Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Arctic Spring

So it is April!
First of all the long and dreary March when I did more of frogging than during the past whole year is gone. Hooray for that!

In the end of this month we are supposed to have less snow than in the beginning of this month. Hooray for that also!

But the latter is very difficult to believe right now. It looks like all the last lockers of the sky have been opened and we are destined to have the remainder of the snow that is left in the universe. We have become a large dumping-ground of the snow while the rest - it seems like that from up here - are frolicking with crocuses and daffodils.

The saying for April, I have heard is, "April showers bring May flowers". We have a saying like "the new snow is fatal to the old" or "the new snow makes the old vanish". This we keep repeating like a mantra when meeting people in a snow storm. This is what we say in a store to a cashier when we are leaving lots of wet snow marks all over the place or when a big hunk of melting snow drops on one's nose unexpectedly and causes an embarrassment...

I question myself every day now the reasons why we are still living up here.

And I say, look at all the light!
The other me replies, think about the long nights with no light at all.

But it is so safe!
If you ignore the fact that on one unhappy occasion you may bump into a waking bear or a hungry wolf in the neighborhood. Or you might freeze to death. Or get buried in the snow.

At least it is very quiet!
If it got any quieter, I would think that I'm already in my eternal sleep...

The final try. You can wear wool all year around.
But, I'm sure I could love cotton as much.
Or could I?
I'm hanging on a very thin wool fiber these days and am afraid that the fiber will snap. Instead of watching the weather forecasts I'm going to ignore the arctic weather conditions altogether and concentrate only on this Pacific Northwest Shawl which is a pleasure to knit with Blueberry Zephyr. It has a pattern repeat called waves and I intend to have the shawl finished by the time the waves of my lake are again free from the ice and I can take a picture of the finished shawl with the blue lake in the background. The date could be anything between the middle of May to the very end of May.
PS. I feel this way every April.

PS. I have been blogging for 6 months today. Thank you for reading and thank you commenting.


  1. Happy Anniversary!

    I understand why there are many Fins who live in Northern MN because we frequently have the same feelings every March and April. The last few years have been pretty easy as Spring has come early. That's not saying that we couldn't get another snowfall in May (and we have). I just wish we had the wonderful long days in the spring and summer.

    The shawl looks lovely. I'm enjoying the Finnish lessons, even though my pronunciation is horrid.

  2. Living in Alaska at 60 degrees north, I share your ambivalence about this time of year. We don't really get spring, here. We go from sad old rotten snow and mud straight into summer, which won't arrive till early May. The most difficult thing is to suffer through this gracefully while the rest of the world enjoys those daffodils, trying to hang onto the thought that only a few months from now we'll be glorying in that summer light and around-the-clock summer activities and bustle. To look around at wild and empty country, something so rare to the rest of the world, somehow is less consoling when it's all covered with grey damp snow and brown mud. Bleah for high latitude spring; bring on the summer!

  3. Anonymous18:16

    From Wisconsin: You have it worse than us! But we still have it, and this has been a horrid spring--very cold and wet. Finally when it comes, everything will be blooming at the same time--the very last tulips with the lilacs, and the very last lilacs with the roses. What flower grow north of the Arctic circle? Hang in there!

  4. I can relate to pyykkipaiva--Dad just brought me a bunch of his shirts to iron. Not my favorite job. But won't he think I'm clever when I tell him about it with Finnish words?

  5. Rachel H18:22

    Happy half year blogiversary! Think warm summer thoughts as you knit the shawl. Maybe that'll help?

  6. I love reading your blog! thanks for addinga bit of cheer to my days! And may i ask you about your artwork! I am totally loving the drawings!! How do you do them? Draw then scan or some computer thing?? They are lovely!!!!!!!!! How about some help with pronunciations? :-) I would love to learn some Finnish! I have no clue how to sound them out though.
    Have a great day!!!!!!!!!

  7. Cotton? Never! It doesn't come from an adorable animal like a sheep, and it's harder to spin, I think (though I have never tried that myself.) And it's not particularly warm, either.

    It's snowing in Boston today, too. Very depressing. I hope the cold doesn't kill all the lovely tulips and daffodils that are just coming up.

  8. Happy Anniversary Lene!

    I just recently found your blog and I think it just wonderful! I love your observations of the countryside and life. As for winter, I can't wait for it to be over either! I am in New York City, and at mere 40 degrees latitude, and it is snowing today! In April! Last week it was 70 degrees! Ah, well, we have a saying in the northeast (New England really, where I was born) - if you don't like the weather just wait a few minutes!

  9. Anonymous19:15

    Hang in there - spring will come! I'm in Indiana and we've had a fairly mild winter and it will be nice today. But more "spring" weather - thunderstorms and maybe a tornado or two. Maybe all the warm, cheery thoughts we're sending your way will help. I haven't been reading your blog for six months, but I sure enjoy it and the glimpse into a different country/language.

  10. Voi voi, ei kuulostaa hyvältä. Mutta täällä Helsingissä sää on oikein tylsä, taivas on harmaa ja lumi sulaa - kaduilla on räntä. Bleh, se ei ole paremmin :-)

    Hang in there! We need you!

  11. Lene - I feel for you with the longggg days of snow! For me, there are 520+ sm of snow on the ski hill I see from my window, but no snow in my yard!! I now must buy the pattern for Pacific Shawl, as that is the ocean I see everyday! March is a bad month in any place I have lived (I moved 23 times) and April is full of promise. Hang in there, like your colourful stockings on the line, and this too shall pass! The last snow of spring was always called "God's cheap fertilizer" by my Mom! Keep up blogging, and I promise to have a blog site by the middle of May!! Go to this site - and you can see live nesting Bald Eagles about 10 minutes as the bird would fly from my home! Hope you enjoy it. It can start off black, but hang in there and you will see the Eagle on the nest! Sorry this is so long!

  12. Diane19:41

    Happy Anniversary!

    I just found your blog and enjoy it very much. Your drawings are wonderful and so is your writing.

    I do feel the same way about March around here (western New York State) and start getting hopeful about spring in April (although it did snow a bit yesterday).

  13. We don't have any snow in Rhode Island right now but we're not frolicking!! It's cold and damp and dreary. Hold on! I'd love to see your country someday...even covered in snow

  14. Your blog is poetic and the shawl is beautiful. I especially love the phonograph with the tree and the lake.

  15. Happy Bloggerversary!
    Your Shawl is very beautiful especially against the snowy back ground.
    Lene, its April! You’re still battling snow, I am still battling tornado's lets go off to Hawaii and knit flowers!!! LOL :)

    P.S. Today is pyykkipaiva for me too!
    I Love today's lesson!

  16. Happy six month anniversary! Your Pacific Northwest shawl is looking lovely.
    I grew up in North Dakota, so understand the mixed feelings you have towards living in a cold, remote place. There are good and bad things about every living place, I suppose.

  17. Ellen in Connecticut21:10

    You have "cabin fever" and you need a reliever! It's time to have a party and dance a lot.

  18. Lene, keep your smile on. It snowed in Manhattan today. I enjoy your blog so much.

    Cheers - Bex

  19. Thank you so much for taking the time to share you thoughts and projects with us!

    We have had 31 days of rain where I live in Northern California so while it is nothing compared with what you live with but for us this is tough weather. I just keep reminding myself that the sun will come out eventually!

    Best to you!

  20. Hi Lene, I just discovered your blog and I'm enjoying reading it. I really miss living in the Yukon where the weather was like yours. I'm in northern BC now, the farthest south I've ever lived and it's too warm for me! It's 15C today and everybody is running around in shirtsleeves and shorts.

  21. Perhaps you leave there because it is very quiet (says Fleur in France, where you have spring, and also a lot of strikes, riots and next month it will be May with many more!! No I am joking. Well, am I? It's not funny, I might prefer bears actually)

  22. Your blog is beautifully written and illustrated. It has been a very successful 6 months, Happy long life to Dances With Wool!

  23. Happy Aniversary, Lene! I love visiting your blog and I hope to keep doing it for a long time!

  24. Cotton doesn't compare to wool! I, too, thoroughly enjoy reading your blog! And spring hasn't arrived here in Maine, either - we are just getting more hours of daylight, and still getting snow.

  25. I love today's drawing. Pyykkipoika is such a perfect name for clothespin. I love that not all the socks have mates -- real life depicted.

    I guess that's an advantage to hand-washing the socks that I wasn't thinking off -- they are much less likely to disappear from the sink than from the washing machine!

  26. Anonymous05:08

    Happy anniversary, Lene. I have been lurking for awhile and just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog, including your art work and Finnish lessons! I live in the southern US, where it almost never snows and has already begun to feel like summer, not spring. I may never get to Finland, though I would like to - but each time I visit your blog, I feel like I get a breath of Finnish air, along with your wonderful writing. Please keep it up!

    I don't have a blog, so I have to be "anonymous" - but my name is Sherri

  27. Patsy06:33

    Have been reading your blog for awhile but haven't commented. Today I decided to let you know how much I enjoy your writing--and knitting adventures--and your observations on nature. And I love the drawings with your little straight-backed birds and the educational little pictures. It's a wonderful blog you have done.

  28. i just recently found your blog anad i just love it. you are very eloquent and i agree with a previous commentor, you are a breath of fresh (finnish) air :. as for the winter blues, i can understand somewhat. i lived for several years in a place where it was overcst every day, even in summer, and in winter we would get over 100 inches of "lake effect" snow. i am sure you have heard of the "grow lights" that are available. they are full spectrum lights that help fend off seasonal depression by sorting out all the neurotransmitters in your brain that have been screwed up by no natural light, and only artificial.
    anyway, i hope spring comes soon for you, keep up the great work, i will visit often

  29. happy six months anniversary! i thought all us scandinavians were the same but at least here on the west coast of norway it is just (really cold) rain that comes down from the sky. and cotton: overrated! ;-)

  30. I'm afraid I couldn't handle living in Lapland, but I do miss the Finnish spring time. Yes, it's wet, but it get's so green so fast, unlike here in South Dakota, where spring is typically (in my 5 years of experience) quite warm, but dry, and evetything is so dreary and brown. It won't start getting green till mid to late May, although the snow has been gone since beginning of April. Sigh...
    Happy blog-1/2 year-anniversary!

  31. I'd bet one advantage of living there is the clean air. I live in Washington DC, which has the 4th dirtiest air in the USA. You can tell when it snows--the snow gets very dirty very fast.

  32. Anonymous17:32

    gI have just recently discovered your blog and enjoy reading it so much. I live in New England where the snow is gone for this year but I miss it already. I love your drawings and hearing about your country. Please keep them coming.Cab

  33. Lene, I recently discovered your blog and I love it. I've been interested in Finland ever since I began using some Finnish sewing patterns (Ottobre) and became curious about it. Your photographs and descriptions are so beautiful -- I feel like I'm seeing into a small window of your world. Thank you.

  34. Spring has finally sprung here in London and the lighter days and evenings make a huge difference after six months of gloom. It has been a hard winter even here, so stay wrapped up until the flowers bloom! I really enjoy your blog, Lene, and love hearing about your snowy days and knitting!

  35. Hi Lene, I've never made a shawl but seeing yours, I think I'd like to try one. I love the pictures I've seen of how they blossom from a crumpled mass into a beautiful heirloom when you block them. But I'd better finish my daughter's birthday socks first! By the way, here in Mississauga, near Toronto, Ontario, we really did not have winter this year. It was strangely warm and there was barely any snow. I didn't hear anyone complain, though.

  36. Happy Anniversary! You do such a good job blogging and in English, no less. You site is one of the first I visit every day. I love your pictures of the outdoors. I love the lake and the snow. We have already had a very few moments of sweaty weather here, and I long for the cool breezes of November and even December and January.

    Keep blogging!

    P.S. I'll bet you could gather up your "learn some Finnish" drawings and get them published.

  37. Happy anniversary! Your shawl is lovely. I like cotton for T shirts and jeans, but not sweaters - give me wool.