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