About the Author

Christine lives out the everyday of faith, family, food and foreignness in China where she thinks on both the near and far, sometimes in words longer than one syllable. She blogs atHomemadeinchina

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  1. That quote is amazing. Some of the most meaningful items in my life were handcrafted by my grandmother just for me. I soak in her love everytime I gaze at them. I’m trying to be very deliberate in the items I handcraft for my children and now their children. I want to give a little piece of myself.

    And I have been wanting to learn to knit for so long, but was afraid I couldn’t do it. You’ve inspired me!

    • You can! you can!

      I like the way you say “give a little piece of myself”… it seems to wrap both love and sacrifice up together and place it in someone else’s hands.

  2. While reading your post I couldn’t help but think about the current fad of giving Gift Cards. Not exactly something that required ” time, thought, skill, and perseverance prayer and mad attentiveness, sacrifice, service and the pouring out of love,” Another example of another seemingly innocent and morally neutral cultural shift in practice may have a deeply negative impact on We, the People who make up that culture.

    • It’s true. I think it’s important to think about the ramifications of what we’re doing with the material goods around us. And then I read too much Laura Ingalls Wilder and it just makes me want to make everything from scratch:)

    • Thank you for that link. I loved that “mad attentiveness” line too… it keeps popping in my head even when I’m doing something a little less charming than knitting… like scrubbing dirty dishes.

  3. makes me want to go through my craft closet this weekend and make some new things…craft and make something with my hands. Thank you for this post and for the beautiful quote from that book.

  4. This quote “I want to make things and give gifts that are of substance and prayer and mad attentiveness.” is amazing! I am not ‘crafty’ at all. But I feel this about the words of encouragement I write or share – words can be ‘handmade’ gifts too!

    Thanks Christine!

  5. Christine, I love this perspective. You got to the heart of handmade. I’m one of those women who is scared silly to make anything. I worry that I won’t get it “right.” As I read your post, the verse “love casts out fear” came to mind. That made me feel so much better! It’s not about perfection but about love–about embracing a gift and creating one in return. Thank you!

  6. Oh, goodness! Your words stir me up to make a decision that has been lingering all week. I will make the quilt for them as a wedding gift – even if the wedding is only 3 weeks away. It will be the best expression of our love and will cover them all the days of their life together. Your words came exactly when I needed to hear them. Thank you so much – as I go to the kitchen to make more batches of salsa and chutney – and some will be given away :))

  7. Christina! I just saw your post on incourage & loved it 🙂 I’ve been knitting & crocheting for 5 years and somewhere lost my passion for it and am trying to did it again. Where do you get your patterns? Besides your kids who else do you make things for? My biggest problems are
    1. Finding people or charities to make things for. Any ideas?
    2. Being able to make contemporary, stylish pieces. It seems like all charities that make knits are somewhat frumpy.
    Would love your input

    • well I am a beginner with knitting so don’t have too much to offer in the way of advice. I have a friend who is also trying to rekindle her flame:) so maybe you two should talk! But so far I have made mostly things for nieces/nephews, new babies arriving, friend’s children (this is where the handmade hits the road… who knows if all my work will really be appreciated– but that’s where the prayers part has gotten me), etc. I also know of someone who knit for local hospitals, especially in poor areas.

      As far as patterns, I adore ravelry.com, maybe you already know of it… they have tons of free patterns and lots of stylish, fun ideas.

      I hope the passion returns for you… but even if not, there are likely other things with which you spend your handmade care on that can be those gifts of mad attentiveness! Blessings to you!

  8. Thanks Christine! I do have a ravelry account. My name is roxiequeenbaby (haha, cheesy i know! It’s after my dog). Anyways, you do a great job for a beginner, I looked at your blog but my comment didn’t go through. The vest for your daughter is adorable

  9. I have knitted for 2 years and initially started to deal with my own stress. Now anytime I my friends or family have a “challenge” (happy or sad), I knit something up for them and pray for them while knitting it. When I give it to them, I let them know it was knit specifically for them, I prayed for them while I was knitting, and every time they use the item they should think of it as a hug from me. Perfectionism is detrimental to crafting! Some of my favorite projects were “mistakes”! The awesome part of knitting is that if something isn’t working, you just frog it (rip it out) and start again. Sometimes that is the most therapeutic part! As for knitting for charity, the easiest thing to do is google “craftivsim”. Lots of ideas. One group I have knit for is Save the Children (www.SavetheChildren.org). Check with local hospitals, homeless shelters, and knitting groups.

  10. What a fantastic reminder…I loved your insight, your reflection and your sincere desire to share. Thanks! I am not the most “crafty” person in the world, but I do like to create (when time permits) and over the years I have painted and quilted.

    The quilting is something that both of my great grandmothers did and having pieces of their work, even the unfinished pieces, brings me closer to them and allows me to share that with my kids. I haven’t quilted in over 10 years now but there will be another season when I will.

    Thanks for the reminder of the “mad attentiveness” that comes along with receiving these gifts as well.

    xoxo, Melissa 🙂

  11. I love what you have opened up here with handmade. I beleive there is a revisiting and renewing of these arts right now. I myself only started knitting about 6 months age and am doing a few sewing projects too. I read alot of the ladies comments and alot of them say ‘ I am not very crafty’. I was the same I always used to say ‘I’m not very creative’. And I always avoided those crafts because I was scared of messing it up. Then I started to change the way I thought and spoke. I sarted to say ‘ I am creative’, ‘I love creating with my hands.’ I recently wrote a post about HANDMADE (http://wwwshematters.blogspot.com/2010/08/handmade.html) because it is not only the end product in creating something, it is the whole process of what happens in THE MIDST of creating it. I really think God is showing and highlighting to many women across the globe, that they can create with their very hands. After all He is a CREATOR, why shouldn’t we be the same as our Heavenly Father? Love to you <3

    Love fi xxx

  12. I learned to sew earlier this year, & have been working on making ALL of my Christmas gifts this year. I have really enjoyed learning this craft & knowing what I’m capable of. 🙂 It’s a really great feeling.