WIP Wednesday: Lilacs and Ashes

Greetings to you on this Ash Wednesday. In a few short hours, I’ll be joining the throngs headed to nearby churches to receive a smudge of ashes upon my brow. It will be the first time for me, though I’ve participated independently in Lent for the last few years. I will probably address that in a blog post tonight. In the mean time, it’s time for my weekly progress update, the link up at Ginny’s Yarn Along, and perhaps a poem.

Here’s what I’m working on:

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The Books

On top of my stack is the latest release (as in yesterday) by one of my favorite authors, Laurie R. King. Dreaming Spies is the latest book in her “Mary Russell” series, which follows the adventures of a young woman named Mary and the greatest detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.  I’d recommend these books to anyone, even if you don’t think you’re a fan of Mystery or Sherlock Holmes. The books are cleverly written in Mary’s exquisitely intelligent and witty voice. I just love them! Obviously I can’t vouch for this one yet, having only bought it yesterday, but I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. There are now 13 books in the series and, if you are interested, I would definitely begin at the beginning with Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I even would (and have) reccomend that book for older children (6th grade) who are very high readers and need a challenge without some of the themes and subject matter books at their level might contain.

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The second book in my stack is the book I’ve chosen for Lent this year, God For Us. It’s the companion to God With Us, the book I spoke of during Advent. Both books feature daily readings supplemented with gorgeous art and both contain history readings on the different feast and fast days associated with their season. I found the latter part the most appealing this season since many of the feasts and fasts are brand new to me. Also, did I mention the art?

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Speaking of fasting, that brings me to the book on the bottom of my stack. I decided for Lent this year to break my reliance on most store-bought, prepackaged carbs…which I hate to admit are a staple of my diet. This would include most bread. I have tried to make my own, and failed dismally. However, Monday night I was catching up on a blog I follow (eroosje), and came across her recent post about the master recipe from a bread book. The next morning found me at Barnes & Noble buying the book and Cost Plus World Market buying a peel! I can’t wait to get started! I’m sure I’ll be blogging my successes and failures in the weeks to come. Stay tuned!

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It might seem a little decadent for baking my own bread to be my Lenten practice, but I see it as a return to simplicity and being mindful (dare I say a little ritualistic?) of “my daily bread” and from Whom it comes.

The Needles

One year ago, I knit a bloom.

The prettiest you ever did see.

‘Twas for Lexie, my friends’ little lass,

And is half as lovely as she!

Now eleven months old, and quite a bit bigger

The dress now a shirt, you can see

She’s really outgrown it

‘Tis time for another

I think that you all will agree!

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On my needles is Lexie’s new “bloom.” It is the same color and yarn, but DK vs Fingering weight. It should fit her for a few years to come.

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Have a blessed Ash Wednesday. If you wander back in here in a few hours, I may add a photo of my smudged forehead.

~Janet

WIP Wednesday: On My Hook, On My Needles, and In My Lap

It’s time for my weekly link-up with Ginny over at Small Things.  I think this is my sixth Yarn Along post. I do really enjoy it. Each week it seems I discover a new blog or a new pattern I want to try. It seems my weeks just fly by! One would think that, as a single working woman, I would have more free time. I worked six nights last week, though, and “free time” wasn’t always “free.” That affected my crafting and reading time, of course.

Anyway, on with the post!

The Hook

This is starting to sound a little redundant, but I’m still working along on my afghan, or my “Magnum Opus” as I like to call it. I missed my challenge deadline of having 23 squares totally completed. No matter, I plan on working on it in earnest in the coming weeks. I would like to be able to use it this Winter, at least for a little while. I don’t have a new photo, but here’s a peek into that tote I mentioned a couple weeks ago.

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The Book

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I’m not sure why I keep taking pictures of Bonhoeffer when I haven’t touched all week. Maybe to remind myself to get on it! The next book club meeting is the 14th.

The “book” I did read this week was that voters’ pamphlet. Did you vote yesterday? To be perfectly honest, I didn’t care much about who was running in my area, but that didn’t stop me from doing my civic duty and voting. I won’t tell you how or for whom I voted. My political views are my own business. I’m actually not sure how the election went. There were a couple of initiatives I was particularly interested in, so I should at least check those out. The point is that I voted, and I hope you did, too, regardless of how.

The Needles

In case you missed it, I finished the monster I was knitting for Louise. Now I’ve moved on to knitting a baby blanket for a friend of a friend.

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Doesn’t look much like a blanket, does it? It’s a Pinwheel Baby Blanket. It is started with six stitches and is worked completely in the round, increasing every other row. You can see the radial yarn-over lines in the photo. It’s my favorite baby blanket to knit because it’s so easy and is different than a “normal” blanket. Because it is knit in the round, there is no purling until the edging and no flipping your work over to knit back and forth. Any yarn will work, and you just knit until it’s a size you like. The pattern is actually rather easy. Once you get beyond the beginning and use stitch markers, you don’t even have to think. Great TV or church knitting! (Yes, I knit in church. 😉 )

There are 10 radii forming 10 sections. Currently, I have 24 stitches per sectionsection for a total of 240 stitches. It’s about 24 inches across at this point. I only have one skein of this yarn (discontinued), but I think I can get it to 30 inches.

The Lap

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When I started this post, this was the view of my lap. Jasper in his favorite spot. He moved after I got a little too excited while watching the soccer (futbol/football) game that was on.

Now the game is over (Liverpool lost 😦 ), this post is done 😉 , and it’s bedtime for this night nurse. Well, as soon as I link up to the Yarn Along, that is.

Have a great rest of your day!

~Janet

Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday: In The Beginning

Howdy, and welcome to Slender Threads! I think it is very appropriate that my first post on my new blog occurs on WIP Wednesday. This blog is definitely a work in progress at the moment. Please pardon the dust. It’s highly likely that it won’t look the same next time you visit.  😉 Heck, I might even have the “About” section completed, or, at least, will properly introduce myself.

One of my main reasons for starting this blog was to be able to participate in the weekly Yarn Along over at Small Things, a blog by Ginny Sheller that I’ve come to enjoy. You should check it out. Really.

Each Wednesday, Ginny invites her readers to share our current WIPs and the books we are reading. Without further ado, I shall do that.

The Hook:

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I’m slowly crocheting a full-sized, granny square afghan for my bed. I currently have 5 squares completely done (all the end bits taken care of) and another 6 squares that are just needing the ends finished. So, that’s 11 squares out of the 90 I figure I’ll need. What am I thinking??!!  At least the squares are ridiculously easy and make good TV crocheting.

The Book:

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I’m currently reading Divergent again. I finally checked the out the rest of the series from the library, but discovered that it really had been too long since I’d read the first book and needed a refresher. It’s just as good as it was the first time, especially since I’ve forgotten so many of the details that it might as well be the first time.

Bonhoeffer is what the book club at my church is reading. We are meeting on 10/10 to discuss the first half. I only found out about it on Sunday and have not started it yet. I’ll let you know how it’s going next week.

The Needles:

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I’m just about done with my third Bloom. I can’t show any more of it though as it’s a gift and the recipient just might be reading. I’ll post pics on a Finished Object Friday after the gift has been given. I promise.

That should about do it for this, my first, post. Do check back. I’m not sure what all this blog will be, but it’s bound to be interesting.  😉

~Janet