Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February Color and Light

January and February is a good time for comfort knitting. I knit a scarf from Shepherd's Wool in a pattern called Danger. While I knitted, temperatures dipped below freezing and remained bitterly cold. In fact, the weather was so cold, I completed the bind-off, wove in the beginning and ending ends, and wore the scarf without washing and blocking. For some reason, the name "Danger" reminds me of the "here be dragons" phrase cartographers of the early 1500's used to indicate danger. As I walked on bitter cold days with the scarf wrapped around my face, I thought, "here be danger." Still on those cold days, the neighborhood is quiet and there is a certain kind of beauty in the contrast of snow and bare tree trunks. As I came home to soup bubbling in the crock pot or carrots and squash roasting in the oven, I savored the peace of winter days. Soon enough lawnmowers and other power tools will disturb the quiet.    

Yesterday was unseasonably warm so I drove out to a trail bordering a wooded area for a walk. Even though I walked in a fleece jacket without hat or scarf, the grasses and adjacent wooded area looked like winter. Songbirds were not visible. Instead I saw only a hawk riding thermals in the wind and two big crows perched in tall elms. On the last leg of my walk, I found this wispy feather attached to the twig of a bush. I wish I knew what kind of bird shed this tiny feather with the splotch of gray along the shaft. After a walk through a monochromatic landscape, the feather made me smile.

February marks the month when the light begins to increase. The change is quite subtle, nevertheless the color of the sunny sky seems different to me. The days of slightly increasing light offer the hope of Spring. I hear more bird song too. I recently read that birds don't migrate based on temperatures but on the changes in light.

Last night I put another inch on the "Current" cardigan I cast on last summer. The yarn is a soft sage green. Knitting an adult sweater from fingering yarn with miles of stockinette stitches is a bit like slugging through winter. I wanted to make sure the sweater was worth my time so I put the body stitches on waste yarn, tried it on, and decided I like the fit. Tomorrow the forecast is for cold and snow but yesterday after my walk, I planted basil and chamomile seeds. The basil seeds came free in the mail. I don't know if they will germinate but I decided to plant them in pots and tend them from the kitchen counter. Any extra green color is welcome. I wish you enough color and light to see your way through the remaining days of February.