Thursday, December 01, 2022

Christmas time

It is snowing outside, this calm snowfall, where the individual small snowflakes are like tiny crocheted doilies, and the temperature though below zero, feels very, very mild. It is dark, actually it is dark almost all the time now. When you step outside, you are wrapped by this magic mystery world where the real world with its demands just fades away. And yet this snowfall in this arctic silence is my real world.

I often somehow dismiss my real thinking that the real world is somewhere else, where people are busy doing various serious adult things, but truly my real world is here. This is where I breathe, eat, drink, sleep, create, worry, rejoice, laugh and cry. And just now, this real world of mine is very quiet, very dark and very calm. I just brushed snow off my front door steps while letting the dogs run around in the new and fresh and clean snow. How they love to roll in the clean snow!

We have this collective feeling when we go out in the morning; we stop all of us to breathe in the morning air, we all sniff if there is something happening close to us. But the dogs (not me) instantly know a lot more; they know if there are reindeer close by and lately there have been. There is quite a big herd roaming close by and every now and then a few from that flock cross our yard and that just annoys the dogs. We breathe and stand for a few seconds. Today I then took my broom and the dogs went with their business.

The lake is gone now, it is below thick ice cover. Yesterday when I popped into the local, tiny shop, I was told that in some places the ice is already 20 centimeters (8 inches) thick. So we are well into winter, this blissful time of hibernation where the darkness creeps in sooner and sooner. Time for candles and fires and naps. My companions are very good in napping.

A part of me wakes up when winter arrives. My creative mind steps into fantasy world, it is so easy to start imagining seeing gnomes and fairies in the snowy world. You should see the trees, every little branch is like sugar coated, tiny tracks appear on the snow, and you can start to imagine who could have made those tracks. The dogs often stop to listen to the snow, they tilt their heads trying hard to hear better, because they know there are tiny creatures creeping under the snow.

It is the first of December, and the anticipation of Christmas is once again here, the time I love most about Christmas. Tasting glögg for the first time after a long while, taking out loved decorations, listening to the good old songs again, making Christmas coffee and having some good, tasty tea in the evening. Mind you, it is just not normal tea time in the evening, somehow in December, it is this special treat. Why is it not a special treat all the other nights of the year, that I don’t know, it just feels special in December.

I love everything December. Even though it is the same every year, it still feels fresh to discover day by day, what is it that makes this time of the year so special. The smells, the tastes (the old familiar traditions), and red everywhere, what a feast for the eyes and … the memories from the past years just linger around like mist. 

This little creature is my version of Halina pattern my Monika, who is @monikahoc in Instagram. Her patterns are whimsical and cute. She has an Etsy shop, she is moniARThandmade there. The snowflake on the dress is by Julia Hart, @draiguna in Instagram but you can find her in Ravelry. She has many beautiful snowflakes and some of them are free! 

A very happy December and Wool with You,


Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Come fall

Here I am finally writing to you, I never planned to be absent for a month but I have had quite a busy month. The price of the energy and the coming winter forced us (and many others) to gather wood to keep the fires burning during the coming months. All the wood work is done! Done! The piles of wood stand high and mighty. 

This morning I put into hibernation my roses and some other plants that I hope will survive in cool temperature with little light and water until next summer. Almost all fall work is completed and the house and the yard should be all set for the winter, just one big job remaining… well, it is not big, but quite cumbersome. When the trees are bare and the leaves have fallen, the roofs need to be cleaned and the water spouts and gutters emptied from the fallen debris. I am the one who climbs the ladder and some of the gutters are high. I am very uncomfortable when I climb as I am little bit (read: a lot, horrified!!) afraid of heights… yikes, but once that is done, all is done. 

I say all is done; really for now, as the snow shoveling time and wood hauling time begins soon at earnest!!

I don’t want to spread worry or sadness, but I just have to say that this war in Europe is taking a toll on me. The war is on my mind all the time. Every single day, many times a day, I check the news and the worry and sadness creeps into my everyday life. Many days I have had a plan to write to you but somehow the words just turn into ashes and I feel that there is nothing to say. What can I say that matters? And I know my worry is useless too… These are so so sad times. I try to keep in my heart Victor Hugo words, ”Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” 

Some time ago I said something about sock knitting… my mojo gone or something… Cold feet have fed my inspiration to knit socks and since I have two more pairs and finished a third one that was a wip. I did use my three hand dyed skeins and it did make the knitting little bit more interesting. I cast on for a new sock, this time with Regia something, and I like how the yarn is dyed in stripes and this combination is very pleasing to my eye. 
Now that I have managed to keep a pair (one sock at a time) on the needles and there seems to be some progress on many days a week, it is quite easy to keep returning to them. I do not dare to put them far away from my daily circles because then I would forget them and the progress would suffer and it would be more difficult to pick them up. But when I have my first cup of coffee (with the news) in the morning, the sock is there, and I remember well what I did the last time, and adding a few rows becomes rewarding. I have thought about setting a goal of 30 minutes a day dedicated to sock knitting, but so far I have not needed to do that, I have done those 30 minutes on most days.

I started and finished my third (and so far my last) Shawlography shawl. This completes my trilogy of them. I like this last one the least. And it is because I did not like the main yarn, the color was good but the yarn was so springy and hard that it was impossible to knit nice stitches. I felt that they were square instead of soft, round ovals and no matter how well I concentrated on one single stitch, the moment I left it on the needle, it returned into this square form. How very frustrating all the way to the end!! Now that the shawl has been blocked and has had a few days out of my sight, I seem to like it more. In a few weeks I have forgotten the battle with the yarn and will grow to like it even more. 

Now onto something else!

You probably can guess what this something else will be. It is Mystery Shawl time!! On Thursday the first clue of the EVENT of my shawl year drops. I cannot wait. I have not bought yarn for the mystery because I really don’t need any yarn. This past week I did sort out my stash a little bit. I have huge baskets and I arranged my yarns, mostly fingerings and sport weights, occasionally some thicker ones too, into these baskets by color. So I have a green basket and a brown one, the biggest two are for the blues and the reds. The yellows and purples are quite moderate. Whites, beiges and grays have all their own too and all the mohairs share a same box. 

I am not quite sure what colors I will use for the shawl. There has to be main color and the contrast color, about the same amount of both of them and then one accent color. I have been contemplating on knitting two shawls… or then just one… but I am thinking of green, brown and gray… or purple, blue and beige… I think I will start the first clue with green or brown and then see where it takes me… 

As much as there is sadness, there are things that bring joy. This mystery knit-a-long is one, and the other is Mother Nature. Yesterday morning, I stared at the lake, as is my habit in the morning. The mist was moving, there was no wind and one moment there was lots of mist and the next it seemed to disappear to come back in patches. It was so so beautiful! I grapped my camera and walked down to the shore and tried to capture the moment, but I am afraid, these pictures just don’t do justice to the magic I was priviledged to experience.

I hope you are well and have found some joy!

Wool with you,