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Lent is a time during the Christian church's year where we are invited to have some special disciplines.  To take time for examination.  To work on prayers, alms, and fasting.  Whatever prayers, alms, and fasting means to you.  I'm Protestant, and I'm willing to take a very broad picture of the disciplines of Lent.

I have been knitting for over 20 years.  I kept 3 items for myself in all that time, besides the dishcloths I used in my kitchen.  I have recently felt acutely aware that I am knitting for everyone besides myself.  

In the every day course of my life, during January and early February, and in taking my children to various appointments, two people mentioned to me that I needed to take better care of myself.  

During the last days before Ash Wednesday, I considered that during Lent, I could knit for myself.  So I made a plan.  During Lent:  I knit, sew, and bead for myself.  From materials available in my "stash."  Some of my projects should consider UFOs.  I lined up beading projects.  I planned some knitting projects.  I thought I would think about sewing projects, if any, later.  

I took the one project on my needles.  I may not keep this project, it is largely for skill-building, and the yarn is not my favorite color.  I am knitting on it every few days, the lace yarn slow work, and the concentration on the lace makes me tired.  

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I just finished the first half-pattern repeat, and will place a lifeline.  So I am actually about 1/8 done.  My long and sordid history with knitting lace may be taking a turn for the better.  The yarn is Malabrigio silk alpaca, and the pattern is Wavy Feathers Wimple.

Kos-friend kirbybruno made a cowl for me.  I love it so much, and I wear it so frequently, I wanted to make more.  Lo and behold, there was some lovely Deborah Norville serenity yarn in my stash.  While the original pattern called for worsted, kirbybruno made my gift from heavier yarn, and I liked that weight.  I swatched, I measured, and I knitted the whole pattern, which is Twist Your Neckwarmer from Pickles.
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It was too big!  It was falling off my shoulders and I was afraid it might end up laying on the floor around my ankles!  The sizing error seems to be within the range of error for the swatch.  I finished it late at night, and first thing the next morning, I ripped it completely out, and I am using 81 stitches per round instead of 93.  It is about 1/3 done already, and the yarn is a little bit mad, I think.  

I considered two UFO's.  The easiest one to pick up is the one I set aside for an easy reason:  It was too hot late summer to work on the big piece of the shawl.  Heck, I could have been working on that shawl again since last November.  I printed a new copy of the pattern (there were updates).  I located the piece in progress, and all the yarn.  I think I have sussed out where I left off, but I won't be sure until I start knitting.  It is ready to go right after the wide cowl is finished.  
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It will be the mirror-image of this completed "arm."
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The finished arm has a high total stitch count, especially considering the small projects I am normally drawn to.  

After the Ash Wednesday service, I came home, got the kids in bed, sat down for The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, and realized my ankles were once again, freezing.  I did a pattern search and found these adorable legwarmers from Purl Soho's blog.  I found some yarn in my stash I liked, color- and weight-wise, but there wasn't enough.  I had a sad.  The next day, I looked at my stash HARDER.  Two skeins of this very warm Lamb's Pride worsted leapt out!  I may have enough yarn to make the legwarmers and matching wrist warmers!  
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I already tried them on around my ankle and the first one is fitting!  

I am considering a 5th project when I get some of the first 4 in better shape.  Closer to done.  

This is only one part of my Lenten discipline.  And one week in, there was a snag.  

"Mom, I need a new skirt, my other skirt doesn't work for this purpose" proclaims my daughter.  We discuss the virtues of the skirt.  I agree she could use a wider skirt.  Then I told her I needed to think.

The next day, I had a plan.  And I shared it with my daughter at breakfast.  I will cut and press.  She will sew for herself.  We have a skirt about 2/3 done, and she will sew the hem at bedtime tonight.  Photos later.  My expertise in the cutting and pressing will save her fingers from being cut or burned, and produce the proper size, and proper construction techniques.  Her sewing will increase her skills and confidence.  WINNER!  

What Are You Working On
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Originally posted to What Are You Working On? on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 04:35 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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