Sunday, February 10, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside . . . Again!

I didn't actually mean to wait an entire week to blog - but the time this week just flew by. Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and although I'm not Catholic, I have nearly always given something up or taken something on during this introspective time of the year. I think it builds character, and for me, often opens a door to something new and often important. I find that the time between Lent and the joyful celebration of Easter is one of most important times of the year to acquire self-knowledge and to often forge a new path forward.

In the Celtic calendar, we're at the season of Imbolc. The days are getting noticeably longer, and soon the first signs of spring will start occur - although you couldn't swear by it today when, here in Chicagoland we're in the grasp of another arctic blast.

February. Lent. I love how Celtic Specialist, Dolores Whelan, puts it in her book, Ever Ancient, Ever New: "The season of Imbolc marks the very first signs of spring-time and new life, the impulse towards spring. An older version of this name is Imbolg which means 'in the belly,' and gives rise to a beautiful metaphor which describes this time as 'winter pregnant with summer'."

Throughout this winter I have felt like I have been laying the groundwork for whatever is coming next in my life. I'm not sure what it will be, but I believe that exciting things are on the way :-)

Yesterday was a lovely day! Linda and Rachael ventured to the Southland for a day of good food, good conversation, substantial amounts of laughter, and lots and lots of knitting. This was Rachael's first visit Chez A, and of course was most interested in the yarn stash :-D Big fun! After a lunch of my favorite Shrimp, Broccoli and Pasta, we broke out the fiber (of the sheep kind :-D)
Here they are, in my sunroom, modeling their "sweater exchange."
Linda, in her quest for the perfect wrap sweater, made the green one that Rachael is wearing, and Rachael made the blue one that Linda is wearing, which after she finished didn't suit her as well as she thought it should. How interesting that each is perfect for the other - these two friends even knit in colors that are suited to the other! I think you can tell that we had a pretty fun afternoon :-)

Linda brought fresh eggs from her chickens, and also a coconut egg custard pie she made! And for dinner we had a salad of mixed greens, a few pine nuts and fresh strawberries (a rare treat in February here), tossed by Linda with some balsamic vinegar and some olive oil. Yum!

I did all the finish work on the Point Five Raglan (it's quite pink and very fuzzy, and Linda doesn't think it too flattering - but really, I like it for some unknown reason, and think of it more like an outdoor jacket than a fashion statement). All that is needed now are buttons . . . the search is on.

I cruised through the first Fawkes sock this week - I actually took it off the needles this morning.

As I have been knitting it, I kept thinking, "this is so familiar." In truth, it's essentially the same pattern as Yukon Leaves! How funny is that?! Fawkes is on the left, and Yukon Leaves on the right. If you click on it the photo will pop up larger and you can see the stitch definition (if you are so inclined ;-) ).

I have followed and not modified the Fawkes pattern in order to learn new stuff with it. It called for 4 repeats of the pattern, which has pretty much ensured that these socks will be anklets (I think my fears of running out of yarn were misplaced :-) ) and I'm very glad I did not shorten the pattern repeats on the leg. I'm happy that I did go up to the 2.75mm needles. This was a new heel for me, and I didn't care for it. It's easy to do, but I don't care for how it is seated on my heel. Were I to make this pattern again, I would stay at this size needle and add four stitches (an extra purl stitch between pattern repeats); I would also do at least two more full repeats of the pattern on the calf and switch back to a more standard heel turning with a deeper gusset.

Well, there are movies to watch, a dishwasher to load, a treadmill to walk on, and some knitting to do - but all the laundry's already done, and the sun's out, which has been scarce here lately.

Enjoy :-)


The Knitted Squirrel said...
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The Knitted Squirrel said...

The socks look great. It's crazy that it looks the same as Yukon Leaves. At least they are a different colour, so it's not as obvious.
Dinner sounds yummy.
We in Toronto are buried under snow and arctic temperatures too! Stay warm!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Having never enjoyed such a girlfriend/knitting/fiber/eating weekend, I'm trying not to be jealous! And so cool that Linda's and Rachael's sweaters were perfect for each other!