Good grief, the Ides of March are here already, and at the moment it’s snowing – again! – here in God’s (Forgotten) Country. Nothing like a little wet snow and below-zero temperatures on top of yesterday’s warm sunshine and water (now ice) everywhere….my idea of driving hell, in other words.
On the plus side of that equation, and in spite of the various false spring events we’ve been having lately, the temperature is slowly, slowly, creeping up the thermometer scale, so I have faith that eventually the mountain of snow in our fair city will melt away to just another winter memory.
In the meantime, though, the surest sign of spring is that I’ve picked up my knitting needles. For me, that’s like spotting the first robin: a sign of better things to come.
The last time I wielded my needles was about eighteen months ago, when late one dark November afternoon, after many pleasant weeks spent knitting alternately on five or six different projects, I set the project down in my knitting basket, got up and walked away…for over a year.
Fickle hobbyist that I am, I also successfully ignored the fact of those five other UFO’s flung aside in the wake of my departure. (For those of you who may be wondering, a UFO is an UnFinished Object. Every knitter has a few UFO’s in his or her dark history.)
Once again, however, the Joy of Knitting suddenly rekindled itself last weekend; and in a move that I realize might seem a little counterproductive, I completely unravelled (frogged, in knitting parlance – you know, rip it, rip it, rip it.…) a two-thirds-finished sweater that wasn’t turning out the way I wanted it to and has been hanging about ever since, mocking me.
Now, the sad fact is that frogged yarn looks like a really terrible perm on a bad hair day – and it’s hard to knit with again in the bargain!
So clearly this mess of crinkles had to be washed to bring it back to its former pristine beauty. This would be a first for me; nonetheless, I took a deep breath and set to work:
Lacking a proper knitty noddy, I wound the mess over hand and elbow, knotted the skeins, washed them, hung them to dry, and eventually had six fresh, clean – and straight – skeins of yarn lying in a neat row on the bed in the spare bedroom, waiting to be rewound into balls and used again.
I was so mightily pleased by this small yarn success that without even thinking, I picked up a pair of knitting needles.
That’s when I knew.
Spring had arrived.
In less time than it takes to tell about it, I found a pattern, redesigned it to fit my very own self, changed the motif to one I liked better, found the perfect yarn in my “stash,” – and cast on my first stitches.
So how do I know it’s spring just because I pick up a pair of knitting needles, you ask?
Well, you see, it’s because, unlike other Northern Hemisphere knitters, who pick up their needles in the fall with the expectation of filling long winter nights with knitting projects, winter is Susannah’s reading time.
My idea of the perfect winter evening is to be curled up on the couch, wrapped in a cozy blanket and sipping something hot and delicious as I bask in the delight of good fiction.
However, come Spring, sure as clockwork, my fingers begin itching to be doing something other than turning pages!
Then the needles come out, the patterns get perused, and I settle in for wonderful long months of enjoying this delightfully portable pastime, good for car rides, beaches (sand does shake out, after all), and relaxing summer mornings spent sitting out on the back deck in the shade, listening to the sounds of squirrels and birds and children at play, chatting and working the magic that can happen when two sticks and a ball of yarn come together.
And that’s how I know, without even looking outside, that it’s Spring.
Some things are just better with yarn!
Am always anxious to open your e-mail. I love reading your story, you’re so interesting. Thanks a lot. Paula
Thanks, Paula – I so appreciate your kind words. Happy Spring! Susannah
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