Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Poetry Month


April is a good month for poetry. The rhythm in a poem lulls a reader to peace one moment and alerts her to take notice at another. Here we are in April when the rhythm of the season is easily noticed. The weekend snow melts under Monday's sun. The process of freezing and thawing breaks down the hard covering on wild seeds, allowing them to germinate. I am trying to remember that as I get impatient for warmer days.

Poetry originated in the oral tradition before literacy. Early poems and ballads were sung or chanted as a way to remember history, story, and law. They were also offered as prayer and hymn. No wonder rhythm is essential to a poem. Iambic pentameter, a common metrical form in poetry, matches the rhythm of breath. It was probably the longest line an early poet could recite without pausing for breath. I don't think that is coincidence.

I have been rereading poems by William Stafford. He was born in Hutchinson, Kansas and lived in the northwest US much of his adult life. During World War Two, he was a conscientious objector and worked in the civilian public service camps. Stafford is a plain spoken poet with a beautiful sometimes wry sense of metaphor. I hope you read and find a new favorite poem this month.

As far as knitting, yesterday was a day of unraveling. The scrap shawl is back on the needles and I am reknitting the lace border with a small ball of yarn that looks like ramen noodles. The baby sweater is blocking. I am looking for some new projects with an easy knitting rhythm. Linking to Kat the Unravelers this week.

Today I offer one of my poems. I wrote this several years ago as part of a group of poems about containers.


Ordinary Basket

Outside my window, mama robin builds  
a nest of grass and twigs. Working like
ancients, she weaves plant fibers 
into a basket to shelter her babes.

Soon offspring are squawking for food. Days
later she pushes them out, like all women who fill
and empty baskets with ratty socks, ripe apples,
stray buttons, or fresh bread for grieving friends.

Baskets, carefully crafted, carried over arms, mudded
into trees, balanced on heads, or slung across shoulders.
Baskets, heavy and light, older than cloth,
weaving a record of a woman’s ordinary day.

(Copyright, 2015 Jane A. Wolfe)







Thursday, April 12, 2018

Color

Color slowly returns to the outdoors. Patches of our yard are quite green. Yesterday I walked past a row of lilac bushes and noticed the tips of green leaves just visible from buds. The goldfinches have molted from silvery green to bright yellow. Ever so slightly we tip toward warmer days. Much as I enjoy wearing my hand knits, walking without a cowl or scarf wrapped around my neck is freeing.

Lavender is the color of my knitting these days. The Lavender Baby Sweater is knitting up well. A different pattern and a comfortable needle size made the difference. This free pattern is a recipe. The designer doesn't specify body or sleeve lengths. Instructions for the hem read like an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern - finish with the slipped stitch pattern and garter hem as at the top of the yoke. I have knit this sweater twice before and had good results. I made notes but can't find them. Sticky notes on pages of paper patterns have a way of floating away. I plan to tuck a small paperback blank journal into my knitting corner and then use it. Today's sky is hazy from the prairie burn in Kansas so the color is washing out in this photo. 


I also blocked and wove in the ends on this third shawl of scraps. This is my shawl recipe for a boomerang shawl. When I need a peaceful garter stitch knit, I gather up leftovers from fingering weight yarn and stripe them together. I use the shape from the Nurmilintu Shawl. There are other boomerang shawl recipes on Ravelry and any would work. I usually add a few eyelet rows as much for knitting interest as for design. For this particular shawl, I knit the lace border from the Nurmilintu Shawl. The garter stitch was great while my eye healed. I should have waited for new glasses before knitting the border. I plan to rip out the border and reknit it for the third time. I thought I could live with the wonky lace but cannot. I love the symmetry of lace. It's all knitting and will only take a couple of evenings.

I hope your projects are treating you well. As soon as the smoky air blows away, I am ready to poke around in my garden and perennial flower beds. I am looking for green.




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Redux: Knitting and a Book


Last week I finished a second pair of About Town Mitts. The simple classic texture was fun to knit and doesn't take a full skein of yarn. I'll likely knit them again. The pair on the right was knit with sport weight. I modified the red and blue pair to knit them from worsted scraps. The blue yarn is Mountain Colors Goat, a yarn I have used to make mittens. The deep colors are a joy to work with in the fall and winter. I lost the label from the red yarn long ago but it also has some mohair content. The two yarns worked well together in this project. They are going in the gift/donation basket. Since finishing the mitts, I picked up my new glasses (hooray for sharp precise vision!) and cast on a baby sweater. Alas I have done some unraveling. Such is knitting life.

I bought this pale lavender baby yarn at an after Christmas sale. I cast on the Louise Cardigan but could not knit the yarn to gauge. I tried twice, with two different sized needles. The sweater body was too large. Sometimes I just knit a baby sweater with my preferred gauge but thought the proportions of this sweater would be wonky. I pulled the second set of 169 stitches off the needle, reclaimed the yarn, and cast on the Seamless Yoked (Baby) Sweater. I've knit this pattern previously. Wish me luck. 


We are traveling to New England next month so I thought I'd read something by women writers from the area. Earlier I read How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson. Nelson was the Poet Laureate of Connecticut, 2001 - 2006. I am in search of poetry by a New Hampshire poet, Patricia Fargnoli. This week I am rereading The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett. Jewett's work is a little idyllic but still describes the Maine countryside and inhabitants in the mid to late 1800s. When I reread a book, I'm not in a hurry to discover the ending. I read more slowly noticing new details (or in this case any details) and savoring words, sentences, and paragraphs. Jewett was a friend of Willa Cather's so that makes her writing interesting to me. Jewett, like Cather, writes about ordinary people and the places they live. The places are as integral to the story as the characters. I'm enjoying the old fashion-ness of the story.

Linking with Kat and the Unravelers. Jump on over for reading and knitting inspiration. 

Today the sun has come out and the temps are slowly inching upwards. I think I'll take a walk before it snows again on Friday. I'd rather pass on the winter redux. Ah - Spring. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Spring


Welcome to Spring in Nebraska. Chilly rain one day and sunshine the next. Earlier this morning, the sky was bright and blue and now it has clouded over. Cooler weather and precipitation, dare I mention a few snowflakes, are forecast for tomorrow. 

Yesterday my husband and I took advantage of a sunny day to drive out to the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska to view the sandhill crane migration. The Platte, a braided river that meanders around sandbars and shifting islands carries snow melt from the Rocky Mountains to the Missouri River. The short stretch near Kearney hosts the annual stopover of these birds. Between mid-March and early April, between 400,000 to 500,000 cranes feed in nearby fields and settle on the river at night. The average wingspan of an adult is between 5.5 to 7.5 feet. 


We arrived mid afternoon, found a safe place to park on a county road, and watched the birds. Now and then they spread their long wings to move about but generally seemed content feeding on leftover corn under a warm sun. After an early dinner in town, we drove back to the State Recreation Area and walked out on a pedestrian bridge that spans the river.
  

Standing on that bridge at sunset is magic. During the day, the birds call softly to each other in the fields but as the sun falls lower in the sky they call more frequently. Before the birds are visible from the bridge, their swelling chorus fill the air. Soon a few lone birds and then small groups begin to fly toward the river. And then ribbons of birds appear overhead, flying up and down the river in search of safe place to rest. They don't land near the bridge because too many of us are standing there with cameras and binoculars. Even so, their ancient music is the beginning of Spring. 


Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy Passover.
Linking with Kat and the Unravelers

 

   

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hope

March is Women's History Month. I was in college (1969-1973) when my Mom discovered women's history. It was a heady time. She sent my sister and I subscriptions to Ms. Magazine. She was fascinated by the Suffragettes, especially those with ties to Nebraska and Iowa. I still have a news clipping I found in one of her books with a list of these women. She often recommended books written by women, some more widely known than others. She introduced me to Mari Sandoz, a Nebraska author. She gave me books published by small presses written by and about women in the west. Many of them remain on my bookshelf today. Mom was the best as a mother, friend, encourager, life-long learner, registered nurse, and much more.

This morning before writing, I decided to learn a little more about Women's History Month. In 1987, the Women's History Project petitioned Congress to designate March as Women's History Month. Each year Women's History Month has a theme. The 2018 theme is "Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." At this time there is an effort to raise money to build a Women's History Museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Currently more women than ever are running for public office in the United States. And so the effort to represent women continues. As Emily Dickinson wrote, "Hope is a thing with feathers."

Spring's arrival is slow. In the wee hours of the new season, a flurry of wet snow fell. The goldfinches sport the first hint of their brillant summer yellow. Daffodils in my yard are up about three inches and the iris spears are green. I poked the compost for just a whiff of rich soil. The sandhill cranes are feeding along the Platte River in Nebraska.

My knitting has turned to small simple projects. I have the proverbial pair of socks on the needles. On a recent gray day, I cast on fingerless mitts in River, my favorite color in this yarn. Tomorrow I see the ophthalmologist for a new glasses prescription. When the glasses arrive in seven to ten days, I will be able to read with ease. I am grateful the cataracts in both my eyes have been successfully removed and replaced with new lenses. Literally, the possibility exists for seeing the world through new eyes.

Joining Kat and others for Wednesdays Unraveled.





Thursday, March 15, 2018

Familiar Lessons


Yesterday we had a taste of Spring. The day was warm enough to walk in shirt sleeves and so I did. Earlier this week, we attended the funeral of an acquaintance who died suddenly. I decided grocery shopping could wait ninety minutes. At the edge of town, I walked on a trail and sat on a bench facing the sun. Later I carried my knitting to the deck. The sun was lower in the sky as the robins and finches sang to each other. I'm sure the dust continued to accumulate in the house but the warm day was too fine not to be outdoors.

On the deck, I bound off the Kindness Shawl. It was a well fought game of yarn chicken. I knew I might not have enough to finish the bind off but decided to try. I ran short so I cut the tails from the cast on and one other place where I had removed a knot in the skein. I used those two little pieces to finish. I confess I tied knots after pulling the ends to the back. That corner is not going to win any prizes but I did finish the shawl without tinking back two long rows. I think I won the game but a sudsy bath and blocking will tell the story. If the ends unravel, I will not.

This shawl will be a donation or a gift.  I am not crazy about the tonal variations and color in this yarn. Both looked better to me in the skein than in the shawl. The yarn has a nice hand and the pattern is easy to follow. It just doesn't seem to be a good match for me. Perhaps someone else will enjoy it. The lesson here is not to persevere when a little voice in my head raises questions. How many times do I need to be reminded that not all projects need to be finished? The yarn would have made great socks.

Today the sky is partly cloudy and the day is not as warm. No matter, my Texas grandson and his mother are in town and we are meeting them for pizza this evening. That will be sunshine enough for this day.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Ready for Spring


Welcome March, the month of windy mercurial weather, winter one day and spring the next. Today looks more like winter with the latest skiff of snow on the ground. The color block sweater is finished. I will enjoy wearing the sweater into the early Spring. Except for the cuffs, I used yarn leftover from two projects so my stash is a tad bit lighter. You know you are a knitter when you order yarn for a project that was supposed to be knit from leftover yarn.


After we photographed the sweater, I looked down at my feet. You know you are a knitter when you wear out one of a pair of hand knit socks but save the other to wear with another sock missing its mate. The lavender sock has been in my drawer since last winter waiting for a mismatched mate.


While the sweater dried, I knit on this shawl from another skein of yarn buried in the stash. It feels good to knit with yarn and patterns on hand. I picked the color to remind me of the spring flowers that will soon push up from the ground.


I am listening to Personal History by Katherine Graham. Graham became the publisher of The Washington Post after her husband's death. She experiences many privileges from being born to a wealthy parents. However she also experienced some anti-Semitism due to her Jewish heritage through her father. My Dad was a Circulation Manager of a newspaper and my brothers continue to work in the field so I am interested in the autobiography from the standpoint of newspaper history as well as the education and professional life of this strong woman. 

I am reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, a light hearted, feel good literary romp set in a small town in Iowa. It is good company for recovery from cataract surgery late last week. This is my second eye to be repaired and the procedure went well. I plan to have new glasses in time for Spring travel. 

Joining Kat and the Unravelers. What are you knitting and reading this week?


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Knit, Read, and Learn


Every time I knit a sweater, I learn something new. This time I set out to knit a color block sweater from leftover yarns. Guess what? Yarn on the coffee table looks differently when knit into a sweater. The values of the blue and gray colors are quite similar. More contrast between the two might have been better. And, what was I thinking when I decided to make the cuff off white? That color will show all the dust and dirt in a sweater I plan to wear as a sweatshirt. The neck would have been a better place for that color but one skein wouldn't have gone far on the neck and shoulders of a top-down raglan.

The sweater fits fairly well. I carried the ribbing in the raglan line down the sides of the body and sleeves to create faux seams and to make the knitting a little more interesting. The pattern doesn't include shaping but the ribbing pulls in the body slightly. Don't you love the stitch marker jewelry down the sleeves?


I have some decisions to make. I could knit the rest of the sleeve in light gray but that seems boring. I ordered a little more yarn in a slightly darker blue to finish the sleeves. So much for my idea of knitting with leftovers. I plan to finish the second sleeve in the new color and see how it looks before unraveling the cream cuff. I also plan to reknit the bottom ribbing because it looks sloppy. I forgot to change to a smaller needle. Knit and learn. So today as I join Kat and the Unravelers, I will be unraveling.

I finished listening to Hidden Figures by Margot Shetterly. The narrator is excellent and the story is fascinating. I loved the grit of the women who contributed so much to space and aeronautics research. As a retired educator, I enjoyed the story of how the women completed their educations in the context of school desegregation. Don't miss the epilogue at the end where the author includes additional information and answers the question, "Why hasn't this story been told previously?"

The late winter sunsets are glorious. One evening I made a cup of tea and took time to watch the sun go down. The colors are consolation for the remaining weeks of winter.


Knit, unravel, reknit, read, and learn. It is a great way to look forward to Spring. March weather is fickle. Even so the cranes will be passing through central Nebraska.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Small Things

Early this morning I watched light come into the sky. The sun is visible from a slightly different point on the horizon than it was a month ago. The quality of light has also shifted. The early birds to the tube feeder were gold finches, with the sun on their gray/green breasts. Geese flew over the house. I recognized their calls before they came into view. No doubt they belong to the urban wild fowl that circulates among city ponds and creeks. They were not migrating sandhill cranes or snow geese but I am waiting for those ancient cries. 


Mornings at my desk, I watch the little birds at the seed and suet feeders. The last two weeks I've been watching this Downy Woodpecker. I know it is the same bird because the little black feather with white polka dots hangs askew from his back. Though the days are growing longer, February doesn't seem like a good time for molting. The feather blowing in the breeze reminds me of a loose tooth in the mouth of a seven year old. The bird just doesn't use a tongue or finger to worry the feather away.

I knit a hat and mittens for a child who needs them to keep warm. Some children don't have a Grammy to knit for them so occasionally I take up my needles to help out. Last night I worked on the first sleeve of the color block sweater. It is still a blob of gray and light blue, a little like a late winter sky.

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday. He passed away seven years ago. Dad was strong willed and not the easiest guy to love. Alcohol was a demon in his life. However in the days before Driver's Education, he taught me how to drive. The first time I drove for my license, he stood on the curb waiting for my return to the county courthouse. He shook his head as I scraped his Pontiac against the bumper of a patrol car while pulling into a parking place. He didn't scold but remarked, "we need to practice parking." The following Sunday afternoon, we pulled in and out of parking spaces all over town. I passed the second driving test. Many evenings he came home from work complaining about lights on all over the house. "Turn off the lights. Money doesn't grow on trees." He took me down to the Norfolk Savings and Loan to open a savings account based on earnings from babysitting and my quarter a week allowance. After watching his widowed mother struggle to make ends meet, he helped both his daughters and sons obtain college educations. He loved pastries and the smell of birthday candles burning on a frosted cake. He was fond of his grandchildren. After Mom died, he learned how to wash a load of towels and make a pot of coffee. When I drove to see him in the nursing home, he thanked me for coming and shooed me out mid afternoon saying, "you need to be home before dark." As long as he was able, he stood and walked me to the door of his room. I plan to bake a sweet treat this weekend to remember him.

I hope your weekend is filled with the goodness of small things.





Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This is a Winter Hat

Gentle snow fell on Monday and Tuesday. Today the sun is out creating a beautiful winter landscape. I may invest in some winter athletic shoes to make walking safe. Boots are so awkward for walking any distance. I'd love to be out walking this morning but I don't want to fall.

Though I am joining Kat and the Unravelers, my knitting projects haven't required any unraveling. I finished this hat late the other evening. The knitting with this DK yarn was lovely. As I came to the top, the hat looked so tall. I kept trying it on to make sure it wasn't going to be a cone head hat. Gathered up with needles at the top, the hat was quite a look over flannel pajamas. The texture creates a very warm hat. Even though it doesn't match my winter walking coat, I'll settle for warm. The snow won't be melting today and more is predicted for later this week. I should have cropped this photo but didn't want to enlarge the wrinkles in my face. Smile lines, let's think of them as smile lines. 

Last night I finished the body of my color block sweater. Something about round and round stockinette sweater knitting is perfect with a cup of tea on a winter evening. I am going to knit the neck band out of gray and then divide the remaining yarn for the sleeves. I hope to knit cuffs plus a little of the lower sleeves from one skein of cream colored yarn. All of the yarn is Chickadee (sport weight) from Quince and Co. I knit a panel of ribbing down the side and then finished with a split hem because I could. I have tried the sweater on several times and it fits.

As for reading/listening, I am listening to Hidden Figures, the story of the African American women mathematicians and scientists who contributed so much to World War II aviation and the space program. The narrator is excellent. Shetterly writes well and the story is fascinating. I am enjoying the details about the strong group of bright intelligent women. I think novels and nonfiction works would provide great discussions in history classes. I finished reading The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. My sister gave me this book as a Christmas gift and I loved it. The small book is full of good nature writing with a little personal reflection on illness. The small soft pencil half-tone drawings of snails along the edges of the pages are charming. As my sister said, "it is a book about patience."

Stay warm and enjoy the rest of the week.






Thursday, January 25, 2018

These January Days


Whether you place a chair near a sunny window or take the book with you into a warm bed, these January days are meant for reading. I recently finished Gathering from the Grassland: A Plains Journal by Linda M. Hasselstrom. This writer is at her best when describing the seasons, grasses, animals, and other plants in western South Dakota. The journal format sets off Hasselstrom's recollections of daily and seasonal life on her ranch. The book includes an examination of the family relationships that have shaped her life on this piece of land. She doesn't hesitate to look deeply into family journals and records, weaving family and landscape into a good story for a winter day.

I continue knitting on the gray sweater. This evening I will split the body from the sleeves on this top-down raglan. I need to think about how and where I will add the next block of color. This project reminds me of the Choose Your Own Adventure books my children read while growing up. Now and then I need a little knitting diversion from rounds of gray stockinette so I cast on a hat. I ordered a skein of the Quince and Co. Phoebe yarn when it was first available to try in a small project. Better a late try than never. The yarn spun from 100% American Merino wool has good stitch definition. It has a lovely soft hand and would make a good cabled sweater, mittens, or a hat. 

Earlier this week we had a snowstorm. We were on the edge of the storm so only a few inches of snow fell but the wind blustered most of the day. Today's sun and warmth will melt most of the snow. I will be out walking this afternoon. I hope wherever you are you have a good book at the ready. Enjoy these January days. 


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Welcome to the Flock

The sun is shining and the temperatures are going to climb out of single digits this afternoon. Hooray. It will be nice to walk further than to the mail box and around the cul-de-sac. I am sitting in the corner of the love seat with my feet in a patch of warm sunshine and a cup of tea on the side table while I savor these mittens. They were a Christmas gift from my daughter. Like all knitted gifts, they are a love story.

One holiday break during my daughter's college years, I taught her to knit. Then she became a graduate student in physical therapy and married. She had little time for knitting. Eight years ago, when she was pregnant with her first son, she knit two toys, an elephant and a bunny. They were not uncomplicated projects. She finished the elephant but the bunny was missing one ear. Now she is a mother of three and little Jonah at 22 months found the bunny. He kept bringing it to her saying, "Mama, fix it." So in November when she came to teach for a weekend, she brought the bunny. Together we struggled over picking up the stitches. The instructions are designed to create a pleat in the ear. I helped her but we, mostly me, picked them up backwards so the ears are not symmetrical. Jonah doesn't care, he just wanted a bunny with two ears. She knit the ear. She watched You-tube videos while she made increases. She sat beside me and I showed her how to kitchener the top together.

Since she had nothing to knit on the plane ride home, I gave her a pair of needles, a ball of washcloth yarn, and a pattern. She wanted to knit some two color mittens like the ones my sister had made for her. I tried not to squeal with delight that she was interested in and had time for knitting. We talked about yarn and she ordered some before she left. I helped her just a little with the pattern instructions. Her first pair of color work mittens came in our Christmas package as one of my gifts. They arrived with a poem she wrote about knitting them. They fit, are extremely warm and so pretty. I was so touched by this gift. After she finished them, she ordered yarn for another pair. A good friend has asked her for a cowl so she has a project in her queue. She is a dear daughter and I am delighted to share knitting with her.

Meanwhile in Texas, my daughter-in-law made nine Christmas stockings on a knitting loom. She created the designs for these stockings. All the family members, including the dogs, have new matching stockings. Jacque has big heart and she is a wonderful daughter-in-law. She has driven me to several yarn shops in Fort Worth during our visits and patiently waited while I wandered around those stores. She crochets and is now creating designs for t-shirts. Two new knitters in one month! To them I say, "Welcome to the flock." May your fiber endeavors bring you joy, peace, and comfort.


As for me, I continue with my sweater - so far, so good. I should put the stitches on waste yarn and try it on. There are a few imperfections in the dye on this skein. I could have cut them out but decided to embrace what they bring to the sweater. There are plenty of other things to worry about in this world. I am listening to The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. Some sources call it one of the first feminist novels. It is interesting that after Anne's death, her sister Charlotte prevented this story, a woman who eventually leaves an abusive mate, from being republished. I am reading a book of poetry, Rock, Tree, Bird, a gift from my knitting sister. It also came with a pair of beautiful color work mittens. The book is written by Nebraska's State Poet, Twyla Hansen. Hansen worked as a professional horticulturist and writes with a strong respect for the environment and her agricultural background. The poems are lovely to read on a winter or any other day. They are one antidote to the constant font of troubling news in our country. 


So as I join Kat and the Unravelers today, I wish you good knitting, good reading, and time to enjoy the sunshine.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Knitting Notes

We are back to cold temperatures although we missed the heart of the storm that arrived in the wee hours of this morning. The wind roared and temperatures plummeted from yesterday's high of 50 degrees to 11 degrees at daybreak. If we have an inch of new snow I'd be surprised. I think quite a bit of it blew away. 

I finished the Contrail Shawl right before Christmas. It is a generous sized shawl and good for wrapping up in on these cold days. I enjoyed knitting the pattern and the yarn. I finished hat and mitten sets for our Connecticut grandsons after the New Year. They fit - mostly. The finished hat for the youngest looked small so I unraveled the crown and added another inch to the body of the hat. I think that inch makes it wearable for him this winter. Whew! Micah's wild and crazy hat is a little bit big so maybe he will get another year's wear out of it.  I'll exercise a grandmother's privilege and post a photo of them.


On New Year's Day, I began swatching for a sweater from some leftover yarn. I don't have enough in any color to make a pullover for myself but do have three colors in enough total yardage. (Very brief Rav notes here) I could have striped the yarn but decided to make a colorblock sweater. I intend to wear this sweater for everyday and am thinking of it as an experiment. At least that is what I am telling myself. Five times, I cast on and knit a few inches. Each time I came closer to a raglan line with a ribbed design and increases without big holes. I knew this would be a process and thought of it as swatching. The yarn held up beautifully to repeated ripping and knitting. I cast on one more time and knit along until I made a mistake in one of the increases. I took out three or four rows stitch by stitch because when I pulled it all of the needles I couldn't quite get the increased stitches back on correctly. Now the knitting is smooth sailing and I may need another more complex project to break up the stockinette stitching. 


Today I am going through my yarn stash and knitting bags in an attempt to make some order. My knitting bags are a jumble of needles, patterns, and yarn both leftover and wound for projects not yet begun. I am not making any elaborate goals. In keeping with "light" as my guide word, I am hoping to shed some light onto the yarn and be inspired by this stash. 

I meant to write a post yesterday in order to link with Kat and the Unravelers. Perhaps I need to write on Tuesday so I can publish on Wednesday. So it goes. Enjoy these deep winter days.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

Sunlight streams from the eastern sky creating shadows on the deck and inside the house. Juncos, finches, chickadees, downy woodpecker, a male cardinal (where is his mate?) a pair of bluejays and a red-bellied woodpecker come to the feeders and yard. The red-bellied woodpecker is a rare sighting here. I watched him pick up a safflower seed and drill it into the birch trunk until the shell opened. I am not sure how the birds keep from freezing in the sub-zero temperatures. They surely need plenty of fuel to keep warm and fly back to safe quarters.

The sum of the last few days includes frigid wind chill outdoors and after-Christmas cleaning indoors. I like to start the New Year with a clean house. I have almost completed the third hat/mitten set for our Connecticut grandsons. They are easy knits except for the sizing. I made them to go with their winter coats and hope they will fit someone. This all started when Micah announced he wanted to wear a different hat every day. He likes them wild and crazy so I made him a hat from variegated yarn. And yes, those are hand-knitted socks on my feet at the bottom of the photo. Wool is a necessity these days.


Instead of New Year's resolutions, I choose a word/ theme for the year. The last few months, the refrain from "Anthem" (lyrics/poem) by Leonard Cohen kept coming to mind.

Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

So today I choose "light." The word has Germanic, Indo-European, Latin, and Greek roots with many derivations. For example, the Old English leoht, leah, and then lea is a pasture or meadow drenched in light. Luxury and deluxe from luster are American English derivatives. In the English language, "light" may be used as an adjective, noun, transitive, or as an intransitive verb. We can live lightly, a derivation used as an adverb. There are the scientific and spiritual definitions for the word. Light in the sky provides endless beauty. Light allows us to see color. Light creates shadows. All of this keeps my mind busy on bitterly cold days and for the coming seasons.  Slowly, the light returns.

Happy New Year!