Springtime Rituals

When the crocus bloom, I know I can safely wash and put away my heaviest sweaters.

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Those went away almost two weeks ago, as you can probably tell by the fact that these crocus are past their prime. Then when the hepatica and periwinkles start to bloom, I can usually safely put away my Hepatica hat and all those other winter accessories.

I saw both of those flowers on my run today, which means I should be washing and retiring winter accessories this weekend. Except…there are snow flurries in the forecast for Sunday. It may be 73 currently, but that’s not going to last.

Mother Nature is a cruel, moody tease. I’m going to go enjoy my flowers while it’s warm enough to do so.

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Quiet Signs of Spring

My house smells like spring.

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I’ve never tried forcing bulbs indoors before, but it was a really good idea. This hyacinth smells so good, and it really is wonderful to see something blooming this early in March.

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There are also some tantalizing hints of spring outside. All of my spring bulbs have sprouted, and the overwintered alliums (garlic, chives, etc) are beginning to look happy and energetic again. We had 3 days in a row where the high was over 60 this week.

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And a sure sign of spring in the knitting world? Lace knitting has returned! I’m seeing more and more Ravelry and Instagram friends casting on lace projects, and my own lace shawlette test knit is underway in my Rav group! If you’d like to join in, be sure to check out the link!

Some Hints

So you’ve already seen hints of the fabulously green sweater design currently on the needles.

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But I’ve got some other goodies in progress too. Here’s a pair of hints for an upcoming e-book full of patterns that double as tutorials:

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And then there’s the design that’s ready for test knitting! I’ll be posting a call for testers in my Ravelry group next week, but if you’d like to get in early on a little springtime lace knitting, please let me know in the comments!

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February Blah

February has given me the attention span of a gnat. Even though this kind of weather is prime knitting season, I can’t seem to concentrate or maintain interest in any one project for any length of time. I did cast on a new sweater with the green 220.

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But writing the pattern was just taking more effort than I currently have the brain power for, so there’re a whopping three rounds on the needle. I also spent the last two (snowy) days working on the doom blanket, but in spite of being several hundred rows longer it looks pretty much the same. So I put that aside and finally started sewing in the zipper on another sweater.

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I’ve been putting it off since December, and it’s really hard not to just put it away again at the moment. I really, really hate sewing in zippers. Why did I ever let it be February with nothing mindless and squishy on the needles?

Feeling Accomplished

I know I usually post on Wednesdays, but I put this post off for an extra day so I could show you my little bit of alpaca heaven:

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It really does feel like wearing a cloud. I love it.

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It’s also FANTASTICALLY warm, which will be great with as cold as it’s been the last few days, and as cold as the forecast is. My only problem is…what would you call it. I plan to wear it both ways. Is it a cowl? An infinity scarf? A capelet? Some other new fashion word I’m not aware of? Help me, blogosphere!

As an aside, I’m not sure what’s happened to inspire so many purchases of my Swept Away in the last week, but thank you all! My sad, broken garage door is very happy you’re helping me replace it!

Yarn Heaven

I’m making great progress on the cowl-thingy I finally decided on for that chunky alpaca. Chunky yarn knits up so fast, and this particular yarn really makes it feel like I’m knitting a cloud. Heaven might be made of alpaca.

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But even more enticing, this came in the mail this week:

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I know that craving green in February is an established and slightly trite thing from me, but ohhh does this color make me happy right now.

Snowed In!

Well, we definitely got walloped.

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It’s hard to know for sure with the drifts, but it seems like we got about 2.5 feet. There were low points that “only” came to my knees, and high points closer to shoulder height. Of course, the plow-made mountains are a whole different story.

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I worked obsessively on the Project of Doom while it was actively snowing, and got a good couple blocks done. Maybe I’ll finish it this year after all. If we have like 3 more blizzards.

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After the snow finally stopped it was time to dig out ourselves and a few neighbors. This took most of a day. Athena was hemmed in by the new “fence” while we were digging out our own driveway, but when we trudged through the (for me) nearly-hip deep snow to the next driveway, she wasn’t about to be left behind. She and the other dogs on the street had a blast while we were all digging. Of course, it turned out to be a rather futile effort because even though we had clear driveways, nobody showed up to remove snow from our street until last night.

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Instead, Athena had great fun ignoring the clear spot Hubby created in the backyard and making her own path for a few days. We ate lots of baked goods and soup, worked off all those baked goods in our tiny home gym, binged on Netflix, and slept embarrassingly late. I knit about a mile with the green handspun.

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Monday it was above freezing, and yesterday it hit 50, believe it or not, so that’s done a good bit to melt down the massive piles of snow. By Monday a few of the most adventurous truck and SUV owners were venturing out, only to return and tell us nothing was open and there was no place to go. Yesterday Hubby ventured back to work, and said that while the main roads were fine, if only one-lane, getting out of the neighborhood took nearly half the time he spent commuting. My tiny car and I stayed home. Instead, I took advantage of the much-warmed weather and put the olive tree out to sun itself in the blinding snow glare, because nature is weird.

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Then last night someone from the county showed up to haul snow off the road! Finally! It had melted quite a bit and all the trucks had compacted it plenty too, but it was still too much for an ordinary plow. This guy spent more than an hour on our short, residential street and there are absolute mountains of snow on all of our lawns today. The kid across the street had a blast climbing the one in his yard today, and planted a U.S. flag on the top of it. It was pretty stinkin’ cute.

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Thanks to the county’s efforts, today I was actually able to LEAVE THE HOUSE!! I only went to the grocery store, and they were still pretty picked-over from before the storm, but it was exciting anyway. The roads are definitely not back to normal, but they are reasonably safe as long as you go slow and there aren’t too many people out at once. This whole storm has been such a weird experience for all of us native to the area. Schools are still closed through the end of the week, because buses can NOT get down many of the neighborhood roads right now, and things are even worse up in the mountains. Looks like I’ve got a lot of knitting time left ahead of me.

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Sooo…what should I make with the awesome chunky alpaca?

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