It’s The End of February

I’m going to start this post on a totally and completely random note. Saturday was Moose’s 3rd birthday.

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He mostly slept and ‘helped’ with laundry, but he did manage to get an inordinate amount of snuggle and hang-out-under-the-covers-sleeping time. He’s pretty indoorsy and he loves a good cozy, lazy day, so all in all it was a very Moose-tastic day.

So with that dose of adorableness, on to the main story here today.

It’s the end of February. We are still very much in the throes of winter, but there has been a cardinal singing the last three mornings at dawn. And that same dawn & her faithful compatriot, dusk, are slowly gnawing away at those long winter nights. Yes, the earliest signs of spring are upon us as we pile on the blankets for another string of subzero nights. As creatures intertwined with our place in the world, it is hard sometimes to know which way to lean. It must be the end of February.

As a knitter, this limbo is even more pronounced. I can’t decide if I should knit one more bulky sweater, those worsted weight socks, bunches of mittens, and an extra hat & cowl or if it’s time to start clicking away on the linen tank & sweater and the laceweight cardigan I have lined up. A part of my mind remembers I need to catalog my fiber stash, too, because I have this idyllic vision of setting up my spinning wheel on the back deck and spinning in the warm sun. But I’m reminded that there will be actual months of cold and then cool mornings yet that require those big cozy sweaters and shawls and the deck is covered in snow, so spinning is limited to an indoor activity for a while.

Suffice to say, there’s a whole lot of back and forth & it definitely affects what happens (or fails to happen) on my needles. I find that this big seasonal shift breeds an indecision unlike any other in my life. More than any other time of year, I start knitting up patterns only to rip them out a day later. Projects stall on my needles. I sit staring at yarn & patterns for days, unable to settle on what to start. I wonder if I should sew a top or dress instead. I’m all over the place. It must be the end of February.

So at times like this, I think you just have to do your best. You have to be patient. You have to allow yourself mistakes in the projects you choose. You have to rip out those stalled projects and find the ones that keep you knitting, whatever types of projects they are. Linen, bulky wool, hats, socks, sweaters, reds, blues, yellows, greens, greys — whatever. Just keep knitting. Personally, I know that a key to surviving the doldrums of February is to just knit my way out.

So this weekend, I whipped up a quick cabled worsted weight cowl…

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This is the Forest Park Cowl by Liz Abinante (a free pattern on Ravelry). The ladies at Cream City Yarn shared this on their Facebook feed a week or two ago and I instantly knew it would be a great fit for the skein of Sincere Sheep Bannock I had wound. A couple weeks earlier, I had started the uber popular Adama Cowl with this yarn, but despite knowing it was a good match, I just wasn’t feeling it and it stalled out. I’m much happier with this combination and thanks to a little obsessive knitting it only took about a day for me to make and I washed it immediately. I’ll share some photos of this beautiful dusty purple cowl as soon as it’s dry.

Then, I felt like I’d neglected my sock knitting mojo after stalling out with the pattern Supernova.Ā It’s awesome, just too complex for my current needs and I finally admitted that fact. I hunted down a new pattern to go with the beautiful skein of Pagewood Farm’s St Elias I’d been working with…

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What I found was found Petty Harbour by Rayna Curtis Fegan (another free pattern on Ravelry) and it is just perfect. It’s very, very similar to Hermione’s Everyday Socks — super simple, but still interesting. Perfect for both the yarn and my state of mind.

And, of course, I thought maybe one big project to alternate with the socks…

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So I wound some yarn to start the Saugerties Shrug. I fell in love with this pattern when it came out last December and managed to order a kit direct from Plucky Knitter. I almost never bother with these crazy update events, but I made the time for this very ‘me’ friendly pattern. I cast-on yesterday over research for an exchange with one of my oldest and dearest friends. I still have to tell you about the exchange we did last December — which was one of the most fun gift exchanges ever — but this year the theme is one of our favorite movies from high school, the classic rom-com French Kiss. We moved the deadline up to Labor Day this year, so I needed to get the ideas roiling.

Saugerties, though, in the beautiful Plucky Knitter Trusty…

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It’s just a joy to knit. And it’ll surely be a treat to wear… whether that happens this spring or next fall.

Sure, I have a pile of linen waiting. And yes, and I have fabric for tanks and sundresses to sew up. For now, though, just for a little while I’m going to stop thinking about what I should be knitting. I’m going to stop plotting how to best time it all out. And I’m just going to knit. I’m going to knit what makes me happy. I’m going to make the most of these cold, quiet nights. It’s the end of February and I’m going to knit my way right into spring.

9 responses to “It’s The End of February

  1. I find I like to use this time to finish up ancient WIPs that might be seasonally appropriate and just need a little more love to become an FO. Otherwise, I do tend to lean more towards squeezing in a few more cold-weather knits.

  2. So very grateful for the Petty Harbor reference; have a wound skein of Sheepish Yarn merino sock (from Cream City Yarn) here that is just begging for a pattern. It’s love at first read. Casting on tomorrow for sure. Thank you!

    • You are welcome! You sound like I felt when I found that pattern! Enjoy the Sheepish Yarn Co yarn – I’d love to hear what you think as I haven’t used that base yet!

  3. I know what you mean! When I lived in AZ, I had to knit for winter quick, because it would be over when you blinked, but now I’m eyeing some short-sleeved spring sweaters and wondering what it would be like to have a project done when its intended season for wearing arrives.

    • Lol! I am so rarely ‘on time’ with my seasonal projects. At least I’m always way behind when I want to be done. Definitely don’t suffer from short winters here though!

  4. If knitting gets us to spring, I am all for it! šŸ™‚ I have a few light weight spring like projects on the needles, but am about to cast on another warm winter hat. Can’t seem to stop making them. Maybe when temps go above zero and stay there and the wind stops biting, I will stop dreaming of warm hats. Or maybe not…

    • I have a nice cable hat on deck, too. For me, I think it’s partially that I want to be WARM and partially because I keep thinking how ahead of the game in fall I’d be if I could just knit all the warm things now. I think I’ve settled on not over thinking it and just knitting what makes me happy. šŸ˜‰

      • Good idea! If you knit what appeals to you when it does, you will eventually have everything done when the right season rolls around, right? I foolishly bought the latest Intwerweave Knits and am now figuring out double knitting with the cool cowl they have in there (I’ll snap it and post soon). I am doing it with a bulky yarn, as that is what I have, and so it will be VERY WARM. In case I should criticize myself for this when spring is so close, it is snowing again, and we will be going back below zero tonight for the foreseeable future. I will be glad to know how to make these, and will want one in every color if this keeps up.

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