Posts Tagged ‘weather’

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!

What Is It About Snow?

The first real snowstorm of the year here in this part of VA is forecasted to hit on Friday. Both the kids and the staff at work have been discussing the possibility of a snow day/3 day weekend pretty much since we got back. On Tuesday. That’s right, we just had a 3 day weekend and everyone is still dying for another.

blizzard watch

In the last 2 days they’ve begun to talk not just “snow”, but “historic storm”. People are starting to get nervous and silly about it, so when an end of day meeting let out early today, I decided to go to the grocery store a day early rather than waiting til my normal day. I figured all the pre-storm shoppers would be there flipping out if I waited til Thursday.

I was wrong.

As I somehow didn’t need eggs, milk, or bread this week I actually managed to get everything on the shopping list in about 20 minutes, although I got the last one of several things. Then I stood in line, for 35 minutes. All registers were open, but there were just that many people. Because you know, a foot of snow might fall in 2 days and we’ll never be able to go outside again. Must buy all the French toast supplies now. All of them.

blizzard power

Of course, there are other preparations to be made too. A blizzard means there’s a chance of losing power. I made sure to pick up some foods that don’t require electricity to prepare  today (hello peanut butter and apple wraps), and we have a fireplace and a massive stack of wood for warmth. Also? I’m a knitter. There is plenty on hand to keep us warm and cozy if the power goes out. Worst case we’ll sleep in my stash. 😉 Candles are on hand and there are good batteries in the flashlights. Which leads me to the fun stuff.

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Making sure I have enough knitting to see me through an extended period indoors. You guys told me in last week’s poll to cast on with the green handspun, which I have. I also wound the blue-green alpaca, just in case. The handspun is practically flying off the needles, especially after the sweater. I think it’s going to be a cowl, but it may become a scarf, depending on just how much of it there really is.

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That leaves the question of what to make from the alpaca. I kind of want another cowl, although I certainly don’t need one. It’s a thick, bulky solid and I think it would look great in a basic fisherman’s rib. I mentioned this to Hubby and he announced that cowls are entirely too trendy for me to possibly be happy with and I should make something else. He had no ideas for what that “something else” should be. I’m not actually opposed to trendy; I’m just not often swayed by it. Sometimes the trend is good (read:cowls), but “good” is the deciding factor for me. What do you guys think? If not a(nother) cowl, what else would 2 skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky want to be?

Whiny

I am having a whiny, discontent sort of day. There’s no real excuse for it – work and home are pretty much normal, I’m not sick, and I’m getting plenty of sleep. It’s not even that cold out. I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the lack of daylight hours.

eloina heel

Regardless, I’m feeling petulant and unsatisfied about absolutely ridiculous things. Eloina’s cables are still awesome, but my inner toddler really seems to feel I should be done with the first sock by now. She wants to work on Brumby Jill or Hubby’s replacement Irish Moss gloves. Or a sweater, or even a different pair of socks. Because who needs sense when you can just whine?

irish moss gloves

Likewise, I have a kitchen full of food and absolutely nothing to eat, according to my totally reasonable brain. Dinner’s going to take entirely too much effort to prepare, but all the things that would be quick to prepare sound gross today. WTF, brain?

Even a run (in the chilly, dimly lit damp) didn’t pull me out of my funk. Exercise and a hot shower are usually the perfect antidote to moods like this. Maybe I need to break out the big guns and find me some cashmere. Or Jack Daniels. Cuz seriously, I’m annoying myself.

Soggy Geese

The geese are flying south in huge flocks and the weather has cooled off significantly, so fall is definitely here. Unfortunately, most of the leaves on the ground at the moment are due to the storms last week/early this week and not due to the change in seasons. We are a bit soggy but otherwise unharmed here, since Joaquin thankfully turned east and avoided us.

old town progress

Old Town is still as huge and unfinished as ever. Hubby and I are going out of town this weekend, which will give me a couple hours of knitting time in the car. However, since this is supposed to be a romantic weekend away before he leaves the country for several weeks, car knitting will probably be balanced by almost no knitting the rest of the weekend.

There’s really only several (hundred?) miles of mindless stockinette left at this point, so maybe I’ll plan a Netflix marathon or two and knock it out while the dude’s in Spain. My Netflix queue is rather lacking in marathon fodder though. Any suggestions? I love horror, both the scary kind and the incredibly cheesy B-movie kind (I’m looking at you, Syfy Originals!), and travel/culture and history related shows. Help me, readers, you’re this cardigan’s only hope!

Take a Chill Pill, Man

Some days (weeks, months) you really just need to chill. Not only have I been struggling with this lately, but so have a striking number of my coworkers. So, I took a break from my Old Town this week to knit myself a Chill Pill.

chill pill

I love him. He lives on the shelf above my guided reading table, looking all placid and content like I should. He’s also quite mashable, which helps me with the whole “placid and content” thing sometimes. My teammates love him too.

You know what really helped me “chill” this weekend though? It caught me by surprise what a difference it made, but Sunday evening the Husbeast and I spent an hour out in the hammock, watching the eclipse.

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I felt like a new woman, after. Total peace.

Fall is Coming

There are rain clouds gathering outside, promising to bring an end to what is likely the last 90+ degree day of the calendar year. It’s been stunningly dry here the last couple weeks, so the garden and I are looking forward to a good dousing. The break in the heat should make me feel a bit less weird about working on this beauty too:

old town progress

Although 85 really still isn’t sweater weather (at least outdoors), at least the fact that it’s cooler should make it feel a little more fall-like, right? I’m not especially dying for an end to summer, but since school is back in session and the stores are full of Halloween candy, I wouldn’t be too upset by the arrival of fall either. At least the rate of pretty on my Ravelry feed should pick up!

March is the Cruelest Month

Yesterday it was in the upper-40s here, and rained heavily. By evening most of the snow on the ground had melted off, and I noticed that my hyacinths were peeping up through the mulch out back! It was fabulous, and I wanted to share with ya’ll, but it was twilight already. So this morning I got up and aimed my camera out the window at the flower bed…

snowy hyacinths

Crap. It’s definitely snowing again. I knew it was in the forecast, but as warm as it was yesterday I just didn’t quite believe it would really happen. At the time of that photo there was about an inch on the ground, and my poor hyacinths may already have been done for.

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By the time we took the pup out for a romp after lunch – and boy does she ever romp when there’s snow on the ground – there was probably about 6 inches on the ground. At this point, the snow is up to about the middle of the wheels on the cars in the street – so 8 inches? Maybe? It is still snowing quite hard.

hot cocoa

Hubby and I are thoroughly snowed in. That means it’s time for hot cocoa (with a shot of Bailey’s, because this weather is not fair), Netflix, and a nice WIP for me. Come and get me when it’s spring.

P.S. I’m taking advantage of the extra time at home to make some plans for an upcoming KAL. Come take my polls here; I could really use your input!

Messy Cabin Fever

The weather still sucks. I mean, it is still February, so I should probably just take it in stride, but really? Ick. So ready for spring.

snow

We continued to have snow and ice and record-breaking cold all last week, to the point where I “officially” only worked 6 hours the whole week. Then Saturday we got the biggest snowstorm of the year by far, and by lunchtime my yard and most of the things in it had nearly disappeared.

strawberry pot

It continued to snow until some time after I went to sleep. While those of you who have only ever lived up north are probably laughing at these pictures, those of you who have lived around here know we genuinely have no way of coping with this level of snow around here, except for the good old “stay inside until it goes away” method. At least there’s been plenty of good food.

bread and soup

And with all the extra time at home and only so many hours of grading and planning I can stand in a day, there’s been plenty of knitting. I actually got to the point where I’m in a weird lull between designs, so I’ve picked up this behemoth of insanity again.

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That may also have been inspired by how darn cold it is. Seems like perfect blanket making weather to me.

Spring Knitting

Spring has truly sprung around here – it’s been in the 70s and sunny the last couple days here, and warm and stormy before that. This kind of weather is great for running and my garden, but for a lot of knitters, this is where the knitting stops. Being the addict I am, I can’t imagine not knitting for more than a day or two, much less a whole season. So if you’re like me, what do you knit this time of year?
Spring Projects for Spring
Many spring-like patterns knit up quickly and can be worn right away in spring. Socks are particularly great for this. Patterns like my Bel Air and Flourishing Fields are perfect for that stretch of time where “too chilly for bare feet” meets up with “still way too warm for sweaters”.
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Bel Air Socks

If you want knitting that’s appropriate for both knitting and wearing in spring, small and fast is definitely the way to go. Lacier versions of your winter accessories, for instance my lace cowl Bâtonnage also help bridge that gap between hot and cold. You can further this effect by using fiber blends that retain less heat, such as cotton and bamboo.

Spring Projects for Summer

Spring is also a good time to start planning what you want to wear this summer. Yes, you can indeed wear handknits in summer. Knitting tanks in lightweight yarns and cool, silky fibers is a beautiful thing. Tanks like my Lovely and perennial favorite Catch are great examples of projects you’ll want to start soon if you plan to wear them all summer.

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Catch

Lightweight cardigans and lacy shawls like my Leonardtown and tiny Sea Spray are also good for keeping the chill off in over air-conditioned restaurants and shops, without being so heavy and warm as to be unpleasant to knit now.

Spring Knits for All Seasons

Some knits have no season. I tend to think shawls fall into this category, and if you knit openwork ones like my Swept Away you won’t have to worry about the “blanket effect” having a denser shawl-in-progress in your lap can create. As large shawls can take a while to complete, you’ll be extra grateful for your choice come summer. One word of advice, though – trading your yarn out for a summery plant-blend is not a good idea for lace projects. They really need a fiber with memory, like wool, to hold their lace patterning nicely. Choose a pattern with a lightweight yarn instead.

Swept Away

Swept Away

Of course, you may disagree that shawls are seasonless, or live somewhere so hot that even the thought of a lace shawl in your lap is too much (this also applies for summer knitting). In that case, what about non-wearables? Household objects like my Aeration tend to be too small to create heat problems, and don’t go on your body at all!

So those are my favorite things to knit in spring. In fact, I’m currently working on a new top for summer myself. What do you like to knit in spring?

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