Saturday, March 27, 2010

And.....her second dishcloth

My lovely granddaughter, Miss Belle, finished her second dishcloth. As you can see, it is a considerable improvement on her first dishcloth. Particularly because her first dishcloth took over a year to complete (but she stuck with it) and her second dishcloth only took 2 days!

Go Miss Belle!!!!

Hugs from a proud Nana!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Miss Belle's First Dishcloth!

It is done! Miss Belle finished her first dishcloth. Not bad for a first project. It is a Mother's Day present for her Mom, but, shhhhhh.....don't tell, its a secret!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How did I miss all of 2009?

Looking back at 2009 I am floored at several things. The first being that it went by so fast. The second is that It was so momentus is so many ways. The third is that I still am blessed to have my mother alive.

Thanksgiving weekend of 2008 my mother discovered a breast lump. Being my mother she went straight to the doctor after the Thanksgiving holiday was over and had it biopsied. A few days before Christmas we learned it was cancerous. (this is Mom just before starting Chemo, with a hat I made for her)

Very shortly after the beginning of the year she had the lump, a few lymph-bodes and a small amount of tissue removed. The onocologist believed that she got all of it, but that did not negate the need for chemo.

My mother, with my Dad at her side every step of the way started chemo. The staff at the hospital were wonderful and my mother was treated very well, for which I am grateful. However, my mother developed an alergy to the primary chemo drug they were giving her and her health deteriorated rapidly. I talked to my Dad about it, I was worried because I did not think Mom could take much more before we might lose her. Fortunately, the onocologist concurred with Dad and they stopped the Taxol treatments at about the half-way point. She still finished the experimental chemo and then her sessions of radiation.

Somehow, she survived the cure, though she was fragile and weak. That said, she set about regaining her health. She took vitamins, ate healthy foods, started walking with Dad around the neighborhood, then exercising as she gained strength.

I cannot describe what it was like to learn that my mother had an extremely aggressive form of cancer, or how painful it was to watch the chemo slowly poison her, bit by bit until she was frightening frail. Or, to see the exhaustion in her eyes, deeper than any physical tirednees she has ever felt before. But God was merciful and she is cancer free and healthy and gaining strength and vitality everyday.

She walks a mile to Curves to work-out, then walks a mile home. She is once again lively, happy and busy. Oh, and did I mention that she is 74? She still has neuralgia in her hands, a lingering side effect of the Taxol, but even that is improving. Soon, she should be able to knit again. (the fingerless mitts helped keep her hands warm when she was in the house)

I learned a lot in 2009. I learned, to the deepest core of my being, that no matter how frightening it looks, God never leaves my side. I learned that my Dad is so strong that he makes the Rock of Gibralter look like shifting sand (Dad is wearing the blue shirt and standing with my nephew and cousin). I learned that my mother is tough. She identified her enemy, cancer, and then faced it down, doing her best to remain as cheerful as possible thoughout the whole ordeal.

I learned that I love my parents more than I ever thought possible and have been blessed to have them so long. Next year, 2011 they will celebrate their 50th Anniversary!

I pray that God blesses you as richly as He has blessed me!

Hugs & Prayers
Serene Knitter

Monday, December 15, 2008

Breakfast At McDonalds

I recently received the following email from a family member, who received it from a friend, who received it.....well, you get the picture.

This story is compelling and deeply touching, and, surprisingly, the author's email address appears at the bottom. I secured her permission to post the email on this blog.

Please read it. I hope that it will cause you to perform frequent acts of kindness to those whose need is desparate. You, too, can give the gift of "Hope".

Be blessed this Christmas season.....and be a blessing to those in need who God places in your path.

Hugs & Prayers
Serene Knitter

To all of my friends and family at home, work and play. I pray that you all have a day like this. 'Tis the season to be thankful for all that we have. God Bless you all and Merry Christmas - Tam

Breakfast at McDonalds

This is a good story and is true, please read it all the way through until the end! (After the story, there are some very interesting facts!):

I am a mother of three (ages 14, 12, 3) and have recently completed my college degree.

The last class I had to take was Sociology.

The teacher was absolutely inspiring with the qualities that I wish every human being had been graced with.

Her last project of the term was called, 'Smile.'

The class was asked to go out and smile at three people and document their reactions.

I am a very friendly person and always smile at everyone and say hello anyway. So, I thought this would be a piece of cake....literally.

Soon after we were assigned the project, my husband, youngest son, and I went out to McDonald's one crisp March morning.

It was just our way of sharing special playtime with our son.

We were standing in line, waiting to be served, when all of a sudden everyone around us began to back away, and then even my husband did.

I did not move an inch... an overwhelming feeling of panic welled up inside of me as I turned to see why they had moved.

As I turned around I smelled a horrible 'dirty body' smell, and there standing behind me were two poor homeless men.

As I looked down at the short gentleman, close to me, he was 'smiling'

His beautiful sky blue eyes were full of God's Light as he searched for acceptance.

He said, 'Good day' as he counted the few coins he had been clutching.

The second man fumbled with his hands as he stood behind his friend. I realized the second man was mentally challenged and the blue-eyed gentleman was his salvation.

I held my tears as I stood there with them.

The young lady at the counter asked him what they wanted..

He said, 'Coffee is all Miss' because that was all they could afford. (If they wanted to sit in the restaurant and warm up, they had to buy something. He just wanted to be warm).

Then I really felt it - the compulsion was so great I almost reached out and embraced the little man with the blue eyes.

That is when I noticed all eyes in the restaurant were set on me, judging
my every action.

I smiled and asked the young lady behind the counter to give me two more breakfast meals on a separate tray.

I then walked around the corner to the table that the men had chosen as a resting spot. I put the tray on the table and laid my hand on the blue-eyed gentleman's cold hand.

He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'

I leaned over, began to pat his hand and said, 'I did not do this for you. God is here working through me to give you hope.'

I started to cry as I walked away to join my husband and son. When I sat down my husband smiled at me and said, 'That is why God gave you to me, Honey, to give me hope..'

We held hands for a moment and at that time, we knew that only because of the Grace that we had been given were we able to give.

We are not church goers, but we are believers.

That day showed me the pure Light of God's sweet love.

I returned to college, on the last evening of class, with this story in hand.

I turned in 'my project' and the instructor read it.

Then she looked up at me and said, 'Can I share this?'

I slowly nodded as she got the attention of the class.

She began to read and that is when I knew that we as human beings and being part of God share this need to heal people and to be healed.

In my own way I had touched the people at McDonald's, my son,the instructor, and every soul that shared the classroom on the last night I spent as a college student.

I graduated with one of the biggest lessons I would ever learn:


Much love and compassion is sent to each and every person who may read this and learn how to



There is an Angel sent to watch over you. In order for her to work, you must pass this on to the people you want watched over.

An Angel wrote: Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart

To handle yourself, use your head..

To handle others, use your heart.

God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into its nest.

Tammy M Keil, Realtor SRES
Cell 805-797-2068 Fax 805-644-1381
150 Palma Dr, Ventura, CA 93003

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kudos & Clarifications

Last night Tia (my daughter) and I went to our guild meeting. It was the date set for turning in our charity knitting projects for donation to the Salvation Army. The local chapter has been getting a lot of requests for warm clothing from families who are experiencing severe financial crisis due to the suppressed job market and the mortagage industry troubles.

What a fabulous bunch of ladies make up the Woolgatherer's Knitting Guild! There were three 6 foot round tables heaped high with sweaters, hats, scarves, mittens, lap robes and afghans. What a sight it was! All kinds of colors, all kinds of yarns and more love than can be measured by anyone but God. The guild also passed a resolution to donate cash from our guild fund and envelope was passed for additional monetary gifts. Here in Michigan, we are already experiencing some very cold weather and the Salvation Army tries, when it can, to stave off shut-off of heat for families in distress.

Well done, ladies, well done, indeed!

Now on to the Clarification portion of this post.

I think I may have confused people with my post regarding the Basic and Master Courses put out by the TKGA. Some people think that you MUST be on-line and attend meetings and many people cannot do both. So I will try to clarify here:

Anyone who wants to go take the TKGA Basic Course should sign up through and get your materials in January.

Beginning in February we are going to start going through the course, setting goals and deadlines so that we stay on track and finish.

IF you live local to us, roughly Plymouth/Canton area of southeast Michigan you will be welcome to attend meetings at my daughter's home. We anticipate meeting at least twice a month and will determine which days after we get a consensus of who signs up.

IF you do not live locally you can still go through the course with our support by signing up for Skype on your computer. You will need speakers and a microphone or a headset with a microphone (my personal preference as it leaves me hands-free). We will set up a Skype chat room for our class mates and we can meet "virtually" on-line. We can see dates and deadlines and also have the benefit of logging on at anytime to see if anyone else is in the chat room, sort of a rolling Sit-n-Stitch.

If you live locally you can participate either way or both ways. Its all up to you.

Please be sure to sign up with TKGA, if you are not currently a member. In January, be sure to order the Basic Course from them so you will be ready to start off the first week in February. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment here, or email me at either of the following addresses.... or If you leave a comment here and want a response you must include your email address.

We hope to see you there!

As always,
Hugs & Prayers
Serene Knitter

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The yarn just did not want to be SOCKS!!!

Every knitter knows that sometimes yarn talks to you. You fondle a lovely yarn, feel its loft, its softness and immediately your mind is full of potential projects to make with it.
I bought some lovely Imagination sock yarn from Knit Picks in a colorway called Looking Glass (as in Snow White and the 7 Dwarves). Its all blues and cool and soft and relaxing. It is an alpaca/wool blend and very, very comfy. I was going to knit a pair of socks for myself as part of the Knit Picks sock knit-along.

I chose my pattern and cast on. I worked on it for a while but it seemed like the pattern just was not working the way it should. I checked the pattern, checked my gauge, checked my stitches. Check. Check! CHECK!! Everything was exactly right, but the whole thing was...wrong!
Undaunted, I tried another pattern. Again, it fought me. I've knit enough pair of socks that these should have been a piece of cake. No go!

Ok, this yarn does not want to be socks even though it is fingering weight and should be perfect for a nice pair of toasty warm socks. I got tired of fighting it. I wound it back into a ball and let it sit in a box and think about its transgressions while I moved on and used a different yarn and made socks.
This is Knit Picks Bare yarn that I had tie-dyed with Kool-Aid. I like the way it turned out.
Then I went back to the Looking Glass yarn and just petted it for a while. Eventually it spoke to my and told me it would behave if I wanted to try that SpiroGyra pattern from You know the one....the beautiful fingerless mitts in the over-lapping lacy, spirolling fans pattern. I had been wanting to try it, but since I am not an experienced lace knitter I was a bit hesitant. The yarn, on the other hand, was quite compliant (perhaps sitting in a box and contemplating its poor behavior made it want to co-operate a little more...). So, I plucked up my courage and knit a pair of SpiroGyra's.

The yarn was thrilled...Iwas thrilled. It reveled in the soft lapping of the pattern and gentle spin around my wrists and hands. Its lovely shades of blue flowed coolly through the pattern. The mitts knit up with surprizing ease. The pattern is much simpler than it looks and the yarn was becoming just what it wanted to be!

Now these are my favorite pair of fingerless mitts. I wear them at work when typing. The cubby where I sit tends to be a bit on the chilly side and the SpiroGyra's along me to type away, unhindered, on the keyboard and my hands are warmer.

If you want to try out a small lace project I highly recommend the SpiroGyra pattern by Lynne Vogel from

I have made other, more simple fingerless mitten patterns (see the next photo), but, hands down, I love the SpiroGyra pattern.

Sometimes, it pays to listen to the yarn! (Just don't tell the yarn I said that! Please!)

Have fun knitting, crocheting, spinning or weaving, just listen to the yarn.

Hugs & Prayers

Serene Knitter

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Naming Contest for Ravelry Group

Good Morning Friends and Fellow Crafters!:

Please refer to the November 6th posting for the TKGA Basic and Master Courses. It explains everything about our plans.

That said: I need a name for our Ravelry group. It needs to define who we are and what we are doing. I am looking for something short and sweet that says it all.

As an example: Knitting Rose suggested "UnderGrads", which I like, quite a bit, but it does not define what we are doing and I am afraid that it would make people think we are a group of co-eds. Sorry, Rose, it was a great name, though.

So this is the contest. Come up with the most definitive name for out Ravelry group and win a prize. This lovely pair of Regia cotton/wool/poly sock yarn. Both matching skeins are 100Grams and you will get at least one pair, possibly 2 pair of socks in a cheerful self-striping colorway of pinks, oranges and blues.

How to submit an entry - Email me at, put "Undergrads" in the subject line and your name suggestion in the body of the email (keep the name clean, my grandbabies ready everything on my computer screen). Make sure to include your email address so I can get in touch with you if your entry is selected.

DEADLINE: December 31st.

Number of entries: As many as your fertile imagination can produce.

Good Luck.

Hugs & Prayers

Serene Knitter