Christmas sweaters and Advent books

Before the snow fell
Our current winter wonderland
Yarn that feels like frozen sparkling snow
Reading and research…
Dorm room Christmas decorating

It’s finally snowing here in Boston, and I am so happy for it! We are coming off of two consecutive snow days after a week off, so I have been luxuriating in the hygge (and, sadly, the procrastination…)

In that vein, I had a lot of goals for the month of November that got fairly well interrupted by a week and a half hospital stay. Fortunately now that’s starting to be sorted out, and now that I finally have more energy and I have the ability to focus focus (two great things that go great together, when one isn’t distracted by a snow day)! The healing is a process of patience and self-forgiveness, and learning how to read the rhythms of my body better.

This means my projects for this month have taken on more special dimensions because they have seen me through the before and after of the hospital visit.

My knitting project for the last month has been what I have dubbed “the Christmas sweater,” since my goal is to have it to wear on Christmas Day. It is the pattern Whitehorse by Caitlin Hunter, knitted in Tanis Fiber Arts’ Metropolis colorway in DK. I started it thinking I could participate in and finish it for TFA’s Metropolis knit-a-long on Ravelry, but because of my stay in the hospital, this didn’t happen. I’m a bit sad about not being eligible for prizes, but it is my special speckly squishy bobbly beauty of a sweater (yoke), and it saw me through the psych ward, so it’s ok. It still means a lot.

While the psych ward was not great for my knitting, it was good for my reading! So I kept the momentum up and started St. Maximos the Confessor’s Life of the Virgin (translated by Stephen Shoemaker) for the Advent Fast. Apparently it used to be read in monastic communities year round, so I read the section appointed for the Entrance to the Theotokos into the Temple. It is very beautiful but also drips Byzantine rhetoric, which I am quite enjoying.

I am also reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Craft of Writing, which, although about fiction writing, is proving useful to my thesis as well. Good writing is good writing, after all.

Finally, I caved and bought myself a copy of the classics textile material culture-ist’s bible, Elizabeth Wayland Barber’s Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean. It is truly the most marvelous book I have ever read, and I have been learning a great deal about the possibilities of tapestry weave being used in Rome or the surrounding areas from 43 BC-17 AD (in other words, Ovid’s lifespan). Of course, I’m saving my ideas and conclusions for my thesis, but I am terribly excited, and I cannot wait to read my own writing.

Joy is such a wonderful thing, and these monthly check-ins really remind me of what a joy it is to have things that I love that I can share with others. If you want, but only if you want, write something in the comments that brings joy to your life, so we can all see and share in each others’ joy!

(As usual on the first Wednesday of the month, I’m linking up with Ginny’s Yarn Along. Head on over to her page to find other beautiful people who blog about wonderful things!)

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