Ada’s Dress: Suffer well, my friends (and other lessons learned)

I have been feverishly trying to finish this dress. It’s simply scrumptious, and you will see the end product very soon… Easter vigil is Saturday! I have learned (and spotted) a couple of lessons along the way. First, the trivial lessons, then the important ones.

#1 Go with my gut on needle choices and #2 Two sets of the same circular needles is not gluttony


Do you see my broken needle up there? I was at the church knitting the yoke, and suddenly felt a snap in my hand. I knew exactly what that was. It has happened before. The needle came off- sometimes they stealthily unscrew, in the case of interchangeable needles, and sometimes they snap, as my acrylics did. Fortunately, the identical size and length needles in wood were with me in my bag so I simply secured all the stitches and knitted them onto the new needles. Voila!

I bought the wooden tips and the acrylic needles together. It felt a bit much having the two, knowing I wouldn’t be using one of them, but when you have a huge project and want it to work up smoothly, you have to have the right needles. Not all materials are the same. Some have different grips on the yarn and they have various levels of pliability, thereby placing different stresses on the hands. I am SO glad I didn’t listen to the voice in my head telling me to get the wooden tips another time! Another lesson: the pliability of the acrylic needles really minimized stress on my hand and arm. My hand and elbow were slightly hurting within 24 hours of switching to wood! I also realize now that acrylics definitely have a stress limit. I wasn’t putting unusual pressure on the needle when it snapped; it just couldn’t take any more. So…when the project is very important, get the spares, and keep them on you at all times! You can always return or exchange what you don’t use.

#3 Keep suffering in the perspective of eternity.

This is suffering from our perspective: messy and confusing.
This is what God sees and makes of our suffering.

Suffering, and our lives on earth for that matter, have been described like the back of a tapestry: messy, confusing, unsightly. It is said that when our time on earth comes to a close, the tapestry of our lives will be turned around for us to see how the suffering which plagued us so on earth worked to produce a most beautiful image according to God’s design. So if you are suffering, keep the eternal perspective: God is weaving a tapestry with your life. Let him work with you šŸ§”šŸ§”

#3: Suffering poorly vs. suffering well

You can’t escape suffering, but you can learn to suffer well.

So you see I have little idea what to do with the back of my embroidery. But the flower on the left (my first) is a good example of suffering poorly. We fight it. We complicate it, writhing desperately in our attempts to avoid it altogether. The second flower of suffering is still nothing you’d want to look at on the front of your garment, but it isn’t as awful looking as the dark purple mess to its left. That is suffering well done. Suffering accepted, yet unpleasant by it’s very nature, it isn’t easy, but it isn’t as bad as it can be when we fight it. Suffering well means choosing an attitude of surrender to God’s loving plan for our lives. Suffering well is choosing to love in spite of the pain, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Suffering well is giving to others as we can in our position of need. It is, at its very core, our identification with Christ crucified. Christ suffering in us. “Father let this cup pass, but not my will but yours be done.” “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” “This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, poured out for the life of the world.”

This crucifix has carried me through some awful times

If we suffer poorly, we only hurt ourselves. Regardless, whether we suffer well or not, God still has the last word, and it is beautiful.

I’m dying over the sweetness of this dress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s