Gradient Spinning

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I’m enjoying a return to spinning this holiday. First on the plate, plying the lovely Targheei bought my my long-time online friend Suzanne. I’ve finished two of the four 2oz skeins. I’m really happy with it!

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And I pulled out a favorite bump I’ve had marinating in the fiber stash for a while: Fiber Optics in the Dusty Plum to Olive gradient in merino silk. Yum!

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I’ve split it into two halves, and will spin a two-ply on my multiple-shaft spindle set:

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Lighting a Candle Against the Darkness

candle_Candle_light_4010As readers of the blog know, 2013 has not been a year that I will look back on fondly. It’s had its share of chaos and turbulence, of work and family griefs and upsets, of medical issues that will remain unnamed.

Along with the trials have been the blessings. I’ve learned who my friends are, about grace, and discovering new life out of death. I’m grateful for all who supported me this year in big and small ways.

Darkness there has been plenty of to go around. And just at the point of the darkest and longest nights of the year, I had a yen to do something that I hadn’t done all year – to light a candle.

I actually own a LOT of candles, whether it’s because I’m a pastor who uses them for worship centers, or just because I like them. But I hadn’t lit them at all this year. Until now.

Last night I lit one candle, and liked it. Then I lit another, and another, and still more, and turned down the lights, enjoying the flickering light that centuries of my ancestors knew as their only source of light in the darkness.

The gospel of John begins with what scholars call “the prologue” which I call “the poetry” – in this section is all the meat of the gospel laid out in metaphor so you will read the narrative knowing the story before you read (or hear) it.

“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

This season for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere we celebrate those various “candlelight” holy days as our metaphor reminder of the love (Love) in the world of hurt.

Tonight I’ll light many candles in the darkness, remembering one who brought much light and love to the world.

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May you receive light to shine your way in the world.

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The Final Push

We’re entering that last push of Christmas preparations. When I got to the checkout at my local Michael’s, the line was as long as I’ve ever seen it.

Mostly, I am ready, which is to say that if I keep doing a couple of things every day, it should go fine. I’ve got some dog and cat toys — fish for the kitties, and ducks for the dogs.

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I have no illusions that the dog toys will last very long, but it will be fun for them while they last.

Then, because I was teaching that lovely necklace class one last time before the end of the year, I thought, well, I can start one in class myself, and voila! another Christmas gift (with an hour or so knitting after class).

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Finally, while the last of the Christmas knitting came to an end, I decided to do a remix. I knit the ___ a while back using Malabrigo Rios in the Indiecita colorway. Unfortunately, the hat was a little small, and not the right shape for my head. I pulled out the yarn (a rarity for me) and reknit in a slouchy beret style that will be more flattering, and warmer to boot. It was a little small pre-blocking, but should be perfect with the final block on the dinner plate!

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Holiday Knitting Crunch – Not

Like a lot of knitters, I knit holiday gifts. The more I knit them, the earlier I start – I used to start around October, but that usually was crazyland, so in fact I’ve been knitting gifts since August (with the help of a fractured ankle that reduced my activity by quite a bit).

Now that the holidays are upon us (and even in the midst of, counting Hanukkah), I finally looked at my gift and giftee list, and came up with three projects:

– 2 hats for boyfriends of younger cousins (I’m using Jared Flood’s Turn a Square) pattern in some tweedy stuff and silk garden). I started this one last night – it’s pretty fast – I did this in about 2 hours

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– and one more Gatsby necklace (unstarted)

Speaking of the Gatsby necklace, If you are local and would like to get in on the last-minute giftedness of the Gatsby necklace, I’m teaching it twice in the next week at Bluebird.

Sunday, November 8th – 1 pm, and

Tuesday, November 10th – 1 pm.

Call Bluebird Yarn and Fiber at 415-331-9276 to reserve your spot.

But back to gift knitting – I’m really relieved that I didn’t pile on the knitted gifts this year – I am working on a sweater for my cousin with Customfit, but that is really a long-term knit, so I don’t feel I have to finish by Christmas.

How about you? What’s your knit-gift strategy this year?

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