Monday, March 24, 2008

Thank goodness Lent is over.

The final total for Lent:

22 hats.

And this:

My Lenten discipline was knitting for others. I would take a break from the hats with the log cabining.

Did I mention I was glad it was Easter? It was a good discipline and I'm glad I made myself stick it out, but I'm glad to be doing other things now.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Unintended Consequences

It occurred to me, this evening, as I ran up the stairs to answer my cell phone, that there is one drawback to having the orchestral version of the James Bond theme as your default ringtone when one is actually watching a James Bond movie on television. It took me a minute to realize it was my phone ringing and not the soundtrack.

Dum da da da dum dum dum. . .dum da da da dum dum dum

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I broke the Internet, selfish knitting, and other stories

Ok, it wasn't that dramatic. But I came home last Thursday and settled myself at my home office chair when I discovered the lights on our modem were blinking in an unhelpful fashion. As in blinking red.

An hour later, having run around the house, carrying the cordless phone on speaker so Tech Support could guide me in testing to see what was wrong, plugging the modem into various outlets to see if it was dead (It's dead, Jim), looking for a paper clip to press the reset button, I was wondering just exactly how all this technology was improving my life.

Oh, yeah, because without it, I couldn't surf Ravelry.

And I couldn't run upstairs and digest the latest episode of Lost with Paula. (Although since the last episode was marked by a dearth of Sawyer, I couldn't just repeat over and over "Sawyer. Hawwwwt." So the loss of the modem didn't interfere in that usual Thursday night ritual).

Obsessive hat knitting continued, through an ECW Board meeting in Tulsa, through Knit In at Gourmet Yarn, through our Sunday morning adult forum. (Hey, we're watching a video on the history of Christianity--it's legit). I'm also working on a baby blanket for an impending great-nephew on husband's side--it's one of those log cabin baby blankets by the those women at Mason-Dixon. When I lost my hat mojo for a couple of days, some plain old garter stitch got me back on track. I am now in the biggest block of all--108 rows of 108 garter stitches. I can only work on that in small doses.

I promised myself that this Lent I would knit for others. I tend to be somewhat of a selfish knitter. It's not that I don't give my knitted items away, it's just that I tend to knit what pleases me. Sometimes it turns out afterwards it works as a gift. I tended to shy away from charity knitting, especially when my wrist wasn't happy. I was knitting so slowly then that I felt awkward about trying to make deadlines.

Now I have a new laptop with a better keyboard (yay!) and can do more knitting again. But I was still resistant. Then I knit a couple of small sock yarn squares for a blanket that MasonDixon was putting together as a fundraiser. Then I spotted the 4000 Hats thing after I had cast on for the baby blanket. So I committed to knitting for others as my Lenten practice. And may have gone a tad overboard on the hats in the process.

Over the weekend I found myself hitting a spiritual wall. I was desperate to cast on something for myself. I had done all sorts of Ravelry browsing and bookmarked patterns for stash busting, and I so badly wanted to start casting things on. Stuff for me.

It's not that I think I'm going to go to hell if I fail at a Lenten discipline (for goodness' sake, I've failed at so many Lenten disciplines in the past, God would have a long list to choose from at this point). But I was struck at how I was tempted to give up even something as simple as the practice I had chosen and which I was enjoying. This wasn't like being tempted to have some chocolate at the 3rd week of Lent marker (see under "failed Lenten discipline"). This wasn't deprivation. I was having fun with the hats and the baby blanket.

I made it through the temptation but I found it heartily instructive. If it's so easy to be tempted to give up a small Lenten practice which isn't even onerous, how on earth do we train ourselves for "the race that is set before us?"

(I think that's where that whole grace and mercy thing come in).