Monday, December 17, 2018

Knitting and Winter

Hi there, friends.  I am having the best December so far,  I really must tell you.  Honestly, I don't know what's come over me, but there is no trace at all of my usual winter gloom, and the heavy leaden wintertime sky--which in every other year has been dismal, a damp cloak of sadness for me--looks rather beautiful these days.  Doc and I walk in the cold and I wear my huge puffy coat that is the color of baby poo and my clompy boots.  We walk along the road, past the house with the little dog that barks and scampers and chases us for half a mile and I feel so much affection for that little rascal.  He has no manners at all and he's scared to death of everything and he has no idea how to make friends, bless him, but I am always happy to see him.  I can feel Doc kind of bracing himself as we near the house, and then the dog appears out of the dark and dances around hollering at us for a long time, and as he turns back for home, I call to him, "I love you too!  See you tomorrow!"  It just feels good, I don't know.  I like it that he comes over to say hello.  Dogs, walking together in the dark, my nose cold and my feet warm, the spicy apple-scented air, the spooky clouds gliding across the moon.  I feel as though I've recovered from a long illness or something.  Anyway, it is very wonderful, and I hope you are all having good days, too.

You won't be surprised to hear I've been knitting a lot.   After a few false starts and a lot of ripping back, I started a new sock project yesterday.  This pattern has already taught me three new things and is therefore worth it already, besides which, doesn't it look fantastic?  That yarn is really scarlet and not blazing pink, but the camera is no match for it.  It's Regia 4-ply in red and Cascade Heritage Silk in pale gray.  I am having such a moment with colorwork right now, and these just look so wintery.  I'm amazed at how quickly they are coming along, given that I am a total beginner at most of the skills involved in making them.  Also, I finished my Schoolboy Cardigan (pattern my own) a few days ago and have worn it more or less constantly since.  It is the most basic cardigan in the world, with a raglan yoke, crew neck, no waist shaping, and long long sleeves, because that's the way I like it.  I wanted it to be close-fitting with almost a utilitarian quality.  This yarn--Jill Draper's Empire in the color way "Lunar"--was a perfect fit for this idea.  It is sturdy and smooth and this gorgeous pale bluish/grayish color just looks so beautifully faded, oh how I love it.

I'm also knitting a couple cabled cardigans--here's one of them--this is Lucky (me)  I'm using Maine Organic from Green Mountain Spinnery, a 2-ply worsted in the very surprising color way called, um, "gray."  I think this is going to be one of those yarns that blooms up into something totally different when it hits the water.  Looking forward to that, and to wearing it, too. Cold weather just makes me want to knit cabled cardigans, what can I say?

A few pretty things all jumped out of the stash cupboard together, too, the other day.  Amidst all the cables and colorwork, I just needed something plain to work on, so I just went to the stash and then cast on the European Road Trip Shawl from Espace Tricot.  It's just about the simplest, most stockinetty pattern out there, and it has been tremendously fun to work on it.  These smooth, superwash yarns are so different from the woolly wools I've mostly been using lately, and I'd forgotten what a pleasure they are on the needles.  This will be a big colorblock wrap to keep the chill off my neck--more to come on these beautiful yarns later.

I've been at my spinning wheel lately, too.  You may recall that a few months ago, Debbie came over with a raw fleece from one of her beloved adopted orphans and I've been sampling it to see what it might like to be.  Debbie thinks this guy might have had some Romney in him--he's certainly a long wool of some kind.  I'm not 100% happy with this skein, but I'm not sure I can do any better yet.  There is still so much to learn, and I'm having so much fun learning it all.

I walked out to the pond today and got my shoes all muddy, but it was worth it.  Just hearing myself say, out loud, "Isn't that just so, so beautiful!" made me feel good.  Isn't that gray sky/dirty water/weedy bank/skeletal birch tree so beautiful?  I think they are.