Monday, December 30, 2013

Ringing Out, Ringing In

     The time when two calendar years meet is our opportunity to look back over the year that is passing and to make our wishes for the year to come.  Our fondest memories are often of moments of love and kindness that touched our hearts.

    There is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist practice of reciting, aloud or silently, a prayer of loving-kindness for ourselves and others. It often begins with wishes for our self.  If you find it hard to wish for yourself first, remember the familiar wisdom of "charity (love) begins at home".  Loving-kindness is a practice initiated from our own heart and moving out into wider and wider circles. It will not be new to many of you and it has many versions.  Below is one that takes just a minute or two, perfect to ring out 2013 and ring in a bright New Year.  Simple wishes from one to all, from the heart.

It begins.....

May I be happy.
May I be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
May I be protected from all harm.
May I find my true heart's desire.

Recite again, this time for someone you know and love

May You be happy.
May You be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
May You be protected from all harm.
May You find Your true heart's desire.
Again, for someone you do not know, the clerk at the coffee shop, or the folks in the elevator

May You be happy.
May You be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
May You be protected from all harm.
May You find Your true heart's desire.

This time for someone you know, with whom you may have some resentment  or challenge
May You be happy.
May You be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
May You be protected from all harm.
May You find Your true heart's desire.
One more time, for All Beings everywhere

May All Beings be happy.
May All Beings be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
May All Beings be protected from harm.
May All Beings find their true heart's desire.
      You can add as many circles as you'd like, you can use your own words, and you can end with another round of wishes for yourself.  Do it as often as your heart is inspired.  You might just see some amazing results.  As you all show me so frequently, the love that rings out is the love that rings us in.   Thank you for all the love.  Have a wonderful New Year's holiday!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bright Blessings

     Today I send my wishes to you and yours for sweetness and bright blessings in this season of illumination.  May your joys be many, your hearts be light, and your snickerdoodles taste just right!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Simple Gifts

     I almost never set myself up to be knitting gifts when this busy week comes along, but this year I find myself with a major gift still on the needles, body not complete and two sleeves beckoning.  I can't show it to you yet, lest I give away the surprise, but I will say that I am very glad it is knit circularly with sleeves from the top, so the finishing will be simple.  I'll have just a couple of ends to tuck in and hopefully I'll get to do a real blocking.  In Colorado it just might get dry before being wrapped up.  So here I am then, along with many of you, and the Christmas knitting marathon has begun.  I think I'll make it, but I'd best be knitting in all spare (and unobserved) moments.
    Just in case you find yourself with another last minute gift to get off the needles, here's a pattern I'd like to share with you.  I call it Simple Gifts because that's what it makes, and quickly too, being worked in a worsted to Aran weight yarn.  It also works well for guys as a neck or ear cuff and even as a hat.  All options included.
    So here's my simple gift to you, from knitter to knitter, in the spirit of the season and during this wonderfully exciting week of flying needles.  I think I'll knit up a bunch of these after the holidays just to relax and to be ready for next year.  Great projects for knitting for the good, too.  Here's hoping that this year's marathon runs smoothly for you.  Enjoy!
     Now, I gotta get back to my knitting! 

                                                                   Simple Gifts 
                                                                Cheryl Oberle © 2013

                                                                   Simple Gifts                                                     
Simple Gifts is worked in a favorite old stitch pattern called "mistake stitch" ribbing; you are basically working every row as K2, P2 ribbing on an odd number of stitches.  It seems magical that what appears to be a mistake becomes a clever stitch pattern.  It is reversible and the flat piece can be worn wrapped and pinned or it can be sewn together to make a circular cuff for your neck or ears as shown in the photo. Knit a bit more and there’s a hat.  You can simply have them all!

Yarn:    approx. 200 yd / 183 m  of  worsted weight or Aran weight yarn
Needles:  24” circular or straight needle size 9 or size needed to obtain gauge
 (Tip: use one size smaller needle for Ear Cuff/Hat.  See gauge and measurements below)
Gauge:   Neck Cuff:  14 sts and 20 rows per 4 inches in Pattern St.
               Ear Cuff/ Hat: 16 sts and 24 rows

Flat Neck piece (or Cuff)
One size approx. 21.5 inches long (or circumference)
Ear Cuff or Hat
One size approx. 18.75 inches circumference

Co 75
Pattern Stitch
Row 1:  *K2, p2; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k2, p1.

Repeat row 1 until piece measures 8 inches for Neck or Ear Cuff or 10" for Hat.  Bind off in pattern.

Wear the flat piece wrapped, add a pretty pin, perhaps add a button and a button loop.  Or sew short edges together to form a circle and pull over your head for your neck or your ears.   Or knit to 10” instead of 8",  fold in half to sew the short ends together and then sew one long edge together for
a hat!  Cozy!

Cheryl Oberle © 2013


Monday, December 9, 2013


      It is such a busy time of year, so much to do, so many people to remember.  I've been spending some time each day "remembering" people I'll never meet. 

      I've made it a practice of late to spend thirty minutes each day knitting for the good, giving it forward.  I know thousands of you knitters out there do the same thing, holding space in your knitting time to create something for someone who might desperately need warmth and a loving touch to help them remember that they are connected, important, essential to the whole that we are as humanity.  It is all so simple.  Knitting a hat that will warm someone I'll never see or get to talk to gives me a special feeling of connection that is beyond words.  It's a connection that comes right from the heart and goes right to the heart.  Direct.  Inspired.  Expansive.
      To all of you who practice this way, thank you for what you are doing.  It makes a difference in more ways than you know.  To those of you who think you can't do much with just a few minutes each day, give it a go.  Knit a few stitches with your morning coffee.  Hats happen.   And to all of you who want to see what's up with this, just slip in ten minutes a day on a hat or scarf that you intend to donate to your favorite good.  There are many choices out there.  Here's one of my favorites
    It's knitting for the heart and soul, and you and the world will benefit more than words can say.

Monday, December 2, 2013

With My Little Scissors

     I did it.  I've been contemplating doing it ever since last winter.  Finally the weight of the matter became too much to bear.  What's so serious you ask?  Cutting up a sweater is!

     Some of you  might remember the post from last December when I proudly donned my tunic length version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Hurry up Last Minute Sweater.  I do love this garment, but last winter it  became apparent that I do not live in a cold enough climate to wear it more than once a year.  Since EZ was the one who taught me to be a thinking knitter as well as to be a "cut up" when it comes to my knitting, I got on my mark (mustard yellow yarn makes a beautifully bright basting thread on grey).......

I got set (two rows of machine stitching on each side of the basting)... and I just took the scissors to it.

     What will I cook up for a fabulous new front? A hemmed band seems most likely.  As I'm considering the options I've been wearing my new Hurry Up Last Minute Coat just as it is.  We've got very cold weather coming this week and I'm ready.  It's raw and unfinished with new possibilities,  it is much more comfy as a coat than as a pullover, and I love it all the more for having provided an adventure in knitting as well as a demonstration for my Tuesday Studio Knitters.   Sometimes you just have to make the cut.