Thursday, November 15, 2012

Knitting: the Good, and the Bad & Ugly

I'm still knitting, even if I haven't talked much about it lately. I'll never have anywhere near the amount of knitted presents to give this year as I did last year, but I'm all right with that. Since Christmas means celebrating Jesus, not knitting, I am putting less and less emphasis on gifts. The more sorrow and suffering I see in the world, the more my eyes are on Jesus, the Hope of Christmas, and the less important presents tend to be. But, since we still do want to give gifts that show people we love them, here's what I've been working on for our brother in law who is serving a year's deployment in Korea.

It's the 'good' of my recent work. The body of the socks is in this yarn, below, Opal Rainforest VIII, color: Mr Breakdance. Fun, right? Looks more like Mr Blue Jeans to me.

The remainder, the heels and toes, is in Berroco Comfort Sock, color 1810. I like that it looks sort of camouflage. I started calling the socks Polish Pottery because of all the pretty flecks and variations. Now for the bad and ugly.

I'm not sure the picture does justice to how bad it really looks. Recently I've gotten a couple of books on circular knitting and instructions on toe-up socks. I used what I had extra in my yarn box for this project, discontinued Mission Falls wool. I didn't have enough for two socks, so they were probably doomed from the start. But I was concentrating on the instructions. I didn't worry about how bulky and ugly the sock was getting, I was trying the stranded-work ( using two colors at once). To top it off, the leg opening is tight, so there is no one on earth who will want to wear it. But, for now I'm going to keep it in my knitting box to remember my first toe-up project.

Here's some more delightful yarn I got from ebay last week. This variation of, Opal is color 6231, Mrs Flamenco. Don't you love the names they come up with? And, there's more yarn on the way! I may not have time to use it before Christmas but if Jesus tarries, this one will still make lovely birthday socks for the niece who loves purple, come spring.

Though I usually grouch at stores bringing Christmas things out too early, I cheered as we went by our town workers assembling a giant lighted tree this morning. With news of our country in peril and war around the world, more than ever I feel need of the Hope of Christmas. Bring those trees and lights out, I say. I need reminding: this world is not our home. Jesus has come and will come again. In the meantime, I'm working on gifts, and just maybe I can get a few more done by Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veterans' Day

It was a glorious weekend for us. The Pres got home from his trip and had four days off. Especially after receiving him home safely it was a sobering time to observe Veterans' Day, knowing there are multitudes of faithful Americans who have given their lives for our freedom.

 We went to the aquarium twice this weekend. The first time we saw the ocean life building. The second time we got to see the new exhibit about the giant extinct shark Megalodon as well as the Marsh Pavilion.

The weather was gorgeous and warm for November. Along the nature walk we took advantage of the several boardwalks along Owls Creek, and an observation tower.

Fig didn't stick around long enough to see much through these viewers but the Pres spotted a kingfisher as it swooped down on a fish and brought it back to a tree to eat it.

I had felt troubled this week but still at peace. It was so good for the soul to get out into God's creation and feel Him near, and know He is faithful, no matter what is going on in politics. Our land is beautiful, we are blessed, and there is still hope for the people of God. 

It was a triumph to remain at peace in the past week, after struggling a couple of years with anxiety. Lately I have been comforted by Bible reading, God's closeness in prayer, and the counsel of good friends.

If there's one thing we know, it's that the enemy wants to rob us of our joy. But it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. And we know the end of the story: Jesus wins.

So we enjoyed our freedom, taking in the sunshine, watching a red tail hawk devouring a squirrel;

following the juvenile otter all around his tank;

and a screech owl hidden in a bush in the outdoor aviary was fascinating to watch.

Here was a quiet tank with a few little fish and hermit crabs. It was meditative to watch them go about their watery day.

We love the harbor seals. You can lose yourself in just enjoying these animals frolic. Fig chased them up and down the tank.

Living free, enjoying simple pleasures with family, I feel more than ever how short our time here on earth is and how precious these times are. I never want to take them for granted. God is good.