A Lesson in DPNS


She held what felt like chaos in her hands. Yet to my eye, her teacher, it looked like she had been knitting with double pointed needles for years. She deftly worked the four wooden needles, three to hold the stitches, one to knit across from point to point.

“This is a bit overwhelming, keeping up with all of this. Where to go next, so much going on, I’m afraid I’ll lose some stitches.”

“Just focus on the two needles you are knitting with,” I said. “Let the rest of it just dangle there, trusting the wooden sticks to hold the stitches. When you knit to the end of a needle, just begin with the next one. It will all work out in the end.”

It occurred to me afresh, as I guided her through the puzzle of DPN knitting, what a picture of life this endeavor portrays. Surely our life feels like chaos in our hands. The multiplicity of roles and responsibilities can feel overwhelming and confusing. There are so many things going on, we don’t know where to go next and we’re afraid we might lose something along the way.

It helps so much, in any given moment, to just focus on what’s right in front of me. If I look around at the chaotic landscape, focus is blurred, I start to come unstitched, dropping stitches here and there.

As we spoke of this lesson in DPNS, we marveled at its truth. Who knew that a quartet of double pointed needles could guide us in life as well as produce a pair of socks?

The Only Way


The means for getting anywhere is:

one step at a time

one foot in front of the other

three steps forward, one step back

line upon line

stitch by stitch

stroke after stroke

note by note

There is no other way. There are no shortcuts.

I’m still listening.

“Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it — made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain


Say What? For those of you who do not knit, DPNS may be a new word.  It’s actually an anacronym for Double Pointed NeedleS.  These are knitting needles which have points on both ends (instead of just one end) and are only about 8″ long.  I LOVE working on DPNS!

They are used for knitting in the round, meaning that you work around in a circle, rather than back and forth on a flat, rectangular piece. They allow you to create hats, tubular scarves, sweaters and sleeves without seaming, handbags and all kinds of other rounded shapes.  My recent craze is knitting these awesome bird’s nests and eggs:

Aren’t they fun?? I can’t decide which I love most…the PROCESS of making them or the END RESULT!  Both are de-light-ful!!  Being a crocheter as well, I’ve often thought that it was only in crochet where you could begin in the middle of a circle and work your way out.  BUT NO! These eggs and nests have showed me how simple it is to start at one “end” of an egg, increase to the desired circumference, and then decrease to the other end.  All in one piece!  Then the nest is really the same concept!  You just squash one half of the “egg” shape down into the other half and voila! You have a nest! So, so fun to make.

If any of you are knitters and you want to make this, click here for the FREE pattern from Purl Soho.  It is off of their blog, the Purl Bee, which is one of my absolute favorite spots for inspiration and patterns (both free and for purchase) for knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, etc.  It is visually one of the most beautiful craft blogs on the web!  As an artist, I adore feasting my eyes on how they have photographed the creations and the type of projects they seem to choose are wonderful.

Oh my…in linking you to The Purl Bee, I see a Big Cuddly Bunny I’ve just gotta make for Maddie!  And I have THIS PATTERN on order for more bunnies…so full of character, I just can’t resist!!  Drawings and photos forthcoming!!!!!