The morning sky is gray and heavy with clouds. After sunny milder days, the temperature will drop quite low tonight. Spring is a ways off. Still, the quality of daylight changes as the sun sets a little later. This week the bird songs sounded like Spring. One afternoon I walked and noticed a bush across the street almost quivering. It was covered with fluttering chirping sparrows. Here, house finches have nearly squeezed out the sparrows so seeing them was a treat. Funny how I never paid much attention to the humble brown sparrow until recently. I looked for a cat or large bird of prey but didn't see one. Maybe they were just happy to converse with each other in the sunshine.
This is a week for patience with weather and with myself. After a PT session of strengthening exercises, I type with an icepack at my back. Two steps forward, one back - no pun intended. My back is better just not back to normal. Patience is required as I remind myself this condition is very minor compared to others with catastrophic illness and other difficulties in life. I am also grateful to be knitting on both of these projects.
At least I think I am grateful for this shawl! I have knit this pattern previously and the eyelets are simple. I don't know if I was engrossed in the audiobook mystery or just trying to keep myself in a good position for knitting. Regardless I unraveled the eyelets several times. First I made a rookie mistake of skipping two yarn overs. When I knit this pattern previously, I followed the chart to knit the eyelets. Somehow I forgot there was a chart and knit from the printed directions. As I put the stitches back on the needle for the third time, I somehow recalled an old email notification for a pattern update. By then, my pattern was covered with four different marks indicating the rows knitted. There was one little pesky error in the printed directions for the eyelet pattern. I updated the pattern, printed fresh pages of this section, and have been happily knitting ever since. Egad. Here's a tip: before you reknit something for the third or fourth time check the Ravelry pattern for a correction/ update. How many years have I been knitting?!!
This hitchhiker is really fun. It's wild and busy but it makes me smile. I began by knitting eyelets on every other tooth, then stretched the space to every third tooth. If I knit another scrappy hitchhiker, I'd skip the eyelets. The fabric is plenty busy without them. This is my second hitchhiker and I'm going to keep it in mind for gift knitting. If you like garter stitch it's fun to knit and who can't use a scarf to wrap around their neck in chilly weather.
I continue to savor Erosion by Terry Tempest Williams. If I thought my congressional representatives would read it, I'd send them a copy. How I wish elected representatives would listen to the literary voices. They are so wise and eloquent. Last night I finished The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. I found ideas I missed previously, including the touching and sweet little Epilogue. I enjoy all of Cather's writing, but I think she is at her best when she writes of strong women. While reading this novel, I reread a few letters (The Selected Letters of Willa Cather) Cather wrote about the novel as it was being published. She mentioned a couple of experiences she took from her life to create the fictional characters and the story. In The Song of the Lark Cather meanders slowly through her heroine's life but I love the pace of the story and the descriptive writing. Her writing has such depth.
So as I join Kat and the Unravelers today, I wish you smooth sailing, little patience required, with your knitting and reading. I plan to make a cup of winter white chai and enjoy the light of February.