Knit up a cap and a prayer

“We’re going to have a baby,” my daughter said nine years ago.  I received the news with wonder, joy and trepidation knowing that we both were entering a world we knew so little about.  Thankfully, some of my friends had gone before me into the domain of grand motherhood and not a single one of them relayed any message but one of complete ecstasy.  A special friend sent me a package in the mail with a zip lock bag containing a ball of yarn, some needles and a pattern.  The image of a wrinkled, white-haired woman on a front porch knitting with her glasses perched on the tip of her nose and her cat curled up at her feet, quickly came to mind and frightened me a little.  I pushed through my own prejudiced stereotyping and curiously examined the contents of the bag.

My mother taught me to knit when I was about 12 and I remember producing long, uneven lengths of tangled color.  I was completely astonished to discover that I did remember how to push the needles through the loops to get the desired result.  Though, I did have to call Mary a few times for a little help, I actually completed the pattern and created a tiny hat for my grand baby to come.

You can get into a kind of zone when you knit.  There is pleasure in the rhythmic movement and the sound of the soft clicking of needles.  I found myself caught up in the hum of prayer with each loop and lift of hand as I contemplated our eminent miracle.  I heard The still small Voice wooing me with, “I knit YOU together in your mother’s womb.”

My first little cap led to many other projects – stockings, ponchos, scarves, sweaters etc.  Admittedly, most of my items were not so great and I fear my children and grandchildren wore them to bless me and took them off when I was out of sight.  Worn or unworn, I take pleasure in knowing that long after the sweaters lose their shape, the caps are lost and the stockings unravel, the prayers that I knit will continue to live on.

I would love to send you a little cap or better still a zip lock bag with all the goodies you need to knit one, but instead, I will give you the next best thing.


With a 16 inch circular needle – size 5 or 6 – cast on 68 (72,76,80) stitches.  Join ends of yarn being careful not to twist.  Knit in a circle for 5 (5.5,6,6.5) inches.  Put 4 markers on needles evenly spaced.  Knit 2 together before and after each marker every row.  You will need to change to short double point needles (sock needles) when it gets too tight.  Knit until just a few stitches remain, thread a needle and pull remaining stitches through and secure inside the cap.  Add a pompom.


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Grand lady of Mod Podge

My art teacher spots her outside the window and leaves the rest of us to go help her with her things.  It is the first day of a new class in a new space and I am not at all sure that this is the class I should be in.  I look at the door and a woman with a walker is moving slowly into the room.  Her care-giver is close beside her and is carrying her bag of supplies.  She sits in front of her easel while the teacher adjusts her things and then we begin to discuss the color wheel.  I am ashamed of the thought that I sometimes have of being too old to take up something like painting that requires years of study, as I consider  the effort it has taken her to come to this beginners painting class.

Then the teacher lets us in on an astonishing bit of information.  This lady is the inventor of mod-podge.  Yep, she mixed it up in her garage in the 60’s, patented it and got royalties for 17 years and then sold the wonder-sticking formula to a crafts company.  I immediately thought that this is some grand lady  and I asked her if I could take her picture and blog about her.

So here she is, Jan Wetstone, come to play on the play-grand.  And play she does.  Do you know that she actually mod-podged her Volkswagen with bed-sheets just to see if they would stick?  And when I asked her how to spell her name I said, W- h- e- t stone?  And she said, “No, I’m divorced, I got the H out.

For cool info on mod-podge check out: