Friday, January 21, 2011

Lessons from a sock

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
Proverbs 1:5

The last few weeks I have spent a lot of time in the waiting room of doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists. My husband, Mark injured his back and cannot drive. It drives me crazy to just sit and wait, with nothing to do. I always carry a book with me just in case I have to wait somewhere whether in traffic or a waiting room. The magazines in most offices are not my “cup of tea”. The titles vary but you get the drift, Sport Illustrated, People, Enquirer and medical magazines.

During the holidays I made each of my grandchildren a pair of mittens. This started me on a knitting binge. Since the middle of December I made six pairs of mittens, one scarf and one hat. This prompted me to try something challenging, well challenging to me; with this in mind and knowing I would be in a lot of waiting rooms I decided to try to make a pair of socks.

I just finished making my first sock. Yes, I have only made one. It was challenging but rewarding. I am in the process of making the second one. I need two to make the pair. Along the way I have learned a few things to make my second sock easier.

I do not want second sock syndrome. Melissa Morgan-Oakes in her knitting book 2-at-a-time socks says, “Second sock syndrome happens when a knitter completes the first sock and thinks, “Oh no, now I have to make another one…” Often the finished sock and the yarn for its ne’er-to-be-knit pal get stuffed in a bag, never again to see the light of day.”

What I learned on my sock knitting adventure:

1. How to knit with 4 needles.
I learned to hold 3 needles and knit with the fourth. I learned through trial and error. I learned through watching someone else. I learned through listening to what I was told and I learned through looking at a book with pictures showing how to do it.

2. How to read a sock pattern. I understood the pattern by reviewing the abbreviations and practice.

3. How to “turn” a heel. Turning the heel is the part of sock knitting that scares the most knitters away from ever knitting socks. But the truth is, turning a heel isn't any more difficult than any other part of knitting a sock, you just need to pay a bit of attention. –Sarah’s knitting blog

4. To keep working on it and finish it. To be determined to finish what I started.

Even though I thought I knew how to do the second one I still make mistakes. I dropped some stitches and had to rip out and go back a few rows. My needle stuck in the couch and I didn’t notice, when I picked up my work I pulled out the needle. This was not fun; I had to carefully pick up the stitches, trying not to twist them. It did not work; I ended up pulling out a few rows to make it even.

There is nothing wrong with making mistakes, the wrong is not learning from them. I don’t leave my needles on the couch. I pay attention to what I’m doing. I don’t get over confident; I read the pattern one step at a time.

Making socks is pretty much like the Christian life. We cannot give up when it is hard. We read the directions over and over until they “sink in”.

How I learned to live the Christian life:

1. Learn from others. When not sure about something, ask. The Pastor and Sunday school teacher as well as many mature Christians at church or in a Bible Study can usually help. I have learned through various ways by watching others, by reading and by listening.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

2. Read the Bible. The Bible is our “sock pattern” on how to live and what to do next.

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading. Nehemiah 8:8

3. Don’t turn away from the “hard parts” of life. God is with us all the time.

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: ... Proverbs 24:16

… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Heb 13:5

4. Perseverance – keep on keeping on. Keep your eyes on the goal.

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:18

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

I am always amazed how little things can teach us spiritual lessons. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Be open to His “still small voice”.

Have a blessed day,

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