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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Yarn Along: Nearly Finished

Amira's shawl is pretty close to being finished. I wanted to do about 14 - 16 repeats before working the border, but it looks like I'll need to stop at 13 repeats before the border, or I might run out of yarn. I'm on the 11th repeat. The good news is that means I will finish sooner, which means I can finish a swatch for a design submission and a sweater for Elijah and a sweater for me that's been almost finished for ten years.

A couple people have agreed to test knit Saint Helena, but I definitely wouldn't mind one or two more people to offer their perspective and criticism. It is knit in the round, using aran weight yarn, simple color changes such as striping and some minimal stranding, and can use bits and bobs left over from other projects quite easily. I have a facebook group to add you to if you are able to help me this way, and you can talk to other people working on it as well as me.

I also have another design that I'd like to get published in the next two to three months, if anyone is willing to take a shot at testing the knitting on this pattern. Ventus is pictured below in a miniature that I sent to IK for their Summer 2015 issue. It didn't get in, but I still really think it is a good design. This is a bit more complicated, knitted lace, with patterning on both sides. I made a doll sized version as my sample to send to them, but this would be sized for an adult. I'm still editing this pattern, so testing won't begin for about two to four weeks at the earliest. It is also an accessory item, a kerchief style headband, and shouldn't take more than a few nights once the basics of knitted lace are mastered.

Please e-mail me or leave a comment with contact information if you are interested in testing either of the patterns, telling me which of them you'd like to work on, or both, if I am so fortunate.

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish is finished and returned to the library. I've started another book, A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family, which I'm having mixed feelings about still. I like a lot of what she says, but there are some things that I just don't relate to at all, and those things have to do with her basic life view on certain topics and areas of family living, openness to life, and marriage. There were just some aspects of that that we could not sign on to individually or as a couple, but the financial information is pretty helpful and the ideas on how to make your time/space/home/money work for a large family are great. I also started reading A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, which I have been meaning to read for ages. The author is a man of a certain generation, right around my parents' age, who thinks that sharing elements of his sex life as a graduate student is essential to his narrative to give the reader an accurate picture of what kind of man he was to begin with. That put me off, and I can't wait for people to stop doing that. However, his thoughts on Austen, on her books and characters, truly are wonderful. I'm hoping that there will be no more digressions into his personal life in such detail. The point could have been made without it. He should take a page from Austen on subtlety.

Here is a quotation from the section on Bathsheba in Christ in His Saints, which I have also been continuing with this week:

In maintaining this institution of Queen Mother, the Kingdom of Judah resembled the political structures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and, most significantly, the Hittites. After all, the first and most famous of Judah's gebiroth was Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, who was herself likely a Hittite. She had originally been married to a Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3), anyway, and it is reasonable to suppose her familiar with the office of Queen Mother in Hittite polity. What seems obvious from the biblical text is that Bathsheba's actions and example (1 Kings 1:15-34) established the power and importance of the Queen Mother in Judah.

The true place of the Queen Mother in Holy Scripture is amply illustrated by comparing two texts relative to Bathsheba. In each of them she is pictured as entering the throne room to speak to the king. In the first of these she is described as coming into the presence of her husband, King David: "And Bathsheba bowed and did homage to the king" (1 Kings 1:16). In the second instance, she comes into the presence of Solomon, her son: "And the king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne and had a throne set for the king's mother; so she sat at his right hand" (2:19). A simple comparison of these texts indicates clearly the deference and honor with which a Davidic king expects his mother to be treated. If the king himself bows down before her, how much more his subjects?

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that Bible-believing Christians cultivate the deepest, most affectionate reverence for her of whose Son the angel said: "The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). She has fro the beginning been invoked as "the mother of my Lord" (1:43), and in their time of need believers have ever sought her intercession with her Son (John 2:1-11). As the Mother of Christ, she is mother to all who belong to Christ. They doubt not that forever in the kingdom of heaven she reigns as Queen and sovereign Lady, seated in glory at the right hand of great David's greater Son.

I like how Fr. Reardon takes what most traditional Christians know and shows the roots of it in the Scriptures as well as the figures in Scripture who serve as a type for us. He connects those seeds found in the Old Testament and connects them to the fruit we see in the New Testament. It helps to see some (not all or even, necessarily, the most important or the strongest, but showing even the smaller hints and links) of the whys behind what the Church has taught us.

In case you can't tell, I am thrilled to be reading more again. It's nice to give my mind such a treat.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On

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I am so slow at my own pattern designing...so much going on that keeps me from my needles as often as I'd like. Best wishes with your new patterns!
I am, too, actually. I just had one I'd been working on for a little while, and another that I had planned and started to write for a submission in September. :-)
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