Friday, January 31, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on the last evening in January.

How is it that it has been so long since my last post.  Please allow me to blame it on the weather.

New York City, along with many other parts of the world, has had very challenging January weather.  We have had several snow storms, and one actually amounted to more thank an annoying depth.

The previous two photographs, taken through my front window, show before and after some sidewalk clearance took place across the street from where I live.

January has also regularly featured temperature readings day and night that remained firmly (even frozen) below the freezing marker.  It has been a tough month.  Outdoor time was wisely limited in order to avoid any sudden frostbite.  Waiting on very chilly subway train station concrete platforms was no day in the park.  No walks were taken in Central Park.

We have electronic signage above most of the subway station platforms that announce the waiting time before the arrival of the next train.  A wait longer than five minutes became another source of distress.  Nothing to do but to just be patient, and hope that one had donned enough layers before setting out on the journey.

It was always a pleasure to return home to a warm apartment and to know that there was food on hand to prepare the next few meals.

How glad I am to have all sorts of blankets and sweaters that I have crocheted or knitted over the years.  Layers are good indoors as well as outdoors.

Most of these were made from various weights of wool.  The next photo shows a variation, a cushion cover that I knit years ago from cotton yarn.

I am continuing to create some items for my Foakley Arts shop, and will soon be adding some more photographs to that shop.

Here is a preview of a small section of a very large and very soft fine lacy scarf.  When I find time during a bright sunlit day to take a proper photograph you all will gain a better idea of the true subtle color of this yarn's beautiful neutral color.

With an eye toward that February special time, Valentine's Day, I am knitting a rosy, pink, coral, saffron, and ivory fair isle scarf that might be a perfect gift.

It is such a pleasure to report that tonight's temperature at about 7 p.m. had reached an amazing height of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  I don't think that this will continue, but do hope for the benefit of all the folks who have come to NYC for Sunday's big sports and commerce event, The Super Bowl, that we don't dive right back below freezing before Monday.

I am fortunate to have the next two days (a weekend!) off from my official workplace, and will be able to concentrate on finishing that rosy, pink scarf.  If the weather does turn frosty again, I will just pull one of my many hand knit sweaters over my head and keep knitting.  The above photograph shows just a part of the colorful fair isle rows in one of my favorite sweaters, made way back in the last century.  I do love using that expression.

Wishing you all a great February.  The hyacinths in the flowerpot on my windowsill are in full bloom.  I continue to believe that we might have seen winter's fiercest performance.

Do you agree?  Thank you all for your visits and comments.  


  1. From your pictures, it looked like New York had more snow than Metro Atlanta. Here, about 30 miles north of Atlanta, we had 3 inches last Tuesday but we could not drive anywhere until this afternoon, Friday. We had no snow in 3 years and every time it seems that people forget how bad the last time was, as we are so unprepared. I’ll write a post about it next time. It was lovely looking at the snow and yesterday we walked to the lake behind our yard and I took some cold looking pictures. Today though it was in the mid 50s and tomorrow we are back in the 60s F.

    I love your knitting – such perfect colors and extraordinary execution! I have not touched my knitting needles since my last baby blanket and need to get back to knitting. I have been reading many books though, and that was quite pleasant.

  2. It is so good to read you again, Frances! I am trying to imagine the frostbite-temperatures you have been subjected to in N.Y.C and, whilst your writings convey them well, our mild, sunny, and also very rainy January here in the Loire Valley seems a million miles away from your reality.

    I do hope February breathes a little springtime cheer for your amazing city.

    But really, Frances, I am astounded by your Fair Isle and Intarsia knitting skills. In awe, really. You are the one I will turn to, if I may, should I need advice on such skills. The colours of your February scarf are simply beautiful.

    Warmest wishes,


  3. Hello there, i love the view out of your window, it remembers me of our visit to NY last year. I saw great snowpictures of your city, especially of central park.but i can understand that its a hard time if you have to go out these days. I love the scarf you are knitting! Lovely greetings

  4. The first day of February - January in all its cold, wind, rain and (in your case) snow has come and gone. Good riddance!
    Such a soothing post you've written, Frances. Knitting in a cosy and warm apartment. Knowing that the cupboard is stocked so that there need be no last minute dashes to a corner store for the makings of a meal. The view from your apartment - like the opening scene from a movie I'd like to watch - I loved it all.
    I hope that February will hold more of those 40-50 degree days and that your frigid waits on the subway platform become fewer and fewer.

  5. Gorgeous pictures of New York!
    Your knitting are very beautiful and creative too! Love all them.

  6. Pondside said it best, and I agree 100%. The scarf looks absolutely beautiful, by the way. Love to you, xoxox

  7. This winter is hard for many folks. we don’t have the cold but, I am sure you know, we have rain. And rain, And floods.

    If I knew that it’s dryer on the other side, I’d drown myself.

    You are a fine needlewoman, I love your patterns, your colour combinations and your even stitchery. With the weather as it is, I am sure you are getting a lot of work done.

    Here’s hoping that winter will relent for all of us and behave himself. But then, It’s only February - a long time to go yet.

  8. Like you, dear Frances, I'm wondering what happened to January, but we've been watching endless rain rather than snow. I loved your photos - but snow's always more attractive from a distance! And seeing your beautiful work is a completed delight.

    Thank you so much for your very kind comments on my blog - it's especially thoughtful of you when you've been so busy. Cx

  9. Beautiful work Frances. Love your colour combinations, you have a real eye for it. I am currently learning to knit and crochet and am impatient to actually make something useful and just a teeny tiny bit beautiful.

    Not sure which is worse, floods or feet of snow and temperatures low enough to give you frost bite.

    Stay safe xxx

  10. Your creativity is marvellous, Frances! Colours, patterns, shapes — various and inviting. IN the meantime, it seems that you have been having "western weather" in the Big Apple. Frozen apples are not so tasty.

    Blessings an Bear hugs!

  11. I loved seeing your post today, Frances. The pictures of snowy New York are so atmospheric along with your descriptions of the cold and the travelling on freezing days. Your knitting is beautiful, I love the mix of colours in your fair isle designs, very cleverly put together. The new rosy pink scarf will be gorgeous!
    Wishing you a happy week ahead, keep cosy!
    Helen xx

  12. LOVE your window view! beautiful knitting frances! wear your sweater so we can see?

  13. I think a few inches of snow would be welcome here in the UK - if only to make a change from the incessant rain. Then perhaps spring can arrive. I did notice there were one or two snowdrops in the garden and even some yellow crocus - so that's a start.

    Love your knitting. I've just completed a grey lacy scarf but much prefer the pattern you have used. Beautiful work.

  14. Your knitting looks like Spring -- a welcome sight amid the greys and browns outside my window. I do hope that the worst of winter is past -- but I remember that The Great Blizzard of '93 was in March...

  15. It's been ridiculously warm here for January ... and so wet and windy ... a bit of snow to relieve the monotony would be welcome, especially if we could have it at just a few degrees below.

    Gorgeous colours in your knitting ... like looking at a flower garden!

  16. Your knitting looks so joyous... in both pattern and colour. Let's hope Springtime arrives soon.

  17. Dear Frances, happy to hear that the worst cold has gone. When you describe it, it sounds like it has been Artic. I like the view from your window. It's more or less similar to mine on the back side of my appartment. Real city life :-)!

    You made some beautiful blankets and scarfs! Love the scarf you are working on right now. It has such sweet colours!

    Wising you a mild winter day, with a bit of sunshine!

    Madelief x

  18. Your knitting projects are amazingly beautiful, I wish you every success with your shop. I wish we could have just a little snow - I am sick of this endless rain but pleased to say we have not been flooded.

  19. Here we have such a grey and dull weather…
    Beautiful pictures from a beautiful New York!
    Take care,

  20. Hi Frances,
    Glad to see that you are back in the blogging world! We all miss you!
    I am so impressed with your knitting - its just exceptional. A real pro!
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy your days off and a Happy Valentine's Day!
    Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments on my blog.
    xoxo Ingrid

  21. Well what a delightful gallery of your knitting talents. I love your fair isle and I know it must have taken you many many hours of knitting, but it has given you many years of service. They really are works of art.
    We have had a little snow on the hills but it soon disappeared. Last year it was late March when we suffered a deep fall, so plenty of time yet. I can well understand how your knitted layers come in to their own, by keeping you warm and cosy.
    A flowering hyacinth gives such pleasure, both to look at and with the scent.
    I hope you are coping with the ice and snow when you are out and about. Take care.x

  22. Hello, Frances!
    The patterns you've created are fantastic!! I suppose the St.Valentine's scarf is ready and someone will be happy to wear it very, very soon... Knitting seems so easy with you, but I think it is not.:)I like how you combine colours and create with your needles woolen paintings!
    Hope the weather is not that cold any more and you can make your traditional walks again!

  23. Hi!

    I certainly will visit your blog! It`s fun to see that a person in a big town as NY has the same interests as a countryside girl from Norway ;O)

  24. You freeze as we flood. Won't it be lovely not to have to think about the weather so much! Your knitting is so intricate. You must need warm hands for that.

  25. Hello Frances from Scotland! Thanks so much for commenting on my blog recently. I thought I would have been long forgotten.

    I hope the snow is letting up and you have a safer path to work!

    Fortunately, we have had a reasonable winter (so far). Lots and lots of rain (though not of the flooding kind) but not a huge amount of frost and no snow - though winter is not yet over.

    Your knitting is amazing! I marvel at anyone who can create something beautiful from such complex patterns.

    Keep warm! Bella x

  26. Well good evening Frances (UK time) - I've just popped over from the Custards having a bit of a nosey and your first photo caught my eye - it's almost exactly the same as one my brother took last week - he's on West End Avenue! Loving the knits, just what you need in the freezing weather you've been having. Looking forward to following x Jane

  27. Hello again, such beautiful knitting and crocheting. I have been meaning to drag out my knitting needles of late and you have now inspired me. Thank you, Rachel xx

  28. Its February and the weather is still icy cold here in Kathmandu, but i guess not as cold as of NY!

  29. Hello from Arkansas....yes, all the way to New York! Thank you so much for stopping by my little blog. I was absolutely in love with your pictures of snow in the city and those lovely old apartment buildings. I was born in Chicago and spent my youth there but summers were spent in the country so I love parts of both.
    I think I am an Anglophile for sure. Not so much the history but the present and definitely their walking trails and decorating and color schemes and the treasures at their "sales".
    I was amazed at your beautiful knitting. I'm retired and just taught myself to knit in the past 2-3 years. I would love to learn Fair Isle and/or color work but not sure if I would have the patience for it. Does it require patience or just persistence? LOL! Yours is so beautiful. Are there any books you could recommend that would be good for a beginner?
    Stay warm. It has been a rough winter even in the South....there have been days when you were warmer....until the polar vortex moved East that is! LOL! Take care and I hope we talk again.

  30. Your knitting are like paintings!
    Such beautiful colors and patterns.
    I feel bad for all the. Terribly harsh weather you've had this year. I hope itsoon abates. We've been very lucky in Paris with much Spring-like weather and lots of sun.
    Cheers Carolg