Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the 6th Day of Christmas . . .

1. I finished the purple stole for my sister-in-law. Just need to get it packed and shipped.

2. Managed to do on time all the charitable giving I'd planned for 2008.

3. Finished winding the yarn for my Men Who Knit Scarf Exchange Scarf. I've decided on the pattern. Just need to knit a swatch to get the gauge, then it's off to the races (it's due 1/20!).

4. Finished reading "Amarcord" by Marcella Hazan. The Queen of Italian Cooking (she did for Italian cooking what Julia Child did for French cooking) has written a fascinating memoir. Highly recommended if you're into food, into Italian food (or Italians!), or into memoirs.

5. Printed up a first batch of Epiphany cards. Need to get started on addressing and mailing them!

6. Remembered to update this blog!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The 2nd Day of Christmas

Only managed to finish 5 hats (crochet) for the Knit 1 Save 1 project for Save the Children. I have not yet heard how many our group at FPC did.

Am almost done with the purple shawl for my sister-in-law. Just have to do the stripes to finish it off, then weave in ends. I thought I might get to visit her and my brother over Christmas, but now it doesn't look likely. Will have to ship it to her.

One of the churches I work for has an auction every other year to help fund the youth group's pilgrimage. I don't remember where they're going , but I have agreed to donate something. I have a mohair shawl on my needles that is not already spoken for, so that will be it.

My bookkeeping work will keep me very busy over the next five weeks. So, after the shawls are done, I will concentrate on my Scarf Exchange project (due 1/20). I finally found the yarn I want and have settled on a pattern. Just have to wind the hank before I get started.

This year I decided to put together my own card for Epiphany. The lay-out is done. I just have to get some cardstock and print them. I found an 15th-century German painting of the Adoration of the Magi and will use that, along with some verses from the carol "What Child Is This."

I'll need to work some today, but nothing too stressful as far as I can tell. Got up early so I could finish reading one of my Christmas presents ("All I Could Bare" by Craig Seymour). It was fascinating. I also got some interesting DVD's which I will have to watch on my laptop or wait till I get a new TV (mine is dying fast). One of my projects today is to do some more shopping for a new TV.

Spent a nice day yesterday. For the first time in a long time (decades, I think), I didn't have to play anywhere on Christmas morning. So I slept in for a change. Had a nice lunch with friends at 1 p.m. After lunch, I worked on a crocheted prayer shawl while the others played Liverpool Rummy. Then at 4:30, a friend and I went to the Christmas party of the owner of our favorite restaurant. We did a Chinese gift exchange. I took an egg cuber and came home with a large-print calculator.

I have to work a lot tomorrow, but I'm not playing on Sunday, so that will be another day to sleep in!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Project News; What I'm Reading

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my sister-in-law's purple shawl. I have one more skein of purple to crochet, then add the border at the end. I don't think I'll add any fringe as it will detract from the border (gray and purple stripes).

I'm crocheting a prayer shawl in claret (in lengthwise ridges). I like the color and bought all the yarn they had at the time, so I'll be able to make several of these.

I've crocheted 5 hats for the Knit 1 Save 1 project for Save the Children. The group at First Presbyterian, Durham, did over 100 last year. I think I did six, so will try for 12 by the December 21 deadline. Without interruptions, I can do one in about an hour.

I'm reading H.V. Morton's "In the Steps of the Master" about his trip to the Holy Land in 1934. I'm sure some of it is not dated, but it is fascinating to read his descriptions. I will have to read it a second time and take notes. One fascinating passage describes the probable location of Jesus' 40 days in the dessert. It is a bleak and desolate place, which makes the Devil's taunts even more tempting. There ought to be some retreat meditation material there.

I got a copy of "Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch." It was interesting, but not many projects that I would make. In "Stitch 'n' Bitch" I found only one pattern that I liked (a baby blanket in a four-square basketweave). I made one for the church bazaar and have a commission to make a second one by sometime in May.

I'm in the midst of planning a scarf for the Men Who Knit Scarf Exchange 2. I got some Skacel Merino Lace in Teal and want some gray to go with it, but I'm having a hard time finding it. I may have to re-group and think of something else. I'm contemplating some sort of herringbone pattern.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bazaar results

The church bazaar was Saturday. The baby blanket knit with two stands of variegated sold, and I got a commission to do another one. The sailor scarf did not sell, but I got a commission to make one like it in wool in a different colorway. So the bazaar will end up making $80 from my stuff, eventually.

This morning I finished a crocheted prayer shawl. St. Matthew's needs several shawls this week, so I will drive it up there tomorrow. It is worsted weight in a claret color. I worked a swatch to do another one in double crochet ridges, so I'll get that one going tonight.

I will get up early tomorrow to vote. My polling place is just a 5-block walk from home. So I will plan to be there before the 6:30 a.m. opening time. I will, of course, have a knitting project with me in case there is a line. If I heard correctly, over half the registered voters in Durham have already voted! Wonderful!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bazaar knitting and other stuff

This Saturday is the annual bazaar at Watts Street Baptist Church in Durham, NC, where I am the organist. I knit them a few scarves every year. This year I'm using a Paton's yarn called Paint Box to make the seaman's institute pattern. I think I'll have two completed in time.

At one of my bookkeeping churches, this was financial review week. I had quite a bit to do over the last several weeks to get ready for it since they haven't had one in several years. Now that we are past the on-site portion, I feel like I can have my life back.

I have signed up for the Men Who Knit Scarf Exchange. This is the second one they have sponsored (I couldn't participate in the first one). It will be just over two weeks until I get the information on my "spoilee."

My gut problem seems to have improved since I started assaulting it with yogurt. I ran out for a day or two, and it seemed like the condition had returned somewhat. I'm stocked up again now, so I'm hoping that the improvement will return.

Weather turned cold overnight, so I had to dig out a hat this morning. I grabbed a shawl to wear under my coat --- it was the prayer shawl I was given last year before the first of my surgeries. It was a great comfort then, and it still is.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

End of a Full Week

I knew it would be a full week. And it was.

I finished the retirement shawl (cream mohair, ruffle on each end, a version of basketweave called "mint flip" for the body). I have to make a date with the recipient to give it to her. She likes lighthouses, so I'm going to give her a photograph card with a lighthouse on it as well.

I delivered a white baby blanket to a friend for the Interfaith Hospitality Network fund-raiser. Glad I had it on hand.

One of the priests at my parish has a new son, so the other baby blanket may go there, though I did do a blanket for their first child; I may rely on them to hand it down to son #2. Other wise it may go to the bazaar at the church where I'm organist (Watts Street Baptist, Durham, NC).

Last night, went to the first half of an organ recital in Raleigh (NC). The organ is not terribly good (though it is brand new -- $2 million). The organist was so-so. We left at intermission to go to supper at Bella Monica, a very good Italian restaurant in Raleigh. They do great flat bread pizzas!

And since we were near a grocery store, did some grocery shopping. I'm learning to eat yogurt in the hopes of solving my long-standing gut problem. So far, it seems to be helping. Greek-style, low fat yogurt seems the best. It's just like eating sour cream, but with less guilt!

Worked at one of my bookkeeping jobs for several hours today. Then stopped for lunch. Read the new Lion Brand book on prayer shawls (vol. 2). I don't think much of the Homespun yarn that is recommended, so I generally use other yarns.

Am now waiting to practice for tomorrow's service. The pastor is rehearsing his sermon right now, so I'll slip in after he's done.

I'm playing a lunch-time recital at the Chapel of the Cross (Chapel Hill, NC) on November 12, so I'll do some practicing for that as well.

Then I'll probably spend the evening at home attending to laundry and trying to finish a prayer shawl for a meeting tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, again

Well, it's Monday again.

The swatch of the Seafoam stitch pattern didn't work. I'll have to try it again on smaller needles.

So, at prayer shawl group, I worked on the cream mohair shawl being knit for a colleague's retirement. Only two rows to go, then bind off and weave in ends. It is late, so I'll take it to her house this week.

A friend e-mailed asking if I had something to donate for the Interfaith Hospitality Network auction. I do. A knitted white baby blanket. Glad I have it on hand.

Have just received a book of quotations for the Church Year. Lots of good stuff. I'm sure quotes will appear here.

Have a good week.

Friday, October 3, 2008




This has been a long week. The secular company I work for moved last week, so this week was spent unpacking (not done yet --- a long way to go!) and trouble-shooting move-related glitches (like getting the newspaper subscription changed --- still not solved). On top of which I've been trying to get rid of a minor cold.

One of the church prayer shawl groups is taking part in a fund-raiser later this year. The festival is based on fund-raisers that a group had in the late nineteenth, early twentieth century. In the minutes of that group, a seafoam shawl is mentioned. A number of us have tried to track down what this might have been. I discovered a knitted pattern called "seafoam," so I am going make a shawl out of it and donate it to the fund-raiser. The ps group meets tomorrow morning, so this evening I'm going to try to get through the pattern a few times so I can show it to the others.

I have so enjoyed reading others' blogs that today I decided to start this one. I hope to write on a regular basis.