Freezing, but Happy

I will admit it. I love winter, but it is really, really cold right now.

My husband celebrated a landmark birthday over the weekend and what was supposed to be an adventure in the Northwoods was derailed by snow, wind, and extreme cold. We probably could have made the drive up to the Northwoods — I am told I’m far to cautious when it comes to driving with the kids in any type of bad weather. In the end though it was probably for the best as our little boy ended up coming down with a pretty serious cold.  Although it was kind of disappointment to not follow through with the plan & I spent a good deal of time feeling guilty for calling it off, we did our best to make what we could of the weekend together. We went looking for a Snowy Owl.

Relatively speaking, our area is crawling with Snowy Owls this year. It has been very, very cold (right now it is 3degrees F and ‘feels like’ -7), so I assume this has driven even larger than normal numbers of these beautiful arctic birds south. It’s tradition — we try to find one every year — but this year we seem to consistently just miss them. We have, however, seen a lot of amazing wintry scenery.

20131216-101509.jpgThis was our ‘snowstorm’ that never got super bad, but was pretty uncomfortable to stand out in. When it is that cold and snowing and windy, it mostly just feels like tiny icicles being sprayed directly into your face at moderately high speeds. Ow.

20131216-101635.jpgBut it’s still beautiful.

20131216-101625.jpgAnd as always, Moose is still happy to chase sticks. He may be the world’s biggest snuggler (read: big baby) when it comes to being cold indoors, but throw a stick in a subzero snowstorm and he’s in heaven. That’s our dog.

We struck out finding an owl, but we did see lots of Rough-Legged Hawks which are stinking gorgeous. And we found this guy:

merlinA merlin.

One of two we saw over the weekend, we rarely see them so this was a real treat. My husband nearly froze taking this photo. I stayed in the car. Thanks for taking one for the team, dear — it’s an awesome photo and not often that a falcon will sit still for that long for you (I totally arranged that for your birthday, by the way — Happy Birthday!).

With our boy sick though, I spent a fair bit of time sitting with him so I did manage to wrap up some knitting which is good. After all, Christmas is only getting closer.

mittensI finished my daughter’s mittens — finally! They took me five days. Five days that felt like for-ever.

mittens2They came out really nicely and thanks to Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns they should fit perfectly. I made them a little big to account for felting — my daughter severely felts all mittens instantly. Even fibers that shouldn’t felt much, felt. I have learned that the hard way. So her mittens are now always made with a little extra room.

hat scarf & mittensSo her matching trio of Annie’s Swiss Cheese Scarf, Knitbot Simple Hat, and her custom mittens are all done & ready to be wrapped (they are unblocked in the photo — call me lazy, but I don’t believe in blocking outerwear for 6-year-olds for the most part).

And…. I think I have enough of the Quince & Co Osprey in rosa rugosa left over to make myself a Simple Hat, too. Rock on.

I also managed another of Churchmouse Yarn & Tea’s Boyfriend Watch Cap. This one for my boy.

peak's ferry 2Knit in Quince & Co Lark again, this time in the peaks ferry colorway. I thought the colorway was going to be kind of a boring Christmas red, but it is actually a really unique red. Just a little watery which adds some depth and keeps it from being a really sharp, flat red. Love it.  And it’ll be a perfect back-up hat for my boy.

And finally, I’m working on the last Christmas knitting projects (probably)…

regia irlandSock #2 of a pair for my husband. I would keep these a secret, but I had to check the sizing so my husband tried one on already. I haven’t made a stockinette sock for him in a while & it just looked huge. But nope, they fit well. I am loving that Old Norwegian/German Twisted Cast-on, by the way. I will never go back to long-tail cast-on for socks.

As is par for the course, my mind is racing ahead to what I’m going to work on next. And I am in full-on planning mode for a fun year-long 2014 theme/goal for myself and, of course, for anyone who decides to join me because y’all are always welcome. More on that later though.

For now, I am going to be right here. Caring for my sick boy who was up at 4am coughing. Laughing at my dog who seems to want a nose warmer to wear in the house. Keeping the kids out of the basement so no one sees the snake. Wrapping gifts. Finishing socks. Looking for owls. Getting way too excited for Christmas. And just in general…

20131216-101645.jpg Freezing, but happy.

8 thoughts on “Freezing, but Happy

  1. I would love to see a snowy owl too. I often follow owl tracks in the snow when we walk on the lake. and sometimes hear the owls calling each other at night.
    this morning I woke to a treat though … out of the corner of my eye I saw 2 huge birds outside the bedroom window while I was reading in bed. I jumped up to watch an immature eagle being chased by by an eagle with a full white head and tail. they cavorted around for a few minutes before they flew out of my sight. later when we went for our morning walk we watched 5 eagles that were out on the ice. jumping around and flapping their wings. a very nice morning for bird watching.
    hope your little boy feels better soon and that the rest of you don’t come down with the cold.

    1. Eagles are always such a treat! And we usually find our owl. Snowy owls just blend in SO WELL in fields. It takes time unless you chase an already spotted one. 🙂

      I mostly just don’t want my girl to catch the cold. She has a concert this week she’s been looking forward to for a long, long time. The rest of us can manage!

  2. Love seeing what you are knitting! Can’t tell you how much you have inspired me. I’ve caught the bug and I love it! Thanks! We had a frigid week last week. This week it’s getting into the 60’s and all the snow has melted. I love winter too, but I don’t know that I could handle single digits all the time.

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear it!

      It has been unusually cold the last month or so. The cold makes it hard – but it is what it is. I am thankful I have a cozy house & a car that eventually warms up (as long as it starts – lol!) if I have to go anywhere. And lots of knitted goodies to keep me & my loved ones warm. 🙂

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