora of hats for cancer patients, some baby blankets, sachet pouches, coasters, and flowers for embellishing the gray baby hat below.

For pictures of most of my completed projects (knitted and crocheted) join Ravelry and you can see them all. My Ravelry link is in the sidebar.

You ready to crochet yet? Craftsy has classes for that, too. Click on the link below. (I’m an affiliate for Craftsy, so if you purchase from them through my blog, I get a little compensation and I’m required to let you know that.)

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

copyright Amy Ward 2014

Another installment in…Hill life

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Why I Knit

Posted by on Jun 17, 2014 in Life on the Hill | 6 comments

Unsaved Preview DocumentThis is Knit in Public Week. Worldwide.  I tweeted about it. I posted it on Facebook. I’m an affiliate for Craftsy because I think you might want to take a class there after you read this post. I’ll link to it below.

And you thought the World Cup was big! (laugh)

Although it’s not a big deal in the eternal scheme of things, I thought I’d spin a yarn today about why I knit.

While going through cancer in 2010, I had little energy to do anything creative and when I would attempt to sew (a long-time hobby), my work was substandard. But at times I NEEDED to do something creative.

Also in that year, my sister made me lots of cute hats. I preferred them over my wig and store bought wide brimmed hats. She could take my head measurements, my yarn preferences, and favorite styles that would hide my bare hair line and make things that were comfortable and expressive. Hats that stayed on my head were a must and she knew how to accommodate that as well. (I had a store-bought brim fly off on a windy day after a ladies’ tea and although I lived to tell the story, I didn’t want that happening again. EVER. Thinking back on it, I still get an embarrassed feeling come over me.)

So, after I recovered and regained the mental energy to pursue creative outlets, I needed to create with my hands. More than a meal. More than a blog post. I needed to make something beautiful that wouldn’t shut me off in a room alone thinking, but give me something to do with my hands and still engage in time with my husband in the evenings. I needed something portable. I needed something affordable.

So, in 2012, I piled my daughter-in-law, and other son’s sweetheart into the car and we headed for Franklin, TN, to spend a few days with my sister Louann learning how to knit.

Mind you, this was my third attempt at learning it. Twice before my sister had taught me but I was a little girl first, then a teenager entering college. I had no time to continue what I learned so I never picked it up.

Something this time stuck with me and I have enjoyed it ever since. I love the colors of yarn, and the variety of textures that travel through fingers. I love the choosing of a project based on what I know I can do and what I want to learn to do. It’s a challenge to me mentally to think through and figure things and with the help of YouTube videos, texts and phone calls, my sister continues to help.

Walking into a local yarn shop rather than a big box chain store with a few aisles of yarn does something to my spirit as I see all the colors, textures, and completed samples ready for the feeling.

Sometimes, I even think about how neat (but oh so hard) it would be to open a local yarn shop right here in my community. But I don’t have the resources nor the freedom to do that, so I scour places online within a reasonable drive to visit.  Then, I hit the road solo usually for some thinking and praying time in the car.

I’ve even taken a “mystery knit along” class online through Craftsy to learn how to knit a scarf and the yarn was included in the class that I could move through at my own pace. That was awesome! They have quite a variety of classes for various skills in lots of things besides knitting, too.

I also enjoy knitting so I can make knitted hats for others coming through the cancer center where I volunteer. Shortly after I learned, I made the hat pictured at the top for a lady and had it ready the week I supposed she would be coming in with a scarf. Her eyes were beautiful blue and this seemed to suit her.

When I don’t have a specific patient in mind, I’ll knit a hat and take it to the center for placing on the ledge for any patient to pick up who has a need for one.

Hill lifeSo, knitting for me met the need to:

  • learn something
  • connect with my sister (and others)
  • CREATE (probably the biggest need at first for me)
  • touch and see beautiful yarn
  • give back
  • sit still

Have you considered learning to knit? Hmmm?

Maybe I should do like my sister did, and pass along what I know so next year, you can knit in public too. Craftsy has a class for that. Anybody want to learn?
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Hands

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Five Minute Friday | 0 comments

my hands(Disclaimer-This post mentions a book that if you should order through my link, I’ll receive a small compensation.)

My hands. I looked at them the other day as I was reading and wondered how the skin that used to be tight had gotten a little loose, a little thin and thus, more like the older women I remember. When did someone replace the smooth epidermis of my hands with that of a small alligator?

Flashback to my grandmother’s hands and my memory is of her arthritic fingers shelling butter beans, teaching me to needlepoint, and pointing out something straight ahead, yet her slightly bent fingers didn’t quite hit the target if they’d had a laser beam aiming at their goal.

I remember thinking I’d never let my hands look old.

How foolish my young girl thoughts were…as if I could have some powerful control over thinning skin, age spots, permanent creases (aka “wrinkles”), arthritic fingers, and alligator flesh. Lesson learned.

My hands, although not in pain or gnarled, have the wrinkled knuckles now, scars from kitchen cuts and pin scars from a set broken wrist. My hands have learned to cradle babies, change diapers, prepare meals, clean up vomit, scrub the tub, raise up in worship, fold in when pained, hug others, arrange flowers, scroll and click on screens and keyboards, type and pen words, and scan the Word. Sometimes my nails are long and painted, and other times like today, they are picked from nervous stress habit.

I wish I had a photo like the ones I’ve seen on Pinterest of generations of girl hands piled on one another. Mine with my mother’s and grandmother.

Recently, I began reading along with the (in)Courage Bloom summer reading group and we are reading Jean Fleming’s, Pursue the Intentional Life. Thus far, her writing has moved me as I’ve reflected on where I’ve come from and where I’m heading. How long will these hands be busy in this world? I’m not sure, but I know they won’t stay as young as they are today and the odds are they’ll develop bends and spots and more wrinkles.

I hope my hands will be doing the things of a seasoned woman who loves the Lord and desires to live each moment intentionally for Him.

My hands are typing along with others today as we share our stories at

Five Minute Friday

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