In spite of the fact that I grew up in Texas, as previously mentioned, I don’t mind the cold too much. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a fan but I like a nice day to hunker down with a hot drink and my knitting or a book or some other project of my choosing. When the weather is good there are just so many things I ought to be doing. So while I might not go on a run in the bitter winter cold, I do look forward to a reason to focus on things I would like to spend more time on. I’ll choose my next knitting project, I’ll start planning my garden, I’ll spend some extra time reading, I’ll binge watch something and knit and knit and knit.
But this weather is getting ridiculous. Living in the Midwest we don’t see the bitter cold that other folks do. Every morning when I get up, the first order of business is to see to the chickens. I see what the temperature is so I can see if maybe I can sneak outside in my pajamas or if I need to layer up. These days that’s not so much a question of if as how much do I need to layer up. The coldest I’ve seen so far this winter is -2 Fahrenheit. The moment I really understood this unending cold had altered my thinking was the morning I checked and it was 25 F and my first that was “that’s not too bad”. I blinked when I realized that. Just when had 25 reached “not too bad” category?! All you folks in colder climes can park your dogsled, take off your toques and stop laughing at me. You have to understand, I am the child of a mother who, upon seeing the temperature is in the 40’s, decides it’s time to go inside until the “cold front” passes.
This cold has definitely had an impact on my creative space. We live in a very old house. I love this odd, quirky old house. It is built into the side of a hill and has two floors. My studio is downstairs just off the kitchen where all my yarn dyeing happens and a few steps away from the laundry room where all the dyeing supplies are stored. The studio itself, of course, holds my fabrics, yarns, sewing machine and all my paraphernalia. I try to spend a good amount of time there every week. BUT. When it is cold here, the bottom floor is like a walk-in freezer. We have done some weatherproofing to deal with this and it has helped, but it is still pretty dang cold down there. So something had to be done.
I have a sewing project I have been trying to get to but didn’t like the idea of trying to work my machine through gloves while layered up almost to the point of immobility. So I have started creating a “winter headquarters” upstairs.
Here’s a first shot:
Not exactly picturesque but I still need to haul up the sewing machine and accouterments and get organized to work.
Creating is what keeps me level (and everyone else safe). So by prioritizing my creative space and making sure I have access to it one way or another I am really just thinking about the common good! I’m so noble. 🙂
Ok, onto current and upcoming projects. I have been working on Fingerless Mitts for the last month. Here you can see the first pair I completed using the Good Time Mitts, a free pattern on Ravelry. I happened to have an extra ball of Crazy Yarn from Stonehedge Fiber Mill so this seemed a very nice fiber for this project. I followed the pattern as written and I like the way they turned out. A first time on a project for me is as much to see how I will tweak it to suit me next time around as to have the product itself.
I decided to make some adjustments to this pattern and knit a second pair as a gift for a friend who drives a school bus. I judged her hands to be around the same size as mine so I was my own model.
On her pair, I went down a needle size since I knit with a loose gauge. I also added 5 rows at the beginning and end of the stockinette section to make them a little longer on the arm and to cover more of the fingers. I think those turned out quite well and I have made notes to adjust for my favorite “recipe” of this pattern. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of that pair before I gifted them. But take my word for it, they looked very nice.
Since I liked that version better than the original I decided to make myself another pair with the adjusted pattern for myself. Eventually. Well…… I was “encouraged” to move this project up on the list by this character.
This lucky survivor found one of the mitts that must have fallen from my pocket and promptly shredded the thumb on it. I was able to reclaim the yarn on the rest of the mitt and will be reknitting it to the adjusted pattern, which will also require me frogging the other one to reknit.
Not content to tempt fate only once, he next found (strike 2) a cowl I had knit from some Tibetan Yak wool some friends had gifted me a few years ago. If the fact that this animal remains unscathed doesn’t attest to my forbearance, nothing will. I was, thankfully, also able to reclaim the majority of this wool. I’m planning on knitting another cowl but I’m deliberating whether to use the same pattern or a different one. Although I’m generally careful of my knitting and supplies, whenever he is present extreme measures will be taken henceforth.
I’m going to end this week’s post with a short film on knitting that I LOVE.
Make sure you watch the scene at the end of the credits 😉
Live long and Prosper,
P.S. ANOTHER great cold weather activity is paging through the first issue of the Knitting Magazine subscription you were gifted!!