A churchy kind of poem

Spring is here… it’s the time of year when children begin to wind down the school year in preparation for summer vacation, and those in Catholic schools are getting ready to celebrate their First Communion or Confirmation.

My poem is for all the parents who’ve been there, done that,
and all of those who are about to.

Confirmation

Perched in church,
nephew’s confirmation,
swaddled in finery,
big family occasion.

Grandma on the aisle,
camera poised.
Grandpa hunched,
both eyes closed.

Cousins ahead,
aunties behind,
uncles a-twitch
in neckties that bind.

Impure thoughts,
flecked with guilt.
Long time since
confessions spilt.

Mind’s a-wandering,
what a sinner…
wondering what
we’ll have for dinner.

We sit. We stand.
We stand. We sit.
Unfold the bench
and kneel a bit.

We genuflect,
we sing a hymn,
we bow our heads
and pray to Him.

Ah, sermon’s over,
we’ve all been blessed.
Tumultuous minds
for now at rest.

We chatter, we shuffle,
our exit’s begun.
We burst through the doors.
Church is done.

 

What do you get when you put Jack White + The Edge + Jimmy Page together in one room?

The only part of the Grammys that I bothered tuning in to this year was when Lady Gaga and Metallica strapped their TNT together and proceeded to detonate on-stage. As for the rest of the acts? They just didn’t spark my batteries.

Don’t get me wrong—I do love Adele. And Carrie Underwood. And Alicia Keys. And that Bruno Mars guy isn’t half bad (his music aside; I would kill to have his flawless skin!). 

 

But most of the meh music of today just doesn’t do it for me.

There is nothing—and I mean NOTHING—that makes my atoms hum like the thunder of drumsticks gone berserk along with the furious keening of an electric guitar. Obvious, isn’t it, that I was a child of the seventies?

Which takes me to an extraordinary documentary on Netflix that I watched the other night, called It Might Get Loud.

If, like me, you miss the days when you’d turn on the radio and hear the kind of music that made you drop whatever you were holding in your hands to play air guitar, you’ll relish this coming together of Jack White, The Edge, and Jimmy Page, during which they share their love of insane guitar playing.

Talented really isn’t a strong enough word to describe these three men, and it’s stirring to see the raw passion they have for their craft. Driven by this passion since childhood—that they’ve achieved such heights is kismet. What’s fun about the documentary is the way it was filmed—it’s just the three musicians sitting around a coffee table in an old warehouse, sharing stories of their musical journeys and their love for music and playing guitar riffs together, with flashbacks here and there of different key periods in their lives.

Jack White is an absolute force to be reckoned with. And The Edge is, of course, The Edge. But … holey moley ravioli! … Mr. Jimmy Page is ageless when he picks up his guitar. The man is truly a guitar god. 

There’s no doubt about it. You’ll want the volume on full, even though It Might Get Loud.

Crocheted Victorian Lattice Poncho

I discovered the loveliest crocheted square design called Victorian Lattice Square, designed by Destany Wymor and offered free on her Ravelry page at: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/victorian-lattice-square

The minute I saw it, I decided that I wanted to use it to make myself a really lightweight poncho that’s almost more like a top that I can wear over a camisole or t-shirt. So I sketched out a rough poncho layout that had been simmering in my mind. Then I selected three colours that I love from the Loops & Threads Woolike line of yarn—it’s a super-fine yarn that I’ve fallen in love with because it’s so soft and a bit stretchy—and I began working away on the squares.

Here’s how I made my Victorian Lattice Poncho.

  • 5 mm crochet hook
  • Loops & Threads Woolike Yarn (678 yds/3.5 oz./620 m/100 g)
    2 balls Tan, 2 balls Pumpkin Spice, 1 ball Golden Yellow
  • Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Squares are 7-1/2 x 7-1/2, unblocked.

The size shown is a medium. You can increase or decrease the size of your hook to change the size of your poncho.

Following the Victorian Lattice Square pattern at the link above, I made:

4 Golden Yellow squares (GY); 8 Tan squares (T); and 12 Pumpkin Spice squares (PS).

When I started making the squares, I had a vague idea of the colour pattern I wanted to follow, so just to be able to see a visual of it, I initially tied a bunch of squares together with pieces of yarn and also tried it on over my head to make sure the neck opening would be big enough. The 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 squares were the perfect size.

Once all the squares were complete, I seamed them together, right sides facing, stitching on the wrong sides, into 6 separate strips as shown below (I used the Tan yarn for all seaming):

Two squares seamed together.

Seamed strips laid out to match final layout.

Once the strips were complete, I laid them out side by side in the pattern below, wrong sides facing up, and pinned them together. The grey square in the middle represents the neckline opening.

Then, I seamed the strips together one by one.

Once the strips were seamed together, I turned the poncho back to the right side so I could work on the neckline. I simply did one round of single crochet around the neckline in each colour—starting with one sc round of Golden Yellow, then one sc round of Pumpkin Spice, then two sc rounds of Tan.

Finally, I finished the poncho with striped edging in all three colours: first two rows of dc in Golden Yellow, then two rows of dc in Pumpkin Spice, then two rows of dc in Tan.

Lastly, I blocked the poncho by dampening it with a spray bottle of water, then pinned it to a huge piece of foamcore board. Optional: you can add tassels or fringe if that’s your preference; I was fine with just having the striped edging.

I would love to make another one using the same yarn, which is wonderful to work with, but in different colours.

This is the top and pants combo I plan to wear it with.

My Otis—A most fascinating cat!

Poor Otis. He’s a boy cat but I’m guilty of forcing him to model lady cat hats for my own selfish amusement.

So here’s the thing. He has this toy fish that was on its last legs, so instead of throwing it in the trash, I thought I’d combine it with some netting and sequins and other baubles to create a “lady cat fascinator.”

For those of you who don’t really know me—I assure you that I’m not some batshit crazy cat lady—I simply like to have some fun once in a while at the expense of my poor, beloved cat.

I wonder if he’s swearing at me right now in cat-speak?

So without further ado, here is my baby boy, who is thoroughly pissed off and trying to escape me (and his new hat) in every photo.

Honestly, it’s not as outlandish as some of the fascinators I’ve seen women wearing in photos at that Ascot event in England! (haha)

This photo is most representative of the many photos I tried to take of him. He just refused to keep still!

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