Monday, May 18, 2020

Arctic Spring

I am little hesitant to show you these pictures because now you all feel sorry for me…

but here they are, the scenery I look at today, May 18th, 2020.

This has been long and slow spring. The lake is still covered by ice, but I am almost holding my breath because the ice must go soon. Soon. When the ice breaks and the lake is free again, I will stay up all night, soak in the light and praise the power of the sun, and drink champagne and toast that once again, the winter is behind. 

 With binoculars I can see that there is quite a big free water area in the northern end of the lake. If the wind would pick up and blow from the north, the waves would start building in the open area, and thus the power of the moving water would start crushing the ice. But it is a calm night.

The migrating birds are here, their constant singing is uplifting. Night temperatures have been low, well below zero this past week. The day time temperatures have not been that great either; we have not gone past ten degrees Celsius yet. This is arctic spring.

I have lived through many springs up here, but I do not think that we have ever had so much snow left in late May. The floods might get difficult this year. These cold nights are particularly good as they slow the process of melting snow. Even the spots where the sun hits the snow, the snow piles seem stable. The surface of the snow softens during the day and come night; it will freeze again; the snow piles have turned into little icebergs. Where the ground is free from ice, it is wet and dead.

This willow has been standing here, close to the water always (it seems) and it is all bare yet, not a sign of life. It is as willows are, sturdy and has survived different springs and has taken manhandling from the ice a few times. One spring it was laying on the ground as the ice packed against it, but with little help, it got up again and there it stands, brave little thing, having no idea how this spring will treat her. 

I will try to record its spring this year and will report back to you how it is for her.

I was raking today for a little bit in between snow piles. Then I went to see if I could find any life in my Humulus Lupulus, and I was not disappointed, there were little violet stems just beginning to grow. They are always the first. 

Inside, I have been making little pants for the hares (more specifically the Tundra Wool Hare, close relative of the Mountain Hare, Lepus Timidus). I made five pairs in a row, making little tweaks after each pair, taking good notes. Now I will know how to knit them, even after a long time. So far, I have mostly jotted down haphazardly few words here and there and when I return to make another piece of clothing or creature, I always need to study carefully just what I did before. (I am proud of the pockets.)
And there is one little hare without a face and a tail.
I don’t think I am done knitting them yet, I mean there is only three and how many cats did I make until I had enough, I don’t know.
Do you know Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits -blog? She knits all kinds of lovely creatures. 

I was searching for inspiration and I looked through her blog and patterns in Ravelry. There was one pattern that caught my eye… I would love to knit a few tiny donuts. That pattern is free.

I also have Striped Esjan on the needles.

Hope I can show you pictures of the lake next time!

Wool with you,

Monday, May 11, 2020

Building with scrappy Blocks

This is again Stephen West shawl, the Building Blocks. I don't remember just when I cast on for this but it was on the needles for a long time.
It is often, that I make a wrong choice or make a mistake and then the progress comes to a stop. The bright orange kept disturbing me all the way to the very end. Almost after every row I stopped to see if that orange had lost any of its glow... but it did not, it kept burning all the way to the end, and it still does.

This shawl uses only scraps from the stash. There are some hand spun skeins too and if you look at this red striped stripe, I have run out of one yarn and just added another one and no one will know.
I made an inventory of my stash this spring. I gathered all my yarns together, sorted them out to boxes, either according the way I am going to use them, like sweater yarns are grouped... or my special, precious skeins are grouped... I put all of these different groupings into their own, designated, numbered boxes. Then I wrote down into a notebook the box number and what is there and how much. I did this to most of my yarns. If there were only bits and pieces left, I did not bother to write down them all but even those I sorted into similar groups.
When I am planning, I will look at my notebook, see what do I have. When I find something I like, I right away know where is that yarn. I am so proud of this system. Finally after all these years, I have a working system. Even though I have more yarn than I realized, I feel good that it is all sorted out and manageable.
This inventory of the stash has also prompted me to use the stash more. I am in love with stranding mohairs with everything I have, so lately I have just bought few skeins of mohair to spice up the old stash.

I thought of doing this for a long time and it did take me days to get it all organized, but in the end it is so worth every hour it took.

Otherwise, we got 4 inches of snow yesterday... it is kind of depressing. It truly is. I had to go to town today to get groceries and I almost could not make it out of the driveway.

Wool with you,