This classic hymn has always inspired me to think about others’ needs before my own. There are so many people who just need to know someone loves them–whether it be a stranger or not. It helps me to realize that I can do my best to give these people a small part of myself and pass on the love of Christ to them. It gives me great joy to stitch something that will have an eternal impact on someone else and help them to be covered by the purest love.
Being a foreigner in Japan, I wanted to make a small impact on my family so they would know that I loved them and appreciated all they have done. The only thing I knew I could do that would transcend the language barrier was create a unique and intriguing piece for them.
In Japan, the yarn shops are not as accessible as they are here so there were just 3 places I could shop. The first place I visit was in a huge shopping center and the yarn display was just a very small piece of that center, but they did have a large selection of yarn and patterns. I was impressed. There was worsted weight and much finger weighted yarns which dazzled even me with the various colors and beautiful displays. After browsing the pattern books, of which I bought three, I focused on the yarn I wanted to purchase for my family. I picked a peach and white package of 10 to make an afghan for my Mom and a dark purple bulky weight for slippers for my brother.
The next two stores were 100 yen shops (equivalent to Dollar Store but better). The yarn displays there were tiny but they had some beautiful yarn such as mohair and silky soft “elegant fur”. It amazed me that if I bought the yarn here it would be so much more expensive, and they were selling it for almost nothing! It was paradise! I also purchased bamboo hooks for the same amount, whereas here, in the states, they are very expensive as well.
When we got back to the house, it was snowing and cold so I quickly crocheted a warm scarf for myself….then I started the afghan. I wanted to create an afghan that was simple and quick but interesting as well. I decided to make a granny square, increasing by one at each of the corners. The color scheme was mostly white with a touch of peach added in. I started, and at first, it went quickly. I added some filet crochet from my new Japanese pattern book to add some interest and four nights before departure I counted the stitches from one of the sides and found that it had over 100 stitches! No wonder it was taking a long time! Two nights before departure, I determined to finish the afghan to a throw size so I could give it to Mom the following evening.
At midnight, I finished it. I packed it away in a large plastic bag to try to uncurl the edges, and went to bed. The next day I knitted my brother’s socks. As I knitted, I realized I didn’t have enough yarn so I made a washcloth for him instead.
The next night we had a little party and I gave the blanket to my Mom and she was “tickled pink” that I made it for her. She liked it, she said she knew where she could use it and she like the colors and filet crochet on it. My brother also liked his washcloth for the “ofuro”. I was able to bless these precious people without needing to speak the language very well. They understood and appreciated the time and sacrifice it took to create. These items created from purest and uninhibited love speak words that transcend every language barrier on earth and beckon others to become a blessing today.