Gray days of February

Covid precautions, doctor visits, snowstorms… It seems that not much is moving in February. We are planning a mini-getaway in March but my husband’s recent back pain has been putting things into suspended animation for a few months. I think we are getting it stabilized now, but it is hard to plan things when we can’t predict what he’ll be able to do.

Looking out at these gray days, my heart is lifted by a small flock of the “Bluebirds of Happiness” that gather in the bare poplar tree, periodically dipping down to pick a red berry off the Winterberry bush. I thought they were early robins at first, but then noticed below the red breast was a white belly with dark blue heads and wings.

Altar cloth in rainbow colors

I’ve been keeping myself occupied with fiber activities and listening to or reading stories. What would I do without Audible to read to me while my hands are busy? I created an altar cloth for the church but I’m not sure it is quite what I wanted it to be. It is my second try at it, but I may keep trying to get something I’ll be really proud of. There is no rush. I am limited to only 4-shaft patterns on my loom because I have some mechanical limitations, but my husband said he’d try to fix the problem for me. I’m waiting for a couple of replacement parts and maybe I’ll dive into some more complex projects.

In the mean time, I finished a scarf that I was able to knit without paying much attention while I watched TV at night. I like it because it is thick and warm and lies nice and flat. I hate it when they curl up into a tube.

It’s about time to embark on another big knitting project, so I went shopping on the internet for a sweater design I might want to duplicate. I found one I like except that at my age, I need a cardigan that I can open up when I get a hot flash. I am thinking about using the colors in the pullover but doing it in the form of the cardigan. I’m spinning up all the remaining Shetland wool from last spring, till I have what the pattern says I’d need. Then, I’ll dye it in the colors I like and adjust the color changes in the pattern to suit me.

While I patiently spin all the wool, I keep thinking about how this might turn out and see if I dare make all the changes I have in mind. The yarn is coming out a little thinner than I thought it would, so I have to think about how the pattern would have to be adjusted to fit.

Colors I want
Pattern I want

I like the way the pullover uses a row of white to separate the color changes. I could do that. I like the shawl collar of the cardigan and the fact that it isn’t quite as roomy as the pullover. The big question is, would it come out as it is in my imagination? Will the dying of the spun wool come out in the right shades and will I get the color evenly distributed if it is already made into a skein of yarn? I’ll never know the answers to these questions till I give it a try and do my normal “live and learn” routine. The worst that can happen is I’ll get it finished and be disappointed. I can always unravel it all and start over with something else. I’ll be mad, but I’ll be smarter the next time.

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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2 Responses to Gray days of February

  1. I do need to master Audible. Currently I download audiobooks from the library and listen via my phone. It’s the only way I “read” books now that I’ve taken up knitting.

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