Handwork is quiet work, contemplative work. It takes patience, practice…(p..p…)…purpose.
Patience comes from learning a new skill or building upon ones once learned in childhood. It comes with faith that even in just picking at a project for 15 minutes a day, the piece will by God’s grace be finished someday. It doesn’t have to be slow work, as racing knitting needles will attest, but it is space and time away from the frivolities and urgencies in other activities.
With practice handwork encourages humility that recognizes how foolish or flippant we have regarded our time or our efforts. Rushing through projects only develops a close relationship with the seam ripper. It takes practice to set a stitch straight, just like it takes practice to speak words of encouragement. Practicing confesses the need we have to do so, and the lack we have in our meager first steps.
Handwork is never without purpose. Whether creating something of practical need or whimsy, there is treasure entwined in the product. For what price do you put someone’s time? Someone’s care? How many hours of poking needles, frustrations and failures are hidden in the finished piece? It has value, because the person behind it has value. Creating something is an act of sharing the heart, and the purpose behind that is love.
Let your fingers be busy this winter with something creative. Pick at it a bit at a time. It is good to be silent and to be busy with your hands, making something that reflects you. You’re beautiful in your own way, and we all need a small stitch sampling of the you that God Himself creatively made.
Here are some of the projects lying around our home.
This is an applique I am making for my coffee table. I currently do not have a coffee table, but God just gave me two gently used sofas (yea!) so I am waiting on Him to provide me a table to go with them. I want to be ready when it comes.
Here is a rag rug I am working on. I taught myself how to do with a book, in order to teach it to five lovely young ladies (this morning!). It’s a great way to use up scraps, and I find it relaxing to repeat all of the motions. I will tell you that I have a greater appreciation for the work that goes into these, and can’t imagine actually STEPPING on it!
Here is one of my two daughters, who have both taken up crochet (ages 7 and 12). I’m crochet-clueless, but I love the look. And of course I am trying to foster a love for handwork in them, as well.
Diapers and lessons and cooking all keep me very busy. Handwork keeps me happy and quiet, at least until spring gardening shows up. I hope you enjoy your projects, as well.