Sunday, February 10, 2008

This is the day that the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be crafting in it.

I had a very less than minor miracle today, so the borrowing and...adapting of the above biblical quote seemed more than appropriate.

(And for those of you who are about to point out that I previously posted two blogs that were sneakily dated after this blog (at my original site) and therefore I'm not really rejoicing on Sunday as it is in all actuality Saturday a week later, I have only to say that my blog--old and new--lets me put whatever day I want to on the post and that I am still experiencing leftover bliss from last Sunday so it's perfectly legit to still be rejoicing and that I don't need to hear a word about my time management schedule, thank you oh so very much. Do not stomp on a chica's rejoicing.)

It started out innocuously enough. Two of the kids (Thing Two and Thing Three, as they shall here be named—anyone who has read Cat in the Hat will understand this immediately) are in a group called Hands of Praise, which puts on pretty funny puppet shows to some funky music that would have never made it into my church when I was kid.

(I was raised in a German Lutheran church. If you're one, you understand. If you're not, let's just say that German Lutherans of the traditional stripe feel most comfortable with speaking in unison, singing songs at an octave that only a bat could hear, and would never, ever dream of interrupting the minister with a, "Praise God" or even an, "Amen to that," while the minister is speaking. Never. That would be impolite, after all.)

The last song the puppet team performed to was pretty fun, as it pointed out all the womanizing, drinking and other such problems of the major heroes and heroines of the Bible (before some of you fall over from shock due to reading this, the entire point of the song was that God accepts people for what they are and uses them for His purposes, just as He finds them. Imagine. Acceptance and tolerance and grace given, no matter what. No judgment because someone is not like you—and considering He's God and we're not and never can be, that's very compassionate of him, don't you think? Ohhhh, compassion. Perhaps that's a concept we should all mull over for awhile…).

But I digress. I come to these Sunday night practices with plenty to do, for both myself and others, because while Thing Two and Thing Three practice, Thing One and Thing Four are at loose ends. Then Thing One goes to youth group, and the other three are left to entertain (as it seems pointless and wasteful to make four trips back and forth, we only make the two and all go along for the ride.).

Anyway, while youth group was doing group stuff of a youthish nature, and while Things Three and Four played some only slightly loud imaginary game in the large entryway next to the sanctuary (as the minister didn't clutch at his chest and go white, I imagine said game's less than holy origins were still okay for church), I knitted my swatch for the pretty, pretty sock yarn. Thing Two was sitting beside me, getting her reading interrupted by my happiness over my rosewood dpns. I was in share the joy mode, you know?

She responded with a, "Well, I'm glad I remembered them at Christmas for you then," in the slow sort of tone you use with the mentally deranged. Clearly, she was not getting it. I pushed the needles between her nose and her book and said, "But feel them!" She tried, oh so heroically for a 13-year-old gir, to stifle her sigh and randomly stuck out her hand to feel the needles.

That's when it happened. There was a sudden, warm glow of light that could only be from Heaven falling on my daughter and from far away there were beautiful angelic voices that were clearly singing nothing found in the traditional Lutheran hymnal and….

Okay. So not really. But the kid's expression did it all. She looked up. She looked at me (if you're a parent, you understand the significance of that). Then she said it. "Those do feel good. Can I try a few stitches?"

Can I try a few stitches?

Please understand that when mom took up knitting, Thing Two was very excited. Being the only girls in the house (even the dog was a guy), we immediately invented mom and me knit nights, which consisted of kicking out all the guys from my bedroom and holing up with a movie we'd seen a million times, armed with herbal tea and popcorn or chocolate, knitting and giggling on my bed. Only she really couldn't find anything she wanted to knit. Nothing. She's not a girly girl, she gagged at the thought of pink purses, and she wasn't ready for knitting complicated stuffed wolves or penguins or such cool animals (she goes for realism and scoffed at the simpler patterns). The knitting languished on the needles.

Then mom (that would be me) decided, in a perfectly logical way, that since I had two whole granny squares crocheted, not to mention one bird made of the sadistically named "fun fur" (Yes, knitters, I'd crossed over. Please note the name of the blog.) that it was sensible for me to not only crochet this for my best friend in the world's first baby:

but that it was also permissible to change the colors to match the baby's room and oh since they were doing a dinosaur motif that those teddy bears could go too and I could make up my own pattern for the dinos right??? Which produced this:

(That is Thing Three's conception of Flat Stanley next to the blanket. Stanley admired the blanket and wanted to be a part of the pic. Note Stanley's totally cool variegated purple scarf.)

And as my friend produced this:

all those hours spent with white rectangles that were enough to make me leave a large depression in the wall where I banged my head endlessly were worth it. The permanent twitch in my eyelid means nothing, Owyn. Just ignore that about your honorary auntie, there's a pet.

(We'll also ignore that said blanket arrived a tad after Owyn. Good things come to those who wait, right?).

Yes, all this…enthusiasm…mom displayed convinced Thing Two that crochet was the way to go, not knitting. (Forgive her. She was young, and one hook seemed less complicated than two needles). She even found a project she was excited about. A ladybug pot holder for Thing Four's teacher, whose class was called (you guessed it) the ladybugs. (Thing Four had been hoping to be a frog, because the frog teacher wore seriously cool ties that lit up, but he loved his ladybug teacher just as well). We went to our then-LYS and with the help of the wonderful Darrin (scroll down to see her), we bought Dale of Norway wool (who wants a potholder that melts in an acrylic sort of way, after all?) and Thing Two produced this:

(please note that she insisted that she "do this on my own—I'm big enough.")

When it was done, she looked thoughtfully at it. Then she looked at me. Then she expressed her opinion about her work.

"Crochet is evil, mom."

She's banned all hooks from her presence ever since. (Well, except for my cool light up hook. But that's a post for another day.) Die-hard crocheters, don't despair. I'm about to learn Tunisian, so I have one last chance to er, hook her.

Our girls' night title changed. They became craft nights, and she went back to latch hook. I consoled myself that there was still yarn involved even if it had been mercilessly snipped into tiny pieces.

So, can I try a few stitches was big. Earth shaking, I-expected-cracks-to-form-in-the-walls-of-the-sanctuary-from-the-tremors big. I handed over the itty bitty needles and the thin yarn and tried to look calm and collected (note: it didn't work). She tentatively did one stitch. Then another, then another.

"Do you have bigger needles that are rosewoods, mom? I think I'd like to try knitting again."

The sanctuary swam before me. I tried to look nonchalant. Thing Three was having none of it. Thing Three rolled her eyes, laughed and said, "Be a goof and celebrate. I know you want to."

I did. As none of the youths who were grouping noticed, she seemed more bemused then mortified.

Like any good addict (mother. Did I not say mother? I meant mother.), the minute we got home, I proceeded to drag her upstairs to choose from my small but much loved collection of rosewoods.*

She actually picked the pair that were not rosewoods, but some other hardwood. That was ok. That was fine. Then the flu hit her (that's two to get it; two more to go), rending her unwilling to cast on.

But that's okay. I am patient.

There is no such thing as an incomplete miracle, after all.

*small aside. I know that, from an environmental standpoint, from the standpoint of a woman who would freak if she ever put out a trash container that was bigger than her recyclables bin on pick up day and who can't wait to live where she can have a garden and a compost heap, thus reducing trash even more, that rosewoods are not a good idea. That some species of rosewood (hopefully not the ones mine are made of) are endangered. I know that. I feel like Elizabeth Zimmerman with her tortoise shell and ivory needles. They are something to be treasured if you already have them, but not purchased. But I also know I love them to distraction. So if any of you can tell me of anything other hardwoods that have the same, almost oily, feel in the hands as rosewoods (and I can already tell you that bamboo and sustainably harvested Brittanys don't) please tell me.

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