Saturday, September 29, 2007

Anemoi 2.0

There are not too many mitten patterns that I find worthwhile - but I really like Eunny Jang's pattern for the Anemoi Mittens. In fact, it's the only pattern (so far) that I've bought off the internet (Cheap? Yes. Discerning? Also yes. There's a lot of good free patterns out there!). This was my first pair of Anemois, finished at the end of April, just in time for...spring.

I loved the yarn (Koigu), and I loved the colorway of the variegated skein (I like to call it "Burnt Toast & Juniper"), but when I put it together with the cream, the swirls and the crosses on the back got kind of lost - I even tried switching which hand held which color, and it still came out a little muddy. They were my first fair-isle project, and my first time using Addi Turbos (sizes 2 and 1!), and I was very sad when I bound off the second thumb - no more Anemois!

When a friend at work expressed a desire to have a pair of her very own, I was happy to haggle with her (let's face it, they're fun, but if they're not for me or family, I'm not likely to want to do it for free). She's an excellent beader (beadress?), so I'm making this pair for her in exchange for a set of dangle-free stitch-markers (here's an example). I'm using Paton's Kroy, my trusty Addis, and I'm having a blast.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy birthday


...and after.

Happy birthday, precious baby girl. I'm loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And if you're here for yarn...

Behold, the beginnings of the Hemlock Blanket by Brooklyn Tweed. Knit on size 10 circulars with Cascade Indulgence. (Deets on Ravelry) Excuse my crappy digital pic - still learning how to photograph knitting.

Apparently, the only way I can do lace is by knitting the lace row, getting three stitches from the end and discovering I'm off by a stitch or two, ripping the row out and knitting it again. Invariably, the error is in the first repeat, when I should be paying attention to the chart and all. And may I just say that Feather & Fan is not my favorite lace pattern? I think it's so simple that I get cocky or something and screw it up. I'm loving the yarn, though! Alpaca and angora...mmm.
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Monday, September 10, 2007

Let's Jump Right In, Shall We?

Bub & Pie wrote a post today about the difficulty of staying committed to a church when they use guilt to talk you into doing stuff. My Hero and I have been having a similar discussion every Sunday around 12:15 about our church.

For us, the discussion is not so much about the guilt thing as it is just a general embarrassment issue. Why, for example, can't they spell-check the powerpoint? Or tell us where the nursery is (Doodle turns 1 in a couple weeks and I just found out I could drop her off - and we've been going there since before she was conceived!)? At first it was endearing: "Aw, look how down-home they are. Name-tags! Donuts! 'Life' instead of 'like'!". Now that we've been around for a while, we know that the name tags are worn by a handful of die-hard greeters, the donuts are leftovers that have been frozen since last week, and the spelling errors are plentiful.

The embarrassment lies in the fact that this stuff is, in our opinion, on the tacky side. We know that the intent is great but that the execution is amateur at best, pathetic at worst. It makes us reluctant to want to invite our friends - and this is where it gets sticky, every week. The emerging church movement serves to remind everyone that broadly speaking, people our age are looking for high-quality, technologically savvy "events" on a Sunday morning. While I don't agree with that entirely (I think a well-thought-out sermon can make up for a lack of movie clips and light shows), I do think that folks my age expect a degree of professionalism that may have not been necessary (or available) in the age of type-written, mimeographed bulletins - and are apt to write off the entire experience based on poor presentation. I don't think this is very nice of them (or - let's be honest - me), but it's been my experience, both in and out of church.

My struggle is whether it's shallow of me to base my willingness to invite friends (or, for that matter, my own attendance) on some bad powerpointing, or if a lack of attention to typos is somehow indicative of a deeper lack of attention to the lives of those within the congregation. Granted, we aren't very involved right now - I know that involvement increases one's feeling of inclusion - but we also aren't seeing much that's motivating us to get involved. Do I really want to drag other people into this? Do I want to stick around for it myself?

For the time being, we're staying put. We both know that church is not just about whether we think they're succeeding at making us feel good every week. It's a commitment, like B&P said, to a group of people who we may or may not agree with as far as what's Important on Sunday mornings, but who are part of the same body we are and who ardently desire to love and follow Christ. Just don't ask us to wear our nametags.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The way things should be

Autumn is my favorite season. Although daytime in the Mile-High City makes you think it's still summer, evenings and mornings tell a different story. It was 90 or so today, but the clouds have rolled in, rain is pattering on the skylight, and I'm debating about throwing an extra blanket on the bed. It's been down in the low 50s at night lately. I love it. I saw my first turning leaves today! August absolutely crawled by, but now that September's here, I can feel the change in the air - fall is right around the corner.

Before Doodle was born, I would wish that My Hero and I could spend evenings together, curled up on the couch reading in mutual silence, but we always wound up watching TV or trashing our perfectly good evening some other way. I would go to bed disappointed that I didn't get to have a quiet evening. But the baby has done great things for us! She goes to bed around 6 p.m. (thank you, Dr. Weissbluth!) and we're forced to stay in the house, being quiet. The TV is in the room adjacent to hers, so it's too much of a risk just to watch stupid sitcom reruns. Not that we tiptoe around the rest of the house, but it's easier to make a case for peacefulness when someone's sleeping downstairs.

So here we are: cooler temps, rain on the skylight, an empty ice cream bowl, and thee. How much better can it get?