Advent 1Ok, I've kept my chin up for the past few months about not being full-time employed in a parish, but I have to admit that not being "home" for Advent is a sadness I was unprepared for. I didn't realize how much I look forward to Advent until this morning, which was my last Sunday supplying at Church of the Good Shepherd. There's something about Advent in the church that you can't get anywhere else. I have no idea if/when I'm supplying again or where, and although there are various job opportunities in the offing, it's all very confusing. While I would not describe the past eleven years as easy, since the day I finally said to my friend Suzanne, "Ok, I give in, I'll join your discernment group," in many cases, while the path was not always clear, there would be one option presented to me. Or if multiple options, one always stood out clearly among the rest. There were signs, if I would just pay attention (another good Advent theme).
Being one half of a clergy couple confuses things, but only slightly. In fact I'm excited about the possibilities of new adventures wherever we end up, or even if we're led to stay here. I try not to think about these things too much and take it one day at a time, but let's just say it's taking a lot of chocolate and a fair amount of knitting.
Speaking of knitting, I have taught myself three, yes, three, new techniques this week.
First, I taught myself to knit in the round on double-pointed needles. There were some hilarious moments trying to get it all sorted out at the beginning, and the distinct sound of frogging acrylic yarn, but I finally did manage to cast on, sort to the appropriate needle, and get a couple of inches of ribbing on those puppies. I used a beer bottle cozy pattern out of the Knit Kit, but I only had size 8 needles, not the size 6 it called for. That's ok, there are really no call for beer bottle cozies in this household, anyway. It was more a sampler to learn the technique. I was very excited. David was bemused at this development and the kitties ignored me.
Secondly, I made one half of a pair of fingerless mittens out of Melanie Falick's Weekend Knitting. The sideways garter stitch ones. I committed the classic beginner error, although this was not apparent until the end. I have a lovely new red coat, which obviously needs black accessories to go with its black trim. The black Galway was fine through the short rowing, which went very well. It was not until the point when I was picking up stitches from the cast-on edge for the 3 needle bind-off (hey, that means I tried four new knitting techniques!)that I was cursing black yarn and black clergy clothing in general. Still, it is done and it is seamed together, although I'm not sure my seam could pass any sort of sniff test. Still, the total involvement of trying to pick up stitches with black wool kept me from thinking too much about more complicated issues.
One final note: after a viewing of Empire Strikes Back on DVD, let's just say that Han Solo still looks plenty good after all of those years. I don't regret spending a single dime on the bubble gum card Han shrine which still graces the room in which I spent my adolescence.