Thursday, January 21, 2016

Winter green

All green? In the midst of the coldest season, in the midst of the blue January. January is definitely a blue month in my mind; where February usually brings little bit of yellow with its arrival, January is blue at its purest.
The sun quickly peeks above the horizon, but she just brings light, no warmth at all. The color of the sky is not yet yellow, but this soft orange.
Freezing temperatures! Who needs a freezer? Take your food outside, and in no time it is solid. If you happen to be lucky and in need to chill some champagne, just a few moments on the porch will take care of it. If your inside freezer has a built-up of ice, now is the perfect time to deal with it. Take the food outside, defrost and clean the freezer, and afterwards fill it again, the items have stayed cold. Now is the time to take the bedding and the wools outside too... when brought back inside they are going to feel fresh and clean.
Needless to say, now is the time to knit and crochet and all in all, just treasure all things wool.
It has been extremely cold, -30°C and even more during the past few days. I survived through the winter of 1999 (I think it was) when it was way more colder, -50°C, and those days always come to my mind when the temperature starts to creep further and further down in the old fashioned outside thermometers like we have. Usually when I open the door to go out, the first few steps outside are going to tell me how cold it is and how far I can venture with the clothing I have on. After being out for a bit, very soon I will realize what the wind factor is and how well equipped I'm against Mother Earth's Arctic whiffs but now... When I open the door, the cold air whips my face with a force that immediately tells me to be cautious (to stay inside). Dressing up to go out just to get the mail (approximately 1 km to the mail box and back), becomes a real undertaking.
The tree branches outside make snapping sounds, and the house seems to have a whole new sound world, it creaks and bangs, it is like the cold is sneaking around the house quietly and keeps coming closer and closer until it is close enough to bite the house corners. It is almost as if the house is shivering and once in a while tries to pull back from the bites. While walking on the snow, every step makes a loud squeak. It makes me think of the critters who live under the cold blanket. And blanket it is in these circumstances. The temperature there under the snow near the ground is close to zero Celsius making the living conditions bearable for them.

How I love blue and yet my knitting/crocheting basket seems to hold mostly green projects. How did that happen?
Sadly the cowl did not work out. It is not going to be a cowl but a scarf. Making a big scarf is a daunting task, something you might want to avoid... rows after rows after rows with the same pattern, but now this scarf has revealed herself in small steps and all of a sudden, getting a big scarf done, is not scary at all. It was supposed to be a cowl, but when I thought it had reached its cowl dimensions, it was already much bigger. This sad incident might be turning into a happy one; I am loving the thought of getting a big scarf.
But... I am not certain yet.
This happened mainly (as a side note, I did not calculate anything... and there is always a price to pay, if you do that... on rare occasions you might get lucky) because all the time I was worried of running out of yarn... and never paid any attention how much I had already done, I just kept saying to myself that I might not have enough yarn. I used all of the gray yarn and when I blocked the thing, I realized it was too big... I tried it on being somewhat disappointed; too big to be a cowl, too small to be anything else but a little cat blanket. I considered giving it to the new kitten and this option is always available. (I once made a wool sweater up to the armholes and realized I did not want to wear it; since it had so much work put into it, I sewed it into a pillow and Kille had a nice woolly mattress for himself.)

So I was out of the grey wool and needed to have a second plan, ripping was not an option for some reason, although I am (very) good at it. The new yarn needed to be singles, and I came across a green that somehow happened to please my mood. This is Icelandic wool; very, very rough and it irritates my hands while I am working with it (this cold, dry air does not improve the process at all) and every other minute I think about taking it all out and trying to find another yarn, but I have grown to love the green! My green stash is very limited, I am almost certain I don't have any other thin green. I have kept working on it, I apply hand cream often and once it is done, I am going to soak it for a very long time in a very hot water, apply hair conditioner on it and see if I can ever wear it. I am hoping that it will be a nice warm scarf to wear over the coat, not next to my skin. (I seem to be in need of green since I am fighting all these obstacles.)

Other greens in the basket are two pairs of socks and if you look closer at the very first picture, there is green pompom there too. Soon more about it.
Once again, thank you so much for reading and commenting and thank you for your input in spinning, crochet and English. xx

Wool with you and stay warm,


  1. Anonymous14:54

    I always enjoy a post from you...thank you!
    Your crocheted scarf is interesting and beautiful. When the mood hits for another scarf (done in a singles), I discovered the ZICKZACK scarf on Ravelry. I think a scarf is a good idea until I'm about 1/3 of the way into it and then it is typically very slow and boring. This is not the case with the ZICKZACK worked in the Mille Colori Baby. It was fun from beginning to end. The color changing in the pattern was so fun that when I finished, I immediately wanted to start another. Have a good weekend. Cheryl

    1. I'm knitting a Zick Zack scarf right now! I'm doing it as a Sky Scarf - I'm checking the color of the sky each day at lunchtime, and at the end of the week, I knit two rows for each day. I love how it's turning out so far!

  2. Anonymous15:25

    Lene....oh my, this post sure warms itself into my heart and gives me warmth and so much joy! I so enjoy the winter months. Coming from a very warm climate, I have embraced the cold days with vigor and enjoyment. Oh, I don't go outside much due to my illness, but I do enjoy how the cottage shifts in the winter and how the warmth of the furnace keeps every little corner pleasant.

    Yes, January is a blue month for me also. Not as deep as the ocean, but a glossy blue that shifts and picks up the color of the sun. Wool is a fiber that I have come to love...I spin it and create with it afterwards. I tend not to wear it as close to my skin because like you, it itches :0( but I do wash it and sometimes even line it to make it more acceptable to wear.

    I'm sorry the green cowl did not work out, but you are persevering into making it a scarf. You might think of lining it so that you can wear it against your skin. Just a thought.

    Have a blessed day (and sorry the comment is so long....)


  3. January IS a blue month - especially where you are. I love the snow and cold so much - I always say that I want to move further north. Your kind of cold seems radical though and I love hearing about the house drawing in from its 'bite'! We are waiting for a big storm here in the northeast, and I can hardly wait. It means quilting and knitting and lighting the candles. Be well and knit on!

  4. January is a grey month where I live. the temp's are below zero warming a bit as the sun rises to 10*. If the wind isn't blowing 10* feels quite nice.
    my house also creaks and bangs with the cold I never thought of it as bites but will listen tonight when the tempo's drop to hear the chomp while I sit safely inside.
    the noise I like most in January is the lake song. sometimes during the day it is a quiet humming. other times it gets quite loud hitting all low notes almost groaning as the ice grows under the snow.
    like you I can keep myself entertained changing the color of my wool to brighten up the gray shades that dominate the view out my window. the green of your scarf looks just like the mosses and grass hidden below the snow just waiting to peep out come spring..

  5. Beautiful pictures. I love to see your world--it is so different from green, wet Seattle.

  6. Oh such pretty greens! Thank you for all of the lovely pictures.

  7. Hello! I, too, am waiting on the "big" storm due to hit the northeast (US). Your posts are often like poetry to me. I love your descriptions of the cold...the squeak of snow underfoot...the house avoiding the "bite" different everything looks and sounds in the winter. I love the way that snow often looks blue to me (blue January). And, of course, your knitting and crocheting are gorgeous. Stay warm!!

  8. I'm so glad I clicked through to comment today (I always read, only occasionally comment) because, although I enjoyed the post and the sense of calm in your life at this time of year, I hadn't seen the delightful winter banner image before and I adore it. Ever since your very first post and continuing to this day, your blog is one of my favorites.

  9. technikat03:28

    I love reading about your life in the north. A question for you. Do your houseplants manage ok with the little daylight you get in winter or do you need to use some kind of grow lights?

  10. enjoyed my morning coffee and visit with you. xo

  11. How great to knit the winter away! Here we never see snow and most of the time, I'm very thankful for the mild, rainy winter. I got a bit jealous though of your knit-faster-weather!!

  12. Anonymous21:51

    I love it when it is cold enough to make the snow crispy and crunchy! And I love the winter's blue light. And the need for all things woolies! Winter is by far my favourite season :)

    Good luck with the scarf. I am the kind of knitter who does not hesitate to go to Plan B, if plan A is not working out for whatever reason.

    Stay warm,