Sunday was another gorgeous summer day. You might think that we would have our gorgeous summer days in July or August, when people are expecting them, but no, we prefer to have them in September, when perhaps there is less of a crowd. July and August we reserve for hellish heat and humidity which saps all the strength from the inhabitants.

The ladies in Sunday school (most of whom are on the other side of 60, many on the other side of 70 or 80) were advocating taking a butcher knife to child molesters. I was laughing helplessly (though quietly, I hope) at the incongruity of it all. Not only the ladies in their print dresses matter-of-factly suggesting this, but the fact that it was in response to a lesson on the love of God.

Later, in the sermon, the pastor spoke fervently about the love of God toward “villains,” including Nazi war criminals and even child molesters, and the grace of God that allows us to forgive evil while continuing of course to fight against it. I expect the ladies were chastened. On the other hand, the pastor also said, referring to a new family from New York, that there would be Yankees in Heaven, so we might as well get used to it. I don’t know. These Methodists are a wild and crazy bunch.

In the afternoon, I went back for the Methodist Women’s tea. We sat at beautifully arranged tables and were served tea and cucumber sandwiches and little cakes while watching a presentation on a recent mission trip to Tanzania.

I have never been to a function of this sort before, though they do figure prominently in the old murder mysteries I read. The presentation was quite fascinating, really. The women doing it gave us a lot of detail about the way the people they visited worshipped, studied, worked, and cooked and cleaned. These things are so often left out of presentations given in other settings, and they are quite interesting.

I also enjoyed talking with the ladies, and got up to the raglan shaping on Brooklyn. I behaved myself fairly well, in fact, except for, when C. told us her age, saying, “I thought you were my age…” and then, realizing what I had done, I went on, trying to make it better, “and actually I’m quite a bit younger than you.” At which point, seeing that I could not make things better and might make it worse, I shut up and bought some Tanzanian handwork for Christmas gifts for my daughters.

The HGP wants us to organize our handmade holiday gifts. Specifically, we are to buy all the needed materials, and sort them into plastic bags. If you are making socks for your mother-in-law, you buy her yarn and put it with the pattern into a Zip-Lock bag labeled “Doris” or whatever her name is.

This sounds reasonable. And the whole point of the HGP, the reason it works well for me, is its automatic nature. If you just do what they say, you can be ready for the holidays without much effort or excessive thought.

But I am not succeeding with this task. I did calculate the number of yards of yarn I would need, and I am putting together an order for Knitpicks (Ruby Plaid gave me a good review of their yarns).

But there is a little bit of that old Peanuts cartoon here. Lucy is writing on the board “I will not talk in class.” She has written it over and over all the way down the board, and then she turns to us and says, “On the other hand, who knows what I might do?”

I feel a little bit like that with my holiday knitting. I have about twelve specific projects planned. Will I really be able to finish all twelve? And, beyond that, if I put 220 yards of green wool into the bag with the BAWK pattern, what is to say that I won’t later decide to make some of the cables in cream on the green? Wouldn’t that be nice? Or I might decide to do some mosaic knitting. And I have been thinking a lot about ribbons lately. Who knows?

I guess that some tentative organization would still be a good thing.

Perhaps you are beginning to think about what you will knit for the people you love. Here are some links to free patterns for things that seem to me to be likely choices:

Pink Lady hat
Fair Isle hat
London beanie

Noah’s Ark toy 
Soccer monkey toy 
monkey’s soccer kit (“kit” meaning “clothing” to us in Hamburger-a-go-go-land)

Celtic knot cushions
Tawashi set
Vintage tea cosy

Knitted bracelet
Knitted necklace

Cable-cuff mittens
Snowdrift mittens

Dulann scarf
Seaweed and Shells stole

Cabled socks
Pretty Comfy sock
Wyvvern sock

Felted slippers

Rose Trellis Shawl
Vintage lace dressing gown