The gracious hands that knit

December 6, 2006 at 2:23 pm | Posted in charity knitting, Christmas, country living, faith, family, free knitting patterns, knitting, love, relationships, yarn | 15 Comments

Greetings from Fireflys Farm

Gracious Me, Look at all those Parcels!

A few days ago I picked up the first of several packages of “parcels” for the Gracious Parcels 2006 project. This morning I go to pick up several more. The creativity and care that went into these parcels is evident, and so appreciated. I know the family that gets the blanket with these lovely parcels of love and fellowship woven together within it will love the gift, but I also take your creativity to heart very personally as a gift to me. Thank you, each of you lovely knitters for your generosity and participation.

Gracious Parcels 2006 First ArrivalsAlso, if any participant would like to share the pattern she used, or any tips or suggestions for the lovely tags, I will post your entries on the Gracious Parcels page. Inspiration is a catching thing, after all.

All of the parcels are lovely, well made, and tenderly presented. From the colors chosen that represent the fields and orchards in the area, to the creativity and warmth in the tags … I love them all, love them so much. I even love the envelopes they came in. It is all so beautiful and so heartwarming. This is a fine project and I look forward to pushing it forward throughout the coming years.

Yesterday we woke up to three inches of snow. Snow can be so different, one snow to the next. The surprise snow storm back in early October was a wet, heavy and destructive early snow. It fell hard and quick, and disappeared from our place even more quickly than it arrived.

Firefly Steps into the Corn FieldThis week’s snow is different. This snow came at a civilized time. Its arrival was well planned for, and it came quietly and politely during the evening and overnight. Like a welcome guest, it waited in the yard, on the drive, by the door; waited for us to greet it with a smile and a hello.

And, like a welcome guest … it stayed. Even now the yard is white and soft, speaking to me of Christmas time.

Last evening, the sky was fairly clear and a fat moon shared warm light across the twilight snow. We stood looking out the window by the fireplace at the barn standing strong atop a lawn of moonlight blue snow, long shadows from our tall trees stretching out in front of it and creating a special space.

One of Fireflys TreesThis morning as the sun continued its slumber, I looked out again at the barn. The lights from my upstairs office were reflecting off of a window in the front of the barn. I imagined a jolly old elf in a warm red suit out there in our barn, borrowing it as a makeshift shop to make and store toys for children in this area. I could feel his warmth out there, and wished he had a moment to step inside and share a cup of hot cocoa with me … but he has important work to do and I didn’t want to disturb him.

Yesterday morning I went outside twice for a photo walk about the yard, tracking more of the daily progress of my discovery of my new life, my new world.

The corn so golden still, lit up against the snowy ground and the towering, yet bare willow.

I stepped into the cornfield on the east side of the farm and was mystified by the new space created by a blanket of snow between the rows. Strange how snow creates new spaces where before space might not have been considered. I used to love to go out in the woods by myself as a child on snow days. I spent much of my childhood playing alone in the woods: I was into trees. When the woods were freshly covered in snow, it was a quiet and magical place to be. Here and there big pillows of snow fell from on high, delighting me once in a while by landing on my head. I felt alone but secure somehow.

Fireflys Gumdrop Tree in SnowI am developing a relationship with the trees on our place here, as I get to know them better and capture their changing lives in my photography. Our dear little gumdrop tree is best friends with the willow. They are a bit of an odd couple, but they don’t seem to notice that at all. I think they’re sweet.

This morning I get to drive my husband’s pickup truck into the village to pick up more Gracious Parcels. I have a Ford Explorer, but we are keeping it off the roads this winter so it doesn’t suffer damage from the salt and whatever else winter leaves on the roadways. That’s cool; I love pickup trucks and it will be fun to get all bundled up and go for a little drive.

And … I’m off to do that right now.

Here’s to you and yours!



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  1. I totally love coming to read your blog and seeing the pictures. Thank you!

  2. What fun seeing all those Gracious Parcels arrive! Just like Christmas! It sounds like people really got creative. I’d love to see some of the parcels up close to see what other people did. Hmm..I think I see my parcels in there…:)

    And speaking of Christmas, how wonderful that you now have snow. I am hoping we get some before Christmas. At least we now have colder weather so it feels more like it.

  3. That looks like a great mail day. So many pretty things in such small packets.

    I love how your farm looks covered in snow. The gumdrop tree is so Christmas-y and pretty all covered like that.

  4. Another fine post from the farm. Pretty pictures, and I even saw my tiny little square tucked in among the others. I only wish there could be more right now.

    I miss the snow and am enjoying it via your posts. Here in Tucson it’s close to 70 and my office window is open to the breeze. I’d rather be looking at frost.

  5. Beautiful words, pictures and the squares for the quilt. I hope I get to see it before it leaves your house.
    We still have snow in Colorado from a week ago. It thaws a little bit each day and then freezes again at night.

  6. ohhh, I wish I could get a parcel out to you before Christmas but it’s not going to be doable @ the rate I’m going at (which is slow!!). After the holidays I can get cracking. I loved seeing the ones you’ve received thus far though. 🙂 It gave me some ideas for the kind of tag I could attach to the ones I’ll be sending you. That gumdrop tree is so cute–particularly with the snow decorating it. 🙂

  7. And I forgot to tag my squares! I see them, though, along with some other really nice ones. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  8. How nice all the squares look snuggled together! Do I see a “Lavender Scarf” square? The farm looks beautiful in snow!

  9. Would you kndly send me the Gracious Parcels mailing address again? I thought I put it in my book, but did not. Shame on me.

  10. That picture makes me feel like the worlds worst person. I have knitted three squares and have a fourth on the needles, but I know that there is just no way to get them to you before christmas.

    Good thing that there are others more organized than me, so that you at least will have squares enough for one blanket.

  11. The squares look amazing. It must be so exciting to open those parcels. Thank you for sharing the amazing beauty that is around you each day.

  12. I see mine in the picture!! How exciting. I’m so proud that my square will be cozy among so many beautiful pieces from the heart.

  13. I love coming to your blogn and seeing your beautiful photographs. I love how generous other knitters are. Thank you for sharing the beatuy of your farm!!

  14. I love visiting your blog, and looking at the pictures. It is such a beautiful start to my day. The squares look great.

  15. I love the squares. I hope you post ideas that the contributors share. I want to make some. Since I’m new at knitting I’d like some help with size of needles and number of cast ons. I know it varies with the knitter, but to help me get started. What info is included on the tags? Will this be a yearly project? And will the squares always be the same size? Maybe I can master it by next year. I absolutely LOVE the photo with Greetings from the Farm. Is your work area that top window?

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