Monday, February 15, 2010

Knitting Season

Even when I lived in the Pacific Northwest, much of my life revolved around the seasons. Now that I've moved back to Colorado, where they are more pronounced, that's even more true. The time of year is, of course, reflected in the food we eat. And no matter the season, the writing comes first. But after Christmas there's that long swath of non-holiday time with no gardening requirements other than dreaming, a full freezer and pantry, and long evenings inside by the fire.

Those evening hours mean plenty of spinning and knitting, neither of which I do much of during the hot months of summer or the busy fall.

The soft wool running through my fingers and winding on the bobbin after a busy day sooths and relaxes. The whir of the rotating wheel and the rhythm of my foot on the treadle contributes to that zen effect. It gives my brain a rest and recharges my imagination. Often I indulge before making dinner for half an hour or so, as a transition from one part of the day to the next. In the summer I'd be puttering in the garden during this time.

We watch more movies in the winter, too. I confess, sometimes we take the little DVD player out to the hot tub and watch some dorky old classic with the crisp moon overhead and puffs of steam half obscuring our view. It's thoroughly hedonistic -- and totally worth the tiny screen. But more often we settle in front of the television after dinner, and I set to turning out a chunk of dishcloth, hat or sock. I like to work on simple things I don't have to look at if there's something I want to see on the box. Often it's a movie, but we're also addicted to wonky science programs and documentaries. Perfect fodder for the needles.

At present my projects include cotton basketweave dishcloths (I've fallen in love with using them, and now my friends want some), a simple woolen hat with a rolled brim, and this hot water bottle cover:

It's ginormous, of course, as I'll be felting it when finished to achieve the right size. The hot water bottle gets frequent use in the winter. It's so much more friendly than a heating pad, conforming to an aching back or snugged in against a stiff neck. I like the quality of the heat better, too, if that makes any sense at all. This cover, in deep purple mohair, will only add to the comfort.

In the meantime, working with this yarn feels like pure decadence. One of these days I'll get to that sweater with all the twisty cables running through it, but for now these simple projects are satisfying the knitting urge.

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