Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Knitting Conversations
As y'all know (if you know me or read this blog regularly), I knit while riding the city bus.  Most of the time, I knit socks or small projects that are easily portable in my purse.  At the moment, I'm knitting the above Fair-Isle cardigan for myself.  No, it does not fit in my purse any more as I've nearly completed the body of the sweater, and so I'm forced to carry a separate 'knitting bag' on my way to and from work.  It always amazes ... and amuses ... me the conversations that arise between me and other bus riders as they see me knitting.  This morning, I had the most AMAZING conversation with a four year old (she was riding with her Gramma).

Well, an ALMOST four year old ... her fourth birthday is officially next week.  What a thoughtful and articulate little person!

First, she wanted to know what I was knitting.  Her mum knits too.  Her mum knits lots of scarves.

Then, she wanted to know why my 'knitting sticks' didn't have round 'buttons' on the ends like her mum's knitting sticks.  (Very observant!)  I explained that I was knitting with a circular needle.  (This is the point in most knitting conversations where non-knitting adults' eyes glaze over.)  Naturally, she wanted to know WHY I was knitting with a circular needle instead of sticks with round buttons on the ends.  I explained that I was knitting a sweater around and around and around instead of a flat scarf back and forth, back and forth.  She paused for a moment with a serious look of concentration on her face, then announced this made perfect sense as when she puts on a pullover sweater, it's basically getting into a circle with another circle for one arm and still another circle for her other arm.  WOWZERS!  Few adults grasp that concept at all, never mind after a brief moment of consideration!

Finally, she wanted to know did I have 'colours' in my knitting bag and if so, could she feel the colours.  That's her favourite thing when her mum knits.  I had 5 or 6 skeins of wool in my bag, each a different colour as there are 22 different colours in my sweater.  So she held up each skein of wool, rubbed it against her cheek and pronounced the blue the softest, yellow the happiest, and that the orange was clearly laughing.  I shall always remember that when wearing my completed sweater!

After her and Gramma got off the bus, I had two more knitting conversations with two different adults ... neither as enlightening or delightful as my conversation with that four year old!

Sorry, no photos of knitting projects in progress ... my little digital camera is not playing nice at present, even though I went and bought it a new rechargable battery.  Perhaps I've worn out the 'button' as it is refusing to 'turn on'.  I did manage to catch this picture with my cell phone ...
Mizz Bootz likes to nap in my lap while I'm knitting (it's cozy underneath the wool).  She discovered one of the joys of circular knitting needles is a HOLE in the middle of the knitting ... PERFECT for the cat to pop up through!  Hmmm ... the hu-mom thinks knitting around and around a cat is a bit challenging ... especially when the cat decides to 'help'!

Did you follow coverage of Miss Whitney Houston's funeral this past week?  I don't own a television, so did not follow it personally, although couldn't avoid various conversations about it.  Whitney and I had something in common.  We both sang in Church Choirs as youngsters (although I will clearly never receive awards for my musical talents).  I was told someone speaking at her funeral service stated that Whitney had 'come home', and that got me to thinking about churches and church 'homes'.  This is a subject I often struggle with. 

I do believe that belonging and participating in a church community (or 'home') is valuable, even necessary.  I don't believe the name over the church door (denomination, branch) is important so long as that church community provides support and belonging.  I do believe in a Creator (and a bunch of other 'stuff'), but I don't believe any particular 'path' to be the ONLY way.  In fact, any religion or branch of any religion that claims their particular brand or set of rules or 'path' is the only way to anywhere sends me RUNNING in the opposite direction!  I was raised up Pentecostal.  They scare the crap out of me.  I married a Roman Catholic and converted to Catholicism.  They annoy the crap out of me.  I've tiptoed in and out of a half dozen other church doors over the years, but haven't found a church 'home' recently.  I guess you could say I've been 'homeless' in the church department for several years now.

This was the first Catholic Church I had ever entered,
and the first non-Pentecostal service I ever attended.
St Gregory's Catholic Mission.
It was so quiet inside.  The service was so peaceful.
I felt 'at home' instantly and have never forgotten that sensation,
even though the service was in Latin
and I couldn't understand the words.
(Photo by Dora Stelkia James)
One of our volunteers encouraged me to give our local Anglican Church another try as there is a new priest, so last weekend I did just that.  It wasn't 'home' ... but I'm willing to go back and try it again.  In fact, I'm going to go back tonight for the Ash Wednesday service and plan to devote this year's Lenten journey to thinking about this whole 'church home' subject.  It feels like an appropriate time to address this in my life.  Any thoughts, y'all?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

February 1, 2012

In case y'all haven't noticed, I have taken a wee blogging break.  Just couldn't think of anything to write ... actually sat and stared at an empty "New Post" screen several times over the past month and nothing happened.  So why is today different?  Who knows!  Maybe the weather has improved -- it was minus 40 for a while there -- and thus the creative juices are flowing better?  Maybe I was just recovering from our December Christmas hampers for low-income seniors rush at work?
About 160 hampers this past Christmas! 
Our office was WALL TO WALL hampers!

So how was your January?  Mine was very busy! 

At work, I'm adjusting to new work hours -- 4 days per week but longer days so no change in overall hours -- as well as supervising 2 practicum students.  I heart practicum students -- but bless their little pee-picking practicum souls, they do take up a big whack of my days!  However, both are incredibly gifted and both have fit in with our existing staff and routines really well. 

At home, I'm adjusting to new work hours -- that means I now have permanent 3 day weekends as I'm off Fridays.  I heart 3 day weekends -- although the first couple of weekends, I wasted the extra day at home by lounging about in my jammies!  My goal was to have one day per week to work on my Aromatherapy course.  I've only succeeded on using my Friday for that purpose once so far, so I had better pull up socks in that department!

I've been knitting like mad -- photos of my current project, a reversible wrap, coming soon (as soon as I break down and buy a new battery for my digital camera).  Miss Boots HEARTS the reversible wrap project big time as it's large enough to create a cozy napping place when on my lap. 

Yup, that lump under my knitting is kontented kitty.  She has NOT been impressed with our winter weather as both the cold and snow have kept her indoors and unable to survey/control her Queendom from our balcony. 

Did you know Miss Boots has very HAIRY feet? 

Is this normal???
I have to get my current knitting project finished real soon cuz I ordered myself a kit to knit this:
Twenty-two colours!  Yum!  The finished product might not look THAT curvaceous on moi, though.  You know what the interesting thing will be about this new project?  It's SEAMLESS ... that means it's knitted in one tubular piece without front or armhole openings ... that means there are STEEKS in my future!  Yikes -- taking a pair of scissors to my knitting!  I'll keep you posted -- hopefully with photos of all the gory details.