Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mardis Gras/Ash Wednesday

Happy (?) Ash Wednesday everyone. Today is the first day of the Church season of Lent, the (roughly) 40 days before Easter (roughly because it Sundays don’t count in the 40 day calculation). It is a time of fasting and abstinence, prayer, and almsgiving.

The day before Ash Wednesday is called Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. Traditionally, you party and stuff yourself silly because the next day you are supposed to start fasting. Well, since I don’t fast (I start to shake and get faint—-it’s really not good), I had to come up with an alternative. I am fasting from yarn. No yarn-buying during Lent. Consequently, my Fat Tuesday celebrations consisted of making my last yarn purchase before Easter. What did I buy? Washable wool for Dulaan hats, and the yarn separator from Herschner’s (I had to buy the yarn because it seemed silly to pay shipping for just a $3.00 item).

My Lenten plan consists of the following:

Fasting: No yarn buying
Abstinence: No knitting for myself, no cookies, candy, or ice cream
Almsgiving: Finish the blanket for stillborns project I was working on, two hats for the Dulaan project, and half of my slush money for the month of March goes to charity
Prayer: Say a rosary every Friday, go to daily Mass once a week.

Oh, and the traditional no meat on Fridays.

Between the charity projects I just mentioned and the gifts I already have on the needles, I should have plenty to knit during Lent. I have been working on a sweater for the baby of a friend, and I bought yarn on Sat. for socks for Roommie (he’s so good about coming with me to yarn stores and giving a ueful opinion about the yarn and the projects I’m working on [unlike a certain other man in my life. ahem] I figured he deserved a pari of handknit socks). And since he was with me, he got to pick out the yarn. I have measured his feet and cast on for the first sock, so I am good to go. This will be my “seminar sock” project for Lent (I have to work on something during seminars, or I will go to sleep, or just not pay attention because I get too antsy). I was working on a pair of socks for myself. Last night (as part of my Mardis Gras of Fiber), I worked on the sock until I had the heel finished on the first sock. Now, it will sit in the knitting bag with my shawl until April. And, of course, I have my sock pal socks which I will start as soon as my yarn separator gets here.

Speaking of which, yesterday in comments, Imbrium said she was determined to master two-fisted knitting. I think, ultimately, that's my goal as well. But, I'm not going to do it until I get much better at English knitting. I think that's why my floats got so tight on my last project--my tension was all off in one hand. So, what I should do is switch to English knitting for awhile, but I don't think I'm in the mood for re-learning how to knit. Although I guess I could add that to my Lenten goals. "So, what did you give up for Lent?" "Cookies, ice cream, candy, and knitting continental." I can just see the look on the priest's face now!

1 comment:

  1. Tee hee.

    Thank you for the thoughtful post on Ash Wednesday. I was raised Lutheran, and have sort of been drifting aimlessly on the spirituality front for several years now. There has always been something very appealing about the Catholic focus on ritual. The Lutheran upbringing in me screams "I don't need it!" but something in my psyche says "I want it." (I assume you're Catholic - my experiences with those who observe Lent like this have all been with Catholics. If I'm mistaken, my sincerest apologies.)

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