Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mary & Martha Revisited

I've been reading a book on Junia, the female Apostle. It's been eye opening into how women's roles really were in the time of Jesus and and the Apostles and how it's changed in the church through the ages. There was just a little blip of information referring to Jesus teaching Mary when suddenly I had one of those "aha" moments.

The story of Mary and Martha has usually been told to me that it was a sister vs. sister exchange. If you don't know the story, you can easily find it by googling. The moral has always been relayed to me that Martha has lost focus and got into too much busyness instead of listening to Jesus' voice. Yes, I'm simplifying it a bit, but that's it in a nutshell. So many ladies luncheons, retreats, women's workshops, refer to this sisterly squabble and all mostly with the same moral. This story has been distilled into an application of how women get too busy with their homes and lives and lose focus. Was that what Jesus was really doing all those years ago? Saving this story for us so in our modern day, we can see who we identified more with?

But tonight, I saw it differently. This isn't to say that there aren't valid points to Martha losing her focus or being too busy. But perhaps, there is a greater point to the whole story. Mary wasn't merely sitting at Jesus' feet listening, she was a student of Jesus, learning just like the disciples and other men. Perhaps Martha wasn't the only one annoyed by Mary's presence, this wasn't where women were supposed to be. Men in the room may also have given her chastised looks. They were most likely waiting for Jesus to say something to her. In this time, women were silent, they didn't mingle with men. This wasn't only not the right role for a woman, it probably wasn't completely proper.

Martha's objection wasn't merely because she was stressed and busy with preparations. She was frustrated that Jesus was allowing her sister to be in a man's role. A woman's place was serving, not learning from a Rabbi. By her voiced objection to her sister's action, she was allowing Jesus a tactful way of putting Mary back in her place. Either that, or she was verbally chastising her sister in front of others when she felt she had no other choice to voice her discontent.

The argument here is about the role of women. It is expected that they cook and serve, it's not expected that they learn as a man would. Jesus did not bow to the cultural expectations and tell Mary that yes, she ought to go into the kitchen and help out. Instead, he affirmed her desire to learn at his feet and that it was a better thing to do. Mary could sit with the men and learn as they did. Though this may not have been a first, it was a rarity especially as he was a guest. Mary desired to learn from Jesus more than her duty as hostess to serve him. She was bold in her move to stay and listen with the men and guests. She knew that if food was needed, he could supply from their stores. She was an equal to the men learning from Jesus.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dream of Diamonds

Last night (Sunday night/Monday morning) I dreamt that I was at this place where a contest was going on. It was a little odd to think back on it now, because I was a man in the dream and I'm not one IRL.

Somehow, a contest got going that whoever was able to shoot a diamond on the roof of the man's house, could marry his daughter. By "shoot" I mean, it was with a gun. First of all, you needed to have good aim, secondly, you needed a diamond and thirdly, you had to figure out how to make that diamond stay on the slanted roof and not fall off.

I drove off to my SIL's house and asked if she had a diamond I could use. She found one for me, it was a beautiful round cut in a silver setting. It also had this light attached to it that made the diamond glow blue when you turned it on. I thought it was rather a garrish feature but may come in handy when I shot it on the roof - that way I could prove for sure that it was my diamond that made it there.

On the way back, I remember looking back down the hill that I had driven up from. It was a snowy day and I could see a few blocks of the city. A black light truck drove around a corner, skipped sideways and then rolled over. This was a reminder to me of how soon an accident could happen and could stop all your plans (i.e. shooting a diamond on a roof).

I got back to the place where the guys were trying their shots. Once they shot they diamond, if it didn't make it, it was kept for the girl's dowry. Pretty smart dad, if you ask me. I was a great shot and my gun was very powerful. The worry was, I was at the house next door. I paced off the feet from their house to the house where we were shooting from. The other guys made fun of my mathematical approach. I then had to target practice to see how many paces I could go until the bullet began to drop and then do the math and figure out the angle to shoot at. After that, I'd have to figure out how to attach the diamond to the bullet and make it stick to the roof.

Sorry to say, I woke up before I ever got the shot off. I'm pretty sure my dream was leading up to me making it, though. But the beauty of the diamond on the roof stayed in my mind all day. It was like taking a one shot chance with something very valuable, to obtain something priceless. Yeah, it's weird when your dreams switch genders on you. Blame it on my subconscious, it has a mind of its own.

Storm Shawl Edging

I tried the garter edging and it looked too cute with the color stripes. Rip, rip, rip. I tried an edging pattern in the Knitting Around book, and did it wrong. Yet to rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, rip, rip...

Perhaps I'll try one of these next:

Fine Knitted lace
Knitted Edge for Doily
Belmina lace
#14 Pointed Lace
#19 Dunmore Lace
English Point Lace
Cane Leaf Edging
Ettrick Lace
Kerry Edging
Geneva lace
Mikado Lace

That's a lot of options. I hope the yarn is sturdy enough while I experiment with them. In the meantime, I've added on the 4th color to Hannah's wedding blanket. Even though it's "due" in December, I need to get cracking on it now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Decorating Style (?)

Awhile back in my old blog I took a few decorating style quizzes. I'm once again considering looking at decorating some rooms. The amazing thing is, I think my style has changed.

1. Better Homes & Gardens:

Funky Retro

Based on your responses, it seems that a funky retro style inspired by the 1950s, 60s, and/or 70s most appeals to you. Perhaps you are nostalgic for a simpler time, or maybe you just love the graphic shapes and bold punches of color associated with those decades. No doubt you spend time browsing through flea markets and perusing online auction listings for unique finds to add to your space. To satisfy your yen for retro flair you can either go full-scale (think black-and-white checkerboard flooring and counter seating reminiscent of a '50s diner) or just add a touch of retro flavor by choosing geometric pieces like a kidney-shaped coffee table, installing a hot-again shag rug, or adding a subtle 70s peace-sign motif to throw pillows. When it comes to memorabilia you may have amassed, how you display things makes all the difference. Remember: A collection of like pieces has much more impact than individual items scattered around a room. So, for example, frame and group those old album covers rather than letting them gather dust on a bookshelf. A final word of advice: To keep your space from looking dated, combine retro elements such as bold colors and graphic design with modern elements like clean lines and neutral walls and floors. That way, you end up with a look that's a hip take on the past, not a room that could be confused with your parents' circa-1960 family room.

I had no idea that "Funky Retro" was even a decorating style. Also, no idea that I would fall into it. Yeah, I like bold colors and I like flea markets. But really, I'm going to pass on the checkerboard floors.

2. From Merillat - Country Casual. Warm woods, rustic metals, casual elegance, influenced by nature, earthy colors, comforting spaces, approachable.

So-so with this one. Kind of a boring result.

3. HGTV -
Ethnic Eclectic

Your style is a mix of bohemian chic and contemporary ethnic flair. Whether you travel extensively or shop locally, chances are good that your home is filled with a collection of interesting accessories. By contrast, a neutral color scheme and furniture with simple lines is the best backdrop to accentuate your most colorful pieces. To achieve this mix-and-match design style, look to nature. "The concern with the environment is playing a big role in interior design trends – from colors you find in nature, to high-end natural fibers in wall coverings, to exotic woods and stone being used throughout the home," says Denise Turner, an interior designer in Alta Loma, California. It's all about simple lines and natural materials as a backdrop for your collectables and artwork.

Design Tips for Ethnic Eclectic

Contemporary and chic accessories go with any style. Dress up family-friendly comfort in the dining room with a sophisticated Murano glass light fixture that's out of the reach of little hands. Or, make the master bedroom your grown-up retreat with soothing colors from the garden and a wooden platform bed with a trendy upholstered headboard.

Ahh, now we're getting a little warmer.

Anyway, I'm thinking that I'm leaning toward more of an English Cottage meets an Asian influence. Is there such a thing? Maybe there is now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Storm Shawl Rising

I've been working a lot on a shawl that was started during the Women's Retreat. It's ironic that the shawl looks like a hurricane. See the difference?

I thought that it was quite amusing that my knitterly result of the retreat is turning out to look like a big storm. A portent of stormy weather to come, a warning to take cover. I should have taken heed, because of the fallout that happened, but that's another story.

I'm on the 3rd skein of the shawl and really need a 4th to make sure I get the border done with enough yarn to spare. Luckily, a couple people on ravelry have the yarn so I'm trading for a skein from someone else.

This is my progress in a nutshell:
Skein 1 - started for the women's retreat. Looked kind of weird, but I liked the yarn, liked the pattern.
Skein 2 - wow, this is a great portable project! Great for emergency knitting in my car.
Skein 3 - Hmm, going to need more yarn. Whoa, is this like, a hurricane?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gem of the Ocean

Last Wednesday I went to see Gem of the Ocean at the Guthrie theater. My co-worker got free tickets. Free tickets? Guthrie? That was a no-brainer. Hadn't been there for about a year since Measure for Measure. The play sounded odd so I wasn't sure if I would like it or not.

We walked across the street from the Guthrie to this little Thai restaurant to eat. I had something that I don't remember what it was called, but it was fine. The others had the Pad Thai which was a bit spicy.

Pauses to give hubby a stern warning to stop talking to her while she's writing in her blog. He said that if I said "my husband is weird" that wouldn't be any new information to anyone. So I'm here to say, "my husband is very weird." Back to the entry...*

We had great seats, row J right in the middle. I did like the play. It had wonderful symbolism, acting and a bit of subtly that I didn't pick up on totally. They had a lot of things right about God but a few things of course were different from my way of thinking. The theme seemed to be, that you needed to have something in yourself before you could be whole. And only then, could you affect others and then society.

Of course I had to drive. Nevermind the fact that they gave me a hard time about being a crazy driver before. We also took a wrong turn (their idea, not mine) and ended up near the 35W bridge that is no more. It was a sobering sight.

I'd love to do more of these things; getting a little more culture into my life. What I need is more money and more time. If anyone has any to spare, please let me know.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Neither snow, nor sleet, shall keep me away from the Yarn Harlot

So I'm about 1 month and 5 days late on this post. My excuse? I was going through a rough and stressful time with some other things going on. Although I doubt anyone would actually miss this entry if I hadn't told them that I hadn't written it. Circular reasoning can stink.

On April 10th, the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee came to Minnesota. The tickets were free, so I drove a two hour round trip to pick them up, buy a skein of yarn I didn't need at the Yarnery, to get the free tickets. I've read most of her books, I've shaken my husband awake at night by laughing too hard while reading them. I was going, and N was going with me.

That night we were expecting another snowstorm. Not a new thing in Minnesnowta, but we were tired of all the cold and white stuff by then. Of course it would happen on THE NIGHT of the Harlot. We took off early in my newly acquired truck, armed with at least two knitting projects each, we were going to see The Harlot.

It snowed a lot. It got to be so bad I couldn't see very far in front of me. Was I being an idiot, risking life and limb in this weather to see a Harlot? She'd come again, maybe in the summer this time. That wouldn't been the way to go in the first place. Note to self: tell Stephanie it's not safe to come to MN in the spring.

We stopped for dinner at Leann Chin's and watched the snow whirl around us. It was so bad, it looked like my truck had been sitting in the parking lot all night. Should we turn back? Should we go on? By the time we were finished eating, the storm had lessened. It was a sign; we were going to see The Harlot.

The U of St. Thomas didn't have parking near the building. Smart. Invite 600 women with pointy sticks to the campus on a wintry night and tell them that they have to walk a couple blocks outside. It's a wonder the workers there weren't stabbed with any DPN's. In all actuality, there was a feeling of giddyness and comraderie among the women we met. One lady asked if we were going to see The Harlot (the clue must have been the trailing ends of yarn from our bags) and asked if she could walk with us. We knitters banded together and stormed through, undaunted.

Once there, I forgot about the snow, the sleet, the few more inches of accumulation that would happen while we were here. Here were kindred spirits. Wearing this sweater or that scarf or that pair of socks. They were knitting, talking about knitting, they were buying yarn. I looked at N and she looked at me. We stepped away from the sales tables before we could be overcome by the yarn fumes.

We found a couple good seats and started knitting. The lady next to me asked if she could pet my sweater, I was wearing my Tangled Yoke. I asked about her socks. I probably could have asked almost anyone there about their projects or what they were wearing and they would have been flattered and pleased.

The Yarnery did a fantastic job. We got these cool bags for free. They had Yarnery Singers. The songs were based on the Sound of Music, they were hilarious. Shelley Kang put hers up youtube if you want to see them. They were giving out prizes. Then, the Harlot.

She was funny, but she was more than funny. She shared this article on how knitting actually helps your brain, helps keep it from trauma and develops new pathways. Everything about it was positive. I'd love to get a copy of that article if anyone knows where to find it.

I knit away on my printed silk cardi and then the little mitered squares when it got dark. They got hopelessly bungled and I've only just recently gone back to them to fix them. It was over far too soon. I wish we could have stayed later to get a book signed or to see if we'd win one of their 100 prizes. But the weather was bad and darn it all, I needed to go to work in the morning. I'd do it all again next year though, bad weather and all.

Yesterday, my husband said that he heard the Yarn Harlot on MPR. My response was, "you don't even knit! How did you get to hear her and not me?" His response: "I heard needles clicking." Good thing I didn't have pointy sticks in my hand while he was smiling smugly. I found the article. What do my wondering eyes see? Me and N in the audience! We're in the photo of the "Harlot fans." Though a little blurry, I'm in the 3rd row from the front, 2nd from the right in the cream/white.

Fuel to get tickets: $12
Yarn that I didn't need: $8
Fuel to see the Harlot: $16

Seeing the Harlot and getting your photo in an MPR article: priceless.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stash Poll!

Check out my first poll, to the top left of my blog. I left it open through the end of the month because I'm betting there's not many who know how to find me yet.

Even if you've no idea what my stash looks like, please vote anyway. There's no right or wrong answers here.

Mother's Day Weekend

Last weekend was fishing opener/Mother's Day. Normally I spend a morning shopping with MIL while the guys go fishing. A low-key weekend, winding down on Sunday for a lunch out.

My MIL got a turkey to make dinner. Not only that, but she invited another couple over to share it with her. What mother wouldn't want to go out to brunch when she could make a Thanksgiving dinner and invite guests over instead?

I had really wanted to go to the Sheep & Harvest Festival in the cities but chose to spend the time with MIL instead. My SIL and BIL were there as well so it was a full house.

I cranked out quite a few squares for my sock blanket. I was getting together some balls for a swap anyway, so i thought I'd see how many different squares I could get with some of my self-striping yarn. They turned out very nice.

I also went to Among the Pines again. The store is growing on me. The gifty section is lovely but spendy. The yarns are nice, she has lots of the finer yarns stocked and will be doing Rowan so on too. I picked up some JitterBug sock because it's the first time I've seen it. Not that I NEED more sock yarn, but oh well. They also had the Fall 2007 IK so I bought one for N who needs it for the Tilted Duster.

Next year, I'm considering sending a card and flowers up with my hubby. He can go fishing, I'm going to go see sheep, llamas and lots of fibery things. Because unfortunately, the sheep & wool thing only happens on Mother's Day weekend. Go figure!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Misty's Prayer Shawl

Misty's shawl took me about 4 months to knit. That's like a record for me for a prayer shawl. It was started when she was going through a hard time, a lot of things were unsure and quite scary too. The shawl has experienced many times of the Tuesday women's prayer, discipleship triad and the women's retreat. I held on to the fact that whenever we give a shawl, it is at the exact right time, and it was.
She said she had just found out something that will change for the summer and this was an answer to prayer. It is so amazing, that something as simple as a knitted shawl can be such a representation of love and comfort.

We also had a meeting afterward to combine the prayer shawl ministry with the Care Ministry. It's so refreshing to be paired with a ministry leader who is excited to work with this! It was very freeing and I look forward to what will happen next.

Fare thee well, old journal...

Time for a new journal. After 4 years on LJ, time to pull out a new book and start fresh and clean. A couple changes for anyone interested...anyone? Anyway, between me and the wall, this journal will only be about life stuff. My knitting and other crafty happenings will be on the Pieceful Ewe blog. It was time for a change. My online knitterly friends had to sort through my personal posts (which, though enlightening, just didn't have enough yarn) and my non-knitterly friends had to wave through the knitting pages (which, well, what was the problem with that?).

And like I said on the other blog, the real reason for the change tonight is that I'm avoiding housework. Kinda. Got the bathroom clean but not much else.


I've been on livejournal as "Dances with Quilts" and recently "The Piecful Ewe" under the monicker Rosalindea since July 2004. Why in the world do I want to change now? Everyone else is doing it. Baaa, I'm a sheep.

LJ has been good, but I haven't gotten the complete hang of it. My friends seem to be elsewhere now and the recent blogs i look at and like are here. My older blog has kind of gotten a bit wonky with different subjects, I'd like to streamline it a little more and have a focus.

Actually, at the heart of it all, I'm avoiding housework tonight.