Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Snow Dreams

The other day, I walked through the muddy orchard to the pond, to look for signs of life.  It was a sunny day, but I know it's only January, so I put on all the expedition gear, as you do, and wasn't fifteen steps from the door before the warm sunshine penetrated my northern carapace and I had to strip off most of the handknits and carry them, but it felt so wonderful.  Nature felt friendly.  The little creek was bubbling and chirping and I crouched there, peering around the icy edges and into the muddy water, looking for, I don't know what--tadpoles?  Fresh green shoots of cattails?  ANYTHING?  Well, it's still deep winter, obviously, so there wasn't anything like that, but the moving water, that little bubbly sound it makes, just made me glad, glad, glad.  And today we are blanketed again, and still coming down, but it doesn't seem so hard.  A little thaw, here and there, makes it better for me.  Possibly I am also helped by that sweater up there, which is knitting itself.  I started it on Friday.  And unless something happens today to make me lose an arm, it'll be blocking when I go to bed.  Five days.  I know.  
I saw this design last year, and it just looked so exactly right;  I think I jumped on the internet at midnight and impulse bought a whole pile of yarn to make it, thinking I couldn't stand to wait another instant, and then--a year went by.  And actually, none of this yarn is even that yarn--it all got used for something else.  Hey, if it's in the stash, it's fair game...anyway, its number came up this week, and here it is, and it's true--it is exactly the right project for right now.  This is North Atlantic, by Lone Kjeldsen, and I'm using a random mix of unrelated yarns from the back of the stash--let's see:  the brown main color is Natural Wool by Wools of New Zealand in shade 523, which has to be just "natural brown"--this one is a very "wooly" wool, lofty and loosely spun.  Yum.  The mid-tone gray is my one sacred skein of Shepherd's Wool worsted in the perfectest gray, called "Beaches", and the lightest is that old standby, Paton's Classic "Winter White".  The red contrast color is a skein of burgundy Berrocco Superwash Wool, which got the lead role here when the succulent skein of Posh Worsted from The Uncommon Thread that was Plan A proved to be too thin. Well, good luck to you, regular burgundy superwash.  Don't let me down.  Oh, I am having such a good time knitting this.  Doc even noticed it, which he never, ever does, and said, "I like that."  Gasp!  More to come, and soon.  
My uncharacteristic cheerfulness might also be related to my read and re-read of the beautiful and inspiring Susan Branch.  Wait!  Before you go!  Don't delve into Susan Branch unless you are already equipped with some watercolors and paper, because you will drop everything and start painting lamps and shells and whatever little knicknacks live on the shelf over your kitchen sink.  You'll be practicing your hand-lettering.  You'll forget what time it is.  You'll also forget that you hate winter [for a minute] and I swear you will smell cinnamon and sugar.  She's delightful, and I love her like I love Santa Claus.  Okay, go ahead.  
What she does is everything good, and so generous.  Get some of her books, and put on your biggest, softest sweater, and get into an armchair with a cat, and read them.  And then paint your days.  Susan Branch is  good medicine for me.
I thought you might like to see the Puntilla, all finished:
 
For this, my own biggest, softest sweater, I used Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering, in the colorway "Peat".  Just, purely divine.  The lacy trim (which is what "puntilla" means) is in Madelinetosh Merino Light, "French Gray."  I am pretty pleased with this one.  
I have to tell you about this, too:  lovely Arianne has finished the blanket!  Without her, that would still be a pile of squares, haunting me and making me feel guilty.  I'm so pleased.  You should go have a look.