Sunday, February 5, 2012
the very birds are mute
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
What old December’s bareness every where!
And, thou away, the very birds are mute;
Or, if they sing, ’tis with so dull a cheer
That leaves look pale, dreading the winter’s near.
Sonnet 97, W. Shakespeare
It's almost time for me to move westward where Spring is just opening the door and my whole heart will exhale. Here in the North, the turning of January to February is not an opening of Spring's doorway, but actually the middle of winter. We've had a cold dry winter with little snow accumulation but lots of ice. An lots of ice means....
...lots of skating!
This old city park, seeded in memory and part of the historical downtown area, has a large pond that is home to duck families in Spring, Summer and Fall. But as soon as the edges start to crystallize, children gather on the bank anxious for the old faded sign to go up... the one that reads SKATING TODAY. Even dogs are eager to test the ice with their chilled owners in tow.
and skating weather is also Knitted Hat Weather! I don't know why I'm constantly losing hats, but that means that I'm constantly making hats. A friend recently gifted me this lovely new hat pattern: Ami by funfairiegirl on Ravelry, and I'm loving the making of it!
The stitch pattern is a wonder: lush and stretchy with a textured spiral to it that winds like ribbons around the crown. I'm using MadelineTosh DK in the colourway Silver Fox with a size 6 needle and the effect is gorgeous. The stitch shows off the variegation of the yarn in a very subtle way and when it is finished, I'll wear it like a snow drift on my head (but so much warmer)!
I also discovered a new online shop this week, just when I needed (so much!) the cheer of new yarns and projects: Wool & Honey, in Michigan. I love to peruse local yarns and handmade accessories for my favorite art form and Wool & Honey is such a beautiful store:
They have their own line of patterns:
and most beautiful local llama fibers:
You know how I love to collect these skeins from small farms that show the face and name of the of the gentle creature whose coat was sheered or combed to spin to yarn! This is from - top, then bottom, and then the middle skeins - Pipsqeak and Riyal, they yielded a natural pinkish brown...M.S. Hallelujah!, whose coat resulted in a decidedly masculine rich grey-brown... and the most marvelous Prophet, whose yarn is as soft as cashmere and, though he looks white in his photo, is a light oh-so-creamy tan.
What I'll do with these fibers, I don't know yet. Perhaps vintage style gloves would be the perfect match.
It's obvious that winter has me down, and I'm sorry and I'm sad, but soon I will be slipping westward and, like Persephone, winter will fade in my memory. Not soon enough for me, but then, I need another week or two to finish up my hats!