purple fish guts

Saturday, June 17, 2006


I have the taste buds of a three-year-old. I love Kool-Aid. I hate coffee. The only alcoholic beverages I have ever liked were fruity wine coolers and the "punch" that the guys on our brother floor in college would make at parties. (It tasted like Kool-Aid.) The only time in my life I was drunk was in eighth grade, and I felt sick enough to decide that was the last time I would ever get drunk. It was.

When I married a Southern Baptist guy who was raised in the tradition of abstinence from alcohol, it didn't bother me because I didn't drink. However, I didn't understand the underlying attitude in the Southern Baptist churches that drinking was wrong. I was raised by wonderful parents who are social drinkers and who don't have a problem with alcohol. To me it is a straightforward issue. The Bible teaches that drunkenness is wrong. Jesus drank wine, never got drunk, and I don't think churches should be worried about people doing what Jesus did.

Despite not drinking myself, I feel more comfortable in my current church where drinking is a non-issue than I did in previous churches where there is a stigma attached to those who drink. When I overhear one godly guy in the church say to another "You want to go out after and get a beer?" I feel at home. I like being a member of a church where Jesus and my parents wouldn't be stigmatized.

The Southern Baptists just had their annual national convention in Greensboro, NC, and passed this resolution opposing the "manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and consuming of alcoholic beverages." Sigh. I just don't get it. It is not biblical. It causes non-Christians to see Baptists as self-righteous, judgmental, sticks-in-the-mud, which would be fine if they were taking a biblical stand, but they aren't. The Bible clearly teaches that drunkenness is a sin, but to teach that drinking alcohol in moderation is a sin, is to add what cannot be found in the Bible. I respect anyone who decides to abstain from alcohol for personal reasons, but to teach that everyone who doesn't abstain from alcohol is sinning has no biblical basis.

I love this post by Wade Burleson, who is a pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma, and is on the board of trustees of the International Mission Board. His church's policy about drinking and getting drunk is similar to our church's policy, and he makes a great argument for allowing drinking in moderation for those who choose to. I love Wade's story of the woman whose faith in Christ and reconciliation of her marriage began over a glass of wine. Go read the entire post.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Summer cuts

My sis wants more pics of the girls on the blog, so this is for you, LouLou. The girls got their hair cut short for summertime, and aren't they cute?

Sock update

I was excited to get the needles and yarn to try these socks, but still, I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying knitting them. I'm ready for the toe decreases on the first sock. I wasn't sure my attention span could handle such small yarn and needles, but it is knitting up faster than I thought it would. I love the way the stripy yarn makes the sock look like fancy fair isle knitting.

And yes LouLou, I got your hint, and I would love to knit you a pair. The next time you're in Des Moines I'll take you to the knitting store and let you pick out a skein of sock yarn.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Preemie Hats

We haven't posted in awhile, so I thought I would make up for it today. You'll see what I have been doing instead of blogging. Knitting! The posts below are the projects I have been working on, but my favorite has been hats for preemie babies in the NICU. Some friends of mine and I have been knitting patterns found mostly at Bev's Country Cottage. They knit up so fast, which is perfect for my short attention span. I got a pair of 12" Addi Turbo circular needles, sizes 3 and 8. They work perfect for the little hats, until the decrease rows when I switch to double pointed needles. We have a website here. Check it out. You knitters out there should feel free to donate. The moms and nurses are so grateful. You can't buy hats this small in the stores, and they are so cute!
My favorite is a modification of this jester's hat. I used Bernat's Softee Chunky yarn. To change the pattern from newborn size to preemie, I cast on 42 stitches, did a k1, p1 rib, and knit stockinette stitch until the piece measured 4.5 inches. The kitchener stitch was three sets of 14 stitches. It came out just the right size. (I know when the hats are the right size because they fit Z's baby doll Gracie perfectly.)

Pinwheel Blanket

Squeaky Weasel is a knitter extraordinaire. She makes fabulous projects which inspire me. When I saw her pinwheel blanket, I had to make one. I love knitting in the round, and it is such a pretty blanket. I had some pink Plymouth Dreambaby yarn lying around, and size 7 double pointed needles and circular needle that I used for the french market bag, so I started right away. Squeaky pointed me to the pattern here. The first few rows are a bugger, and after several tries (and a couple of tantrums) I got to a stable row and it was smooth sailing from there.

The pattern is a little vague, which bugs me. I am not creative -- just tell me what to do! When the blanket has reached the desired diameter, cast/bind off. Now your blanket is complete, unless you want to embellish it with an edging. What is a good "desired diameter"? I researched it, and found a reference that said baby blankets are usually 28" to 36". I made mine 36" which was about 500 stitches on the last row. What is a good edging? I found a bunch of cool pictures from a pinwheel blanket knitalong, and decided to copy Adrian's seed stitch edging. My friend's baby is due June 17th. I hope she likes snuggling with her new blankie!


I took a class at Knitted Together in West Des Moines on how to knit socks. We knit a cute little sock so we could learn the techniques without getting bogged down with a lot of knitting. I brought it home and it fit A perfectly, so I made a match. She loves them.

Now that my confidence in sock construcion is boosted (perhaps beyond my actual abilities) I bought a book "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles" by Cat Bordhi. I got a pair of size 1 Addi Turbo circular needles (16") and a ball of Sockotta color 6669 and got to work. Here is the first sock in progress:

I like circular needles much more than double pointed needles. The person that compared knitting with double pointed needles to wrestling a porcupine wasn't far off, in my opinion.

Felted bags

I have been knitting a bunch lately. My sister's birthday is in May, as well as Mother's day. I knit a French Market Bag for Mom with Lamb's Pride Blue Boy and Lotus Pink. Sis got a Booga Bag knit with Noro Kureyon color #74. I had some Noro Kureyon left over, so I made a little matching coin purse. (It is unfelted and without a button in the picture.)


Hanging out on the beach with the girls and other friends on Memorial Day was fun, but about an hour after we got back I knew I was in trouble. Strangers were commenting on my sunburn. I slathered the sunscreen on the girls, but forgot myself. Blue would have made sure I put it on, but he skipped the festivities.

This is so embarassing. I have had extremely fair skin for 37 years, at least 30 of which I have known the necessity of sunscreen. Doh!