Lessons and Carols was fun. Gesu Bambino was, as Janalisa put it sotto voce, a train wreck. And that moment right before the big jazzy chord when the accompanist was supposed to play the chord softly so we could all find our pitches before he went into his totally unrelated pyrotechnics — well, it passed. We all looked at one another in wild surmise, picked a likely-sounding note, and hoped the listeners would think it was supposed to sound like that. However, my solo went well, we sang more right notes than wrong ones (as Tawana pointed out), and overall it was pretty rollicking.

I had a couple of hours between church and the trip to the gym with the boys. While some penne was baking for said boys, I tackled the deep question: what to knit next? I have after all been knitting either by request or Christmas gifts for months.

Now, there is a project I have been planning for over a year now. I am about ready to cast on my 338 stitches for it. It has the huge advantage of being wooly, and will become large after a bit, thus doing its part to help us keep the heating bills down.

But, you know, I have a Prayer Shawl and a possum fur stole on the needles already. It was one thing to set them aside in favor of Christmas gifts, but may be quite another to continue to ignore them now.

Also, while I have finished my Christmas gifts and the deadline is past, I did not end up with either a bawk or a pair of Fuzzy Feet for myself. Nor do I have any mittens. In this weather, there may be an urgency factor to these warm things that outweighs my desire to plunge into Fair Isle.

But here is the Fair Isle in question: Alice Starmore’s Erin cardigan from The Celtic Collection. Isn’t it beautiful?

It may just be irresistible.

At the gym, we ran into the Falcon and his mom. She had just done an hour’s workout. #2 son and I did my usual 15-minute weights circuit, and then started on cardio, but he gets bored with that pretty quickly, so we left. He wants to do a longer weights workout. However, I don’t know how to do any more of the machines than I do. The body-builders, of whom there are a lot on Sunday afternoons, do a lot of resting and talking while they are lifting. But I have been told to get my heart rate up on the elliptical machine, and then do the weight sets in pairs — 15 reps on the pec deck and then move right over to the rowing machine for 15, then back to the pec deck for the second set and so on. The idea is to keep your heart rate up so that the entire thing is aerobic. This is probably not how to bulk up.

When we got home, I wrapped some gifts and started casting on. The first few rows of any project are a bit uncomfortable, and on 338 stitches the first few rows go on for a long time. The ribbing of this cardie is in color work. Why, thought Starmore, should she give us inches of one-color ribbing and let us get comfortable. Why not give us a shot across the bows right off?

Actually, I am not at all sure about the two-color ribbing. It doesn’t seem as springy. But we shall see. I am using Elann’s Highland Wool and #2 needles. I am also knitting back and forth. The pattern is designed to be done in the round, but the idea of knitting a cardigan in the round and cutting it up the front and finishing off all those ends just sounds daft to me. In the year since I decided to make this thing, I have carefully watched the knitting blog community in hopes of seeing some sensible reason to do this, and I have not yet seen one. Therefore, I am knitting it on the flat. When I reach the armscye steeks, I will consider again whether there is any benefit to doing that, as opposed to dividing the work. Any opinions on this will be gratefully welcomed. Even with these uncertainties, this cardigan is irresistible

Our song for today is irresistible, too. “Comfort, Comfort Ye, My People” is a traditional Advent carol from the Geneva Psalter which rags up real well. Nowadays we all sing it in a syncopated style which suits it so well that you have to wonder whether Olearius wasn’t thinking of that in the back of his mind, even though he was a 17th century German who had never heard a steel drum in his life. #2 daughter and I are going to do some solos at church, now that the choir has done its bit, and I am thinking that this would be a good song. #2 daughter is thinking Handel, always nice, and the director is thinking Ave Maria, so something good is bound to result.