FO: Another Hunter Street Cowl

Less than three weeks ago, I posted about my recently finished Hunter St. Cowl. It was purple and gorgeous, and I was in love. In fact, I was so in love that I turned around, picked my size 4 needles back up, grabbed another skein of fingering weight yarn, and set to work making a second Hunter St. Cowl.
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Yesterday, in the midst of a snow day, I finished my second Hunter St. Cowl. And I am still as in love as ever. I love the style, the pattern, everything. It’s stunning. Glenna has created a truly fabulous pattern.
IMG_1405 One of the great things about this pattern is that while it in and of itself is gorgeous, it allows you to showcase a fantastic yarn. And for me, that’s what this second cowl was about. Back in the fall, I purchased a skein of 75/25 fingering weight yarn from TanisEtsy shop. Now, I love TFA for their stunning colors. And I love their yarns. (Let’s not talk about how many projects I currently have on-needle that are using TFA yarns.) But this yarn was just a dream. It’s 75% merino wool and 25% silk. It’s soft and smooshy and cuddly and I’m pretty sure that it is somehow related to baby kittens. IMG_1406 And then there is the color. It’s a one-of-a-kind color, and I love it. While I was working on this project so many people commented on the color. The color is named “Green Sea” and my mom says that it looks exactly like seafoam should look. IMG_1407In short, I love this cowl. I foresee it getting used quite frequently especially once spring finally shows up. This really is a great spring color and style.

Project Details:

Pattern: Hunter Street Cowl by Glenna C.

Needle Size: US Size 4 (3.5mm)

Yarn: TFA 75/25 merino/silk fingering (green sea), an Etsy special from Tanis Fiber Arts

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In Gratitude

My dearest Papa Benedetto,

We have never met face-to-face and yet I love you so much. I have seen you a few times in my life-during the 2005 World Youth Day in your beloved Germany and on the feast of Christ the King in 2008 in Rome. I have prayed for you every Monday for the past three years-and on countless other occasions over the years.

I remember the day you were elected Pope. I’m sure that it made me happier than it did you. That “Habemus Papam,” the first of my life , filled me with such joy. You had comforted us so beautifully at the funeral of our beloved John Paul II when you reminded us of JPII’s constant refrain “Be not afraid.” And you have been the Papa of the Catholic Church for eight beautiful but difficult years. You have taught us about love and truth in difficult times. The name Benedict, the blessed one, has become incredibly important to me.

And today, you announced that you are resigning the Papacy effective February 28. You are stepping down for reasons that are good. I understand. And I pray that only the best will come to you. I pray for your successor, for the College of Cardinals who must listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit to choose your successor. I wish you well.

But I will miss you, your strong but gentle fatherly presence as our Papa. Blessed John Paul II was the Papa of my childhood. You are the Papa of my young adulthood, the Papa who educated me and led me into a fuller understanding of the faith. Your encyclicals strengthened and encouraged me. Your faith in Christ and your devotion to the people have inspired me. You have blessed me in so many ways.

You have been open to the work of God in your life. You have followed the Lord wherever he has led you. You have lived a life that is not the life you would have chosen for yourself because it is the life that God chose for you. You have shown us how to live humbly and how to follow the will of the Father. You have blessed us by your example and your willingness to follow the Lord.

Your name, Benedict, means the “blessed one,” but in truth we, the Catholic Church you have served with your life, we are the blessed ones. We have been blessed by your service, by your prayers, by your faith, by your wisdom, by your love. We have been so incredibly blessed by you-by your priesthood, by your years as a professor, by your time as a bishop, by your time as Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine of Faith, by your Papacy. You were called to be the Servant of the servants. You were called to serve. And you have served. You continue to serve. Knowing you, you will continue to serve until the day you are called home to the Father’s side.

God has used you to bless so many people. And we are so grateful both to him and to you for your openness to God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thank you. Thank you for everything. Papa Benedetto, on behalf of a grateful Church, thank you for your fidelity and your service. We love you and we will continue to pray for you. Pray for us.

And Father God, thank you for the gift and blessing of your servant, Benedict. Thank you all you have done in him and through him.

And Papa Benedetto, well done, good and faithful servant. Thank you for everything. We love you. We will continue to pray for you.

Be not afraid. Today is a happy day for you and for the Church. Once again, I must say the only thing I can say to you. Well done, good and faithful servant. Thank you for eight beautiful years. May you have many blessed years. Pray for us, Papa Benedetto. We will continue to pray for you.

With sincere love and gratitude,

Cecilia

To the greater glory of Christ and his Church

FO: Hunter St. Cowl

While having a Doctor Who marathon last night, I finished another project. The project is the Hunter St. Cowl (from Glenna C.) and the yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts blue label fingering weight in plumIMG_1373 As soon as I saw this pattern last spring, I knew that I had to have it. I bought the pattern in April, and I bought the yarn in October with every intention of making it then and there. But life got in the way, and I didn’t get the project started until January 18. But it’s done now, and I’m in love with it. In fact, I’m so in love with it that I have plans to make another one-in green. IMG_1374 The cowl took me one skein of yarn plus 1/100 yds. of a second skein to finish the bind-off. I love the feel of the yarn and the color. (The rest of that second skein is destined to become a pair of socks.) IMG_1380 IMG_1390 IMG_1395

Miranda Headband and Cowl

 

Today, I have a great pleasure of announcing to y’all that I have finally finalized and published a knitting pattern that I started working on almost a year ago. IMG_1358 Back in February of 2012, I started working on a pattern for a headband and a cowl that I had decided to name after Miranda, Prospero’s lovely daughter in Shakespeare’s delightful, ethereal (and Caribbean) play The Tempest. It took me a year to get everything together, but at long last, it is my great pleasure to announce that the Miranda Cowl and Headband patterns are now available for sale on Ravelry. (Cowl pattern here, headband pattern here, both together here)IMG_1360Both projects require a US size 9 (5.5mm) needle and bulky weight yarn. I used Knit Picks Full Circle Bulky for the red sample and Dream in Color Groovy for the purple sample. The headband requires about 50-60 yards of yarn and the cowl requires about 110.
IMG_1361 If you’re wondering how I combined a play set in the Caribbean with winter, it all comes from the dictionary definition of a tempest, which is “a violent windstorm, especially one with rain, hail, or snow.” Well, Shakespeare’s tempest had more to do with rain, but I live in Michigan. And while last winter wasn’t too snowy, I’ve already had three snow days in the past three weeks. In Michigan, we know what a tempest is all right. We just know different tempests than say those known by the folks in say Jamaica.IMG_1370 I then looked at the way Miranda is described in The Tempest. And when I saw this particular line, I knew that I had found the name for this cowl and headband set.

…But you, O you,
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature’s best!

-The Tempest, Act III, Scene 1

IMG_1327 So inside or outside, this set is designed to keep you warm and protect you from any and all tempests. IMG_1329 But sadly, I do not get to keep either of the samples. The red one must go back to its rightful owner and the purple one will be mailed to Pennsylvania tomorrow. Mercifully, I have a few skeins of bulky weight yarn in my stash yet so I can make myself a set. I love these two sample sets and I can’t wait to have one of my own.

IMG_1334So hop on over to Ravelry and check out the pattern pages!

P.S. Scroll back through my various pictures to see if you can spot my cutest employee photobombing my photoshoot.

Pre-Lenten Panic? Alleviated!

In my last blog post, dear blogophiles, I dealt with all of my panic related to my desperate search for a book to read for my morning meditations during Lent.

And then, this evening, I was listening to a talk when the speaker mentioned Thomas a Kempis’s The Imitation of Christ (Penguin Classics) and I immediately felt that this was the book that I was supposed to read during Lent. So upon my arrival home, I went online and bought myself a copy. I also bought myself a copy of Papa Benedetto’s Holy Women to read if/when I finish the Imitation before the end of Lent.

Praise God for a swift resolution to my panic!

The Pre-Lenten Panic

Dudes. We have a Problem. We have Trouble right here in (not) River City and it starts with an L and rhymes with Lent.

Lent starts in seven days for Eastern Christians following the Gregorian calendar and in nine days for Western Christians following that same calendar. Lent starts in seven days for me.

Cue the panic.

See, here’s the thing. Lent snuck up on me this year. Easter is “early” this year…although I feel weird saying that because it makes it seem like Jesus is rising from the dead earlier than previously planned/scheduled. But I digress.

Lent is beginning a mere nine days after the official end of the Christmas season. And while I’ve done some tentative thinking about what I want to do with my Lent this year, I’m not really certain what I want to do.

I know that I want to give up swearing. It’s become a real problem in my life, and it’s something I need to walk away from. However, it’s become a habit, and I need some serious grace to walk away from it. So, I know that I want to give up swearing. Now I have to figure out how to replace the swearing.

I also know that I want to pray for my students. And I think that this is (God willing) a way for me to replace the swearing. When I’m tempted to swear, I want to try to offer up a prayer either for all of my students or for a particular student who needs extra prayer.

However, I know that won’t totally get rid of the swearing, so I’m also looking for way to replace the shocked (pain/upset/shock) swearing. I’m looking at finding random words (like ash nazg…) to train myself to use.

But all of this will take grace.

The other sacrifice I want to make this Lent is giving up buying coffee/lattes/hot chocolate outside of the house. It’s a money drain. I did this during Advent, and it seemed to be good for me. In the end, I decided to donate the money I would have spent on lattes to my church. I’d like to do this again. It’s not a big sacrifice, but it’s a good one for me to make.

So those are my planned “big” sacrifices. I’ll continue with traditional fasting and abstinence as well as attending weekly Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts at my church. I might also look into making some sacrifices in my musical listening during Lent, but that’s not set in stone yet.

But my other annual Lenten pursuit is a book to read during Lent. I started this maybe four or five years ago. I picked a special book to read for my morning devotional that would help me to draw closer to Christ during Lent. I’ve read St. Francis DeSales’ Introduction to the Devout Life, Elisabeth Elliot’s Path of Loneliness, The: Finding Your Way Through the Wilderness to God, Papa Benedetto’s Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration and Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection.

But this year, I don’t know what to read. I already own Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, but it doesn’t seem like a very Lenten book to me. I’ve considered looking for something by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta or St. Francis DeSales. But nothing is really sticking out to me. And with seven days until Lent, I’m starting to panic about what book(s) I ought to read during Lent. Maybe I ought to read something about peace?

Please leave any and all Lenten book recommendations in the comments. Additionally, please feel free to comment about your own personal Lenten traditions.