I come from a family of makers. My grandmother painted when she was young. Hanging in my bedroom are the beautiful nature studies that she painted over 100 years ago. My dad loved working with wood and right now there are two rocking horses next to our Christmas tree. My daddy made them when our own girls were little. Now Little Sister and Baby Girl love to jump on them and ride like the wind. And his wooden cars and trucks are scattered throughout the toy basket. He must have made hundreds of wooden toys.
Daughter Jessica is an artist—a graphic designer by profession. Mommy and Big Sister are makers of music. They have lovely voices and will provide the special music at our church on Christmas Eve. I have friends and extended family who are artists and writers and musicians and poets and knitters and photographers and cooks and potters. I value the creative spirits that help us make sense of this world, sometimes letting us see things from a fresh perspective.
Pattern: A Good Plain Sock, by Stephanie Pearl-McFee
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Prints "Holidays"
Needles: Size 1.5
So even when the calendar is full and the to-do list is long, I still make things. Tucked in among the other holiday activities in the last weeks, there has been knitting. Yes, there is love knitted into each project that shows I care about the recipient. But if I'm really honest, that's not why I knit and make things. I do it for me. Even if I'm giving my "handknitted love" away, making gives me time to catch my breath each day. I find that taking a few minutes to sit still and knit (or make music) helps keep me centered in this busy season. I'm not doing gifts on a deadline this year, so that pressure is off. If it gets done, good. If it doesn't get done, that's good, too.
Pattern: Project Peace (this is at the halfway point)
Yarn: Brooks Farm Yarn "Acero"
Needles: size 4, 32-inch circular
My ongoing December knitting is Project Peace. There are 20,000 knitters around the globe taking part in this project. There is a reading and knitting four rows of the cowl each day for three weeks in December. Sometimes the daily reading includes a simple activity to better help us think about what peace means to us. Here is how the designer and originator of this project explains it:
"I truly believe that peace begins with each and everyone of us. We can't expect to live in a peaceful world if we ourselves are not living a peaceful life. So, my focus is to provide you with simple acts of peace over the next 21 days."
Are you a maker? If you are not a maker of things, that's okay. We all do what works for us. But you can be a maker of peace. Internal peace. Peace in your household. Peace in your community. Let's all be makers of peace in the coming year.