I am expecting to hear a sermon this morning with some reference to the New Year. A lot of preachers mention it, after all. But the New Year isn’t part of the liturgical year at all. In fact, the liturgical year begins with Advent, which we just finished. We are currently having Christmas, but the next big thing is Epiphany. So I am guessing that the song for the day ought to be an Epiphany hymn. Here’s one: “What Star is this, with Beams so Bright?”, set by Charles Coffin to a 15th century German tune, and translated by John Chandler into English.

It’s not a very exciting song. It has the star and the magi, as Epiphany hymns are wont to, but the words are not unusually lovely or anything. The tune is sprightly, though, and fun to sing. I think this would be nice with a violin.

I will be playing bells this morning in church. Sigh. I think that we are doing “Il Est Ne, Le Divin Enfant.” Here are more verses. Here you can hear Dr. John’s jazzy take on it. Here is a very free English translation. This is another sprightly tune, popular in francophone Africa and in France. In the U.S., I believe that it is not as well known as it should be. This may be because we have so many translations, some of them pretty bad.

Anyway, you have two songs to choose from today, and I hope that you will sing one of them at some point. I think that they would both be nice on a violin, too.

I finished #2 son’s sweater. I wasn’t able to get a good picture of it, I’m afraid, even by taking it outside.

It’s a completely ordinary sweater, which is what #2 son wanted. It is a good deep red, “Iron Ore” being the name of the color. It’s Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, using the set-in sleeve sweater pattern from The Knitters’ Handy Book. I would have to go look at the needles to tell you what size they were, but I’ve never understood why people give that information. The guage was 5 stitches to the inch, so you’d really just want whatever size of needle produces that when you knit. It doesn’t matter what mine were.

I followed the pattern exactly in the first place (it’s just math anyway), but then had to add another 4″ or so of length to each sleeve. This did allow some suspense in the matter of whether the yarn would hold out, and it just barely did. I have had to lengthen sleeves for my kids before. They will tell you that they have long, gorilla-like arms, but I think that they are just skinny enough that the size that is big enough around for them is too short. I am good about checking the length of the body, but sleeves are at the end of the knitting, when I don’t check things as much because the barn is in sight. Knitters will know what I mean, I think. So it is nothing wrong with the pattern.

After church, I will contemplate what to knit next. I have a few inches completed on the Doctor’s Bag, but have lost my place in the pattern, so I might start that again. I also have yarn for a sweater from Lacy Little Knits. And I still have a foot or two of Erin sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do with it.

I am also determined to get back to my SWAP Part III, begun in the summer and then allowed to languish with no progress whatsoever made on it lo these many months. I roasted a turkey yesterday and did some housework, but there is a lot more housework to be done, and most of the turkey to be dealt with. So I am planning a throughly domestic day, of one kind or another.