The Year of Ugly Yarn

These last days of 2014 find many of us thinking about the New Year. Some of us make resolutions. Others just hope for the best. A few of us look ahead with the certain knowledge that nothing will really change. For these folks, things won’t get better; they may not even stay the same. They will probably get worse.

If you are one of these, I have a photo for you.


This is my very first attempt at spinning yarn from loose fiber. No. That isn’t art yarn. I made it after my first spinning class. Frankly, I’m amazed I saved it. I found it while I was digging through the table in our family room. When I made that stuff I was doing my darndest to get real yarn. Smooth. Consistent. Usable. What I got instead was over-twisted junk. Uneven. Out of control. Some of it so bulky as to be mistaken for the lines you’d use to tie down a cruise ship. If you did that kind of thing.

I was pretty discouraged about the whole thing. So discouraged, in fact, that for several years, I quit spinning. I just don’t like being a failure. (Call me a perfectionist!) But then, early one morning on the way to a run, I spied a spinning wheel sitting at a garage sale. For twenty-five bucks, I figured I could afford to give the whole thing another try.

I got the wheel repaired by a pro. I bought more fiber. I watched some instructional videos. I made progress. Barely.

Then, I called a professional. I took a lesson. My teacher adjusted my wheel again. I bought different fiber, an easier variety to spin. Under her tutelage, suddenly I got the feel of letting the fiber roll through my fingers, controlling the twist as I fed yarn onto the bobbin. Oh yes, there were still globs and breaks and curlicues. But I had begun the great spinning adventure. I spun more varieties of fiber. Merino. Blue faced leicester. Merino-silk. Coopworth. Some surprise packages.

And this is what my last yarn looks like. It’s an undesignated wool, purchased at a local fiber fair. I bought it to make a striped Christmas hat for my son. Turns out the yarn doesn’t work with the green that I’d spun originally. So, instead it has become a cable knit beanie.


At this point, you may wonder if you’ve been transported from a Bible blog to a craft blog. You haven’t. My point is this:

As you face the new year, don’t let old defeats determine your course.

I didn’t start out making smooth consistent yarn. With the best intentions, I made junk instead. Yards and yards of junk. Gradually, the junk began to resemble something useful. I’m not done yet. I hope to grow my spinning ability. But it won’t happen without practice. Lots and lots of practice.

And the same is true for you. You will never experience change without perseverance. Romans promises results, provided we continue in the process.

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

So, as you think about 2015, give up on quick fixes, easy answers, and the no-sweat approach to change. Don’t give in to despondency or passivity. Instead, fix my ugly yarn in your mind and remember: Nothing worth pursuing comes easily.

Consider 2015 as another year to persevere in the pursuit of change!


2 Responses to “The Year of Ugly Yarn”

  1. Meditations for the Adult Weary Soul Says:

    I love this analogy. Persevere.

    • Bette Nordberg Says:

      Jody, thanks for the kind comment. It’s much easier to write about than it is to do, is it not? But with the wisdom, discernment and power of the Spirit, we can persevere! My hope for 2015 is that it is a year in which I finish well! The Lord has so many hopes for me. And I hope to make a few more yards of yarn too!

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