Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Monday, March 03, 2008

A great, big woman made of snow!

There's not much you can do with a winter like this one besides talk about it, drink over it, and try to find a positive side to it all. You know, you sit there - wondering when the gajillionty pounds of snow that keep falling will stop (and, if you are embracing the inner pessimist - when the blasting below zero temps with howling winds will rip through your warm abode and send you scrambling to burn every piece of wood in sight like some deeper hibernation instinct that might have served you well in a different form in the wild but just makes you look like a freak to everyone in your household). A couple of weeks ago, when the holiday of love was upon us, I sat pondering (really, I was up late keeping the stove humming and spinning because I was trying not to worry - see, I CAN be logical) the wisdom of those who realized that a holiday needed to occur sometime in the months of Nature's retribution months of February and March. Early religions realized that whilst Southerners might already be enjoying warm, flower blooming days- the people of the North would maybe be buried under a 'record' year of snowfall. There world would be filled with gloom and doom. They'd have to tunnel out of their yards to get to their cars. Their roads would be a smucky mess because the poorer rural towns would have already exceeded their budgets and there would be no more salt, ice, sand to be had. Fuel costs would be so high that people would have to stay home alot....and shovel....and shake their hands at the powdery white sky and say, "Enough, already - aren't you happy enough that you broke the frigging record?"

Just a quick side note to all news reporters - ya'll said it was a record breaking year of snow in the first part of February. It is now the first week of March and we've had at least one to two 'more record-breaking' storms a week. We are beyond record-breaking. Find another word! Here's an idea, "There isn't a machine known to man that we can use to get rid of the white stuff" Or, the one that went back and forth across our kitchen table, "What the h*^% are we going to do with this stuff? How many times can you build a snowman in one year before you just do it to let the kids beat him up with a stick after that. I know, cruel - but four months of walking around snow blind can really alter your threshold for decent behavior. Trust me. Only in Maine, my friends would the answer be to build not just any snow man. A 100 foot snowman and, hey, since we're trying to break the world record and we're all cold and miserable and we need cheap thrills, let's make her a woman. Imagine, all the 100 foot snowmen in the room see her, tap their arm against their buddy standing next to them and grin, "Would you look at her!" Even the Director of the Chamber of Commerce is wooed by her lovely eyelashes. We are clearly not okay.

blog 001Our town hasn't made a snow woman to cure its blues - we're not as close to the coast as these guys so we are truly getting hammered. We are now facing the conundrum of where to put the remaining expected snowfall. The plows can't get in because the side banks are too high. The banks can't be moved by a skidder until the path is less dense which is best done by the plow. Yet, more falls out of the sky and all along our 1/4 mile driveway. Everyone just shakes their head in amazement. I tried that but I just got dizzy and that only makes me more spiteful. It was time to knit, so I took off the brace and got down to business. The first thing you need when you are starting to oggle over the sexy features of snow people is some silk, Single spun silk is ooooh, so soft. I made this yarn quite a while ago and have maybe learned much more about spinning silk since then but I love the yarn all the same. blog 012Dyed in crimson because I felt it appropriate that I dress like a tramp. Lots of people can wear red. Some look very innocent in it. Some, sooooo elegant. Me? Well, with black hair, green eyes, and very pale skin - there's no two ways about it - I look like I've warmed a bar stool or two in my time. Still, if people are lusting over a 100 foot woman of ice - could it be so wrong for me to wear read now and then? I call it my 'low neck sweatah' - it is just a simple top-down raglan that I made a gathered bottom on and some bell sleeves with crochet trim. It fits like something you should have to go to confession after you've worn it.

blog 020I'd put it on for you but that would necessitate the brushing of my hair today and I knew at 8 am that this would be a day that would go much smoother if I just relaxed my notions of hygiene and allow myeself to linger in pajamas as yet another whop of snow is on the horizon and that means that tomorrow will likely be another in a series of exercises in creative snow removal strategies. Plus, I'm oggling over the package of love that I got from my Crabby Swap Pal. True to form, I yanked the label off the yarn and cast right on - this will be a shrug for me as I've worn my other two out because I've discovered that sleeping in one is most practical and helpful in surviving the winter of our doom.

blog 032And, there's been a bit of sock love going on, again. Heh, let those coastal Mainers love their snow women - give me a sock of handspun yarn and I'll show you how quickly one can turn something innocent into a moment of tacky pleasure. I've only finished one so for now I can only try it on, purrrrr, and get back to work on the second. I'm all ready to become a sock yarn snob and say I will only love handspun socks but that just cannot be. Firstly, I don't want to always spin sock yarn - it is more something I do because I want to. Secondly, I still love the feel of my other yarns as well and I'm practically promised to at least five pairs in my 'this is not a realistic goal for your knitting' queue. blog 023 As soon as I got this pattern, though - I thought of my juniper yarn (the right) and how great that same stitch would be for that colorway. Then, the Sedona yarn chimed in and reminded me that Thing 1 has a birthday coming up and right then I stopped looking on the bright side and threw a temper tantrum because, at least if I'm going to be buried in snow - please - why can't I have 8 arms?

But, the handspun has a firm grip on my heartstrings. I mean, maybe the first pic didn't do justice to its silky softness. Maybe it failed to highlight the green sparkle. I just find myself going back to it again and again to touch it, rub in on myself, and generally behave like a handspun sock yarn groupie.

skeinletWith the constant dose of the 'winter survival challenge', I am a little late in getting the Great Giveaway going for March. This month is a time to look forward to a day when flowers will bloom, birds will sing, and the trees won't rattle angrily in the icy wind. You don't have to tell me your deep secrets, not even a joke unless you want to. Just a random drawing for a skeinlet of wool/silk lace yarn in my 'Johnny Jump-Ups' colorway. Of course, if you want to bribe me with fiber stuffs, I will not impede your efforts. If you want to appease the karmic balance because you are already enjoying a reprieve from the ice age, then perhaps you could set aside a moment to think good, happy thoughts for those of us who mark the time by the exact shade of gray that is what we call the sky. If you want to just throw caution to the wind and take a chance at a win, leave a comment or email me at dyeingwitchATyahooDOTcom.