A Square Can Be So Much More


This inspires me to knit and crochet even though my skills are really basic.

Originally posted on Andrea Squared:

Have you ever wondered about the secret language we use on the Knit-a-square forum? Over time, we’ve evolved squares into warm garments to help combat a distinct lack of warm clothing. Thanks to KAS, little bodies can be warm, dry and protected.Go-Over

The Go-Over does just that – it is a sweater that is meant to “go over” other layers of clothes for extra warmth. They are typically heavy duty and feature a wide neck and ample armholes. Think: acrylic worsted weight.

The Go-Over uses 16 squares, four for the front, back and each sleeve. You can also make it in one piece from the neck down or from the bottom up. I’ve tried both ways, individual squares and in one piece. While it goes faster when you’re making it with squares, it does take longer to put together. I make the sleeves the way you would with a traditional sweater, less wide at the wrist, increasing as you go up the sleeve.

Slip-OverA Slip-Over

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If you knew, what would you change?

Imagine that a visionary old you and that you were utterly convinced that Jesus’ Second Coming would happen sometime within the next few weeks (though not exactly when since “no one knows the day or the hour”).  Consider the following questions:

1.  How would you feel?

2.  What would you start doing regularly or do more often than you do it now?

3.  What would you do that you know you need to do but have been procrastinating about?

4.   What would you do less often or stop doing altogether?

5.   What would move to the top of your list of priorities?

When I shared with my husband my answers to questions 2 and 4, he asked me what stops me from doing or refraining from those things?  My answer to this could be summarized in these three things: gluttony, sloth and self-will.

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Joining the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

In November of 2007 at daily Mass, I was reflecting on the direction of my spiritual life and feeling the need of guidance and support in the journey toward the holiness that every Christian is called to. I looked across the aisle and saw friends who I knew belonged to a French community of the Discalced Secular Order of Carmelites. I “heard” very clearly in my soul the instruction to ask them about joining the Carmelites. A week or so later, the President of the English community called me and explained what it was all about and the obligations of members. She asked if I wanted her to send me the pamphlet and the application. Not wanting to rush into anything, I asked only for the pamphlet. From that point, I started wearing the scapular, praying the Liturgy of the Hours (Morning & Evening Prayer) and attending daily Mass. The other obligations that I have been striving to include in my life are: half an hour each day of mental prayer and spiritual reading, attending the monthly meetings to receive necessary formation, expressions of devotion to Mary and fasting on the vigils of significant Carmelite feast-days. By mid-February 2008, I had firmly established these habits and felt that I was ready to take the next step. I completed the application and in mid-April was interviewed by the President and Director of Formation. Later that evening, I received an email welcoming me as an aspirant and inviting me to come to two meetings and to the annual Day of Reflection. I attended these and immediately felt comfortable. Everything I heard resonated within me. I felt a sense of belonging, that I had finally found my spiritual home. In September of 2008, I began my period as an aspirant which meant attending a formation class that began at 6:00pm followed by the regular meeting from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. In June of 2009, I submitted a letter expressing my desire to be admitted to the community for formation in preparation to make temporary promises two years later. In August, I was interviewed by the five member of Council together. In September, we had a Mass where one of our members made her temporary promises. Before Mass, I received my scapular which is the “habit” of the order and was welcomed into the community as a “member in formation”. This scapular is large and is only worn at the meeting or other Carmelite functions. In September 2011, I made First Promises and continued my formation for three more years.  It is now July 2014 and I am preparing for my Final Promises.  I submitted my letter of intent and will have my interview before this monthly meeting.  God willing, I will make my Definitive Promises during the Liturgy of the Word on September 15th which is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.    

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How important is it to show your face online?

I just finished reading Twitter for Dummies which was published in 2009. I don’t know if there’s a newer edition or if the authors have changed their opinion about this.

They strongly recommend putting a picture of yourself on your Twitter profile. I currently have the same fractal image on all the platforms I use and prefer to keep it that way.

One thing I like about communicating online is that it’s the only place where I’m judged on what I write and not at all based on how I look. Maybe I’m a bit odd but I don’t like my picture taken or shown and only use mirrors when necessary.

How do you perceive Twitterers, Facebook users or bloggers who have a picture of something or perhaps no picture at all on their profile? Do you mistrust them or does it not make any difference?

Is there a compelling reason for me to replace my fractal with a photo of myself on Twitter and Facebook?

If you are not showing a picture of yourself on your Twitter, Facebook or blog page, what is your most compelling reason for this decision.  If one of these platforms suddenly made this mandatory, what would you do?

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Non-physical violence

“When we say no to violence, we always imagine a knife, a bomb, a gun. However, to me, violence is caused by our attitude. For example, telling people that they are good for nothing, that they are lazy, and that they are this, and that they are that. I think this a great violence. If you and I could only make that one strong resolution that we will say ‘no’ to violence, and say ‘yes’ to peace by our kindness, by our attitude towards each other, even in a small thing — a smile when we meet each other, it would help more than anything.”  – Mother Teresa

If we are filled with the fruit of the Spirit, we will do no violence with our words.  Instead the words we speak will bring healing and restoration.  

Lord grant that my words will never be critical or judgemental but only kind.

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Starting to wear head-covering

After prayer and discernment, I have started wearing a head covering whenever I go out and most of the time at home.

In 2008 on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I started wearing it only at Mass.  I have a few friends who cover full-time and asked one of them why she does this.  She pointed me to this article: http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/headcoverings.aspx.  I had been feeling the desire to start covering full-time but didn’t want to unless I could clearly articulate to myself why I was doing it.  It was during the weekend of our 2011 Congress when I realized this inspiration and direction was from God and decided to obey Him.  

For several days I checked out styles and tying techniques on You Tube and asked my husband’s opinion about the various options.  He was not opposed to my doing this but there were some styles he definitely did not like.

My first day of covering full-time was on Oct 7th which is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Some people ask me why I started doing this and my response varied depending on who was asking me.

  • Our Lady asked me to.
  • It is a reminder that I’m in God’s presence
  • It is an expression of my consecration to Jesus.
  • For religious reasons.

This has had an impact on how I dress both at home and in public.  The only time I don’t wear a skirt is for visits to my chiropractor, when I’m doing a workout (at home only) and for chores. The kind of covering I wear at home is smaller and lighter and doesn’t cover my hair completely or my ears.  

This is not a decision I made lightly. It was a lifetime commitment.  Since this is something that  I’m doing out of loving obedience to God, there is no good reason to stop.  What message would that give to others who had asked my reason for wearing a covering if I were to stop?

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Is Jesus always kind?

In Matthew 15:21-30, he rudely ignored the woman who asked Him to heal her daughter. Even once He acknowledged her presence, He was insulting, basically calling her a dog.

It’s not because she was a Gentile since He treated the Roman centurion very differently, even offering to go to his home.

So why was He so rude to her, almost rejecting? If He treated her that way, why should I expect that He would be kinder to me? Surely this is not the sort of behaviour He wants us to imitate.

He did heal her daughter which was a kind act but did He need to be so cold, rude and unapproachable? Surely that is not the image that would encourage us to seek intimacy with Him.

His ways are definitely NOT our ways!

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