I’m fine, had a very good back to the routines week and finally the winter came. It is freezing cold – almost -20°C – and the sky and the air is clear and it seems as if already there is much more light. Every morning during the day light time, I haul huge amounts of firewood inside and keep the fires going for most of the day.
This is how it is supposed to be and this feels very right. Even though the lake froze earlier this fall, all the wet and warm days weakened it until the ice became very thin and it came loose by the shores. The lake appears to be all covered with the ice but I know it is not and I know because the ice keeps growling again. I wish you could hear it. The sound is a lot deeper than it was earlier in the fall or then I’m just imagining things. I know, this is I trying to find some drama in ordinary things. But you must admit that without drama life would be quite dull sometimes.
I’m off to the Big City tomorrow and will be gone for a few days. Going from these small quiet surroundings to the world will be a welcome episode to me even though packing I hate and I don’t want to be apart from the familiar and always need to have a good cause to be able to do it. I used to travel more and have been around a little bit but not so much lately. There are times when I need the change of scenery but that does not happen often. Once home from the occasional and obligatory trips I need to have solid weeks to settle down. Even a little trip to the nearest town can leave me jetlagged and am always told that I should go out a lot more. I’m a hermit by heart but I guess one has to be to survive here. I’ll take the notebook and my favourite pencil along (I could not travel without it) and write and sketch down everything that catches my eyes. I am going to need to be very focused on some days but there will be time for some special friends and one good book store.
I know that travelling broadens your horizons and forces you to see various people and their way of living from new viewpoint and you gain more understanding by doing so. But to be totally honest, my biggest challenges are right here in my part of the world, to really understand, have an open mind and to be tolerant and to be willing to forgive and ask for forgiveness is hard everyday work and occasional trips to the big world won’t change that so much. Tolerance and acceptance I have noticed is so much easier somewhere else.
The Winter Forest is proceeding nicely. I have separated the yoke into the main body and the sleeves. Before when I did this pattern I did raglan sleeves and then the construction was a lot easier. Now that I hid all the increases into the pattern I have had to make some decisions. The pattern repeat is quite wide, so I decided to divide the yoke in favour of the main body, so that the pattern flows from the yoke into the main body without any changes. I’m glad about this but at the same time a bit worried how the transition will go with the sleeves. I have not yet decided my action there; I will need to think it over and fiddle with the pattern, just don’t know how yet. But again, that part is under arms and it is not going to show so there should not be too big problems.
I have already gone through 200 grams of the wool and am passed the waist shaping. So it is looking quite good with the amount of yarn I have. I will knit away the third skein and then I will do the sleeves. And all the yarn I have left after the sleeves can be knit into the body. I have decided to postpone the possible yarn order further.
When I knitted this the first time I did this in pieces with seams. The little wider dress part in the hem with seams does not have any drape and does not hug the body what I think is quite bad-looking and what is in some ways the reason I need to re-knit the sweater. I used to knit in pieces then and always seamed my garments. I know my seaming skills could be a lot better and that is probably why I think that instead of adding structure my seams mostly just add unflattering bulk and spoil the drape of the garment (maybe there is a circumstance there somewhere for me to discover that seams do add support and then I might have eat my big words about seams...) I think that if the sweater or a cardigan needs to have support it should be worked into the pattern and should be controlled with good yarn and stitch choices. Very often in my own collection of by-me-knitted garments, the ones done in pieces and seams sag in the middle of the pieces in the front and the back and while the knitted fabric stretches the seams don’t and that does not look nice. If you pick up the stitches from the seams and then graft the stitches, then I suppose the seams would have more ¨give¨ but would it solve the whole problem, I am not sure of because the direction of the stitches would be different. There is a lot to learn yet, I know.
I have thought about the yarn choices a lot lately, some yarns are light and some heavy and should be used well aware of these facts but there is more to this and finding it out is my ongoing challenge; some of the information can be read from the books but some will be gathered as bits and pieces along the knitting way and the information will turn into this quiet knowledge that you know by heart. All the fibres are not good for all the tasks. I want to learn to be quiet and humble in front of the material and respect it and have the ears to listen what it wants to be, because I know it will talk.
The Winter Forest is getting big already and definitely too big to fit into my suitcase. She will have to stay home. I am not sure if I will take the lace yarn with me and start the lace parts or if I again will travel without any knitting. Having the hands busy is good but there is nothing wrong with idle hands either. And sometimes, just sometimes, the knitting might be a barrier between the world and me, and then the question is, do I dare to enter the world without my knitting.