Wednesday, February 26, 2014

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York, on a day that started with snow and is now bright and sunny, but still cold.

Some of you all have been wondering about how long it has been since my last post.  February is our shortest month, but this February has been a challenging time for New York.  

The snow just kept coming and the temperature mostly stayed below freezing.

This has not be a month to enjoy the great outdoors.  Taking walks in Central Park with my camera has had no appeal.

Staying indoors as much as possible was much more pleasant.  I have been doing a lot of knitting.  I made myself a new slouchy beret (like the ones in my Etsy shop.)  I thought the rosy colors would seem warming and my ears agreed.  My trusty red cashmere muffler helped a lot, too.

It's fun to have a large assortment of yarns in a range of colors available.  I find this similar to having a variety of oil or watercolor paints on hand.  I might not use every one, but it's helpful to have many shades to choose from.

I'm currently working on a new scarf, that I am knitting as a tube on a circular needle.  When I get to the length I want, and also the color mix I want, I will decide how to finish the ends.  This might turn out to be a cowl style, or I might stitch up each end and even add some pom poms for a frivolously jolly accent.

Not all my recent knitting has been done in warm tones.  I have also been taking part in a "mystery knit along" organized by the brilliant knitting designer Ysolda.  The project is called Follow Your Arrow, and allowed its mystery solving participants to have a choice of new clues every Monday for five consecutive weeks.

I am hoping that from these vague photographs you all will be able to see some of the "arrows" that began to appear in the mystery item.

I admit that as the weeks passed, I fell behind in following the arrow clues.  I am still a few hours' away from knitting the final row of the final clue.  And then...I will have the challenge of figuring out how to best block this beautiful wrap, so that its many fancy stitches will show themselves off.

I needed to use little Muji post-it slips and various notes to keep up with where I was as I made my way through the clues.  It has been great fun to be part of this treasure hunt, along with over 1,000 folks around the world.

The following photograph shows the color of the pretty Madeleinetosh soft merino fingering yarn that I chose, and a hint of what one of the clues looked like.  Having charts to follow proved much easier for me than trying to follow the excellent written versions of the instructions.  If any of you all might also wish to give this a try, on your own schedule, please do visit Ysolda over on the site.

During February, I've also been doing some reading, including Ian Rankin's newest Rebus novel, and am now re-reading Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm.  The title seemed apt for the season.

I have been buying tulips during the past weeks, in order to bring a bit of Springtime spirit into my apartment.  I will share the current bunch along with my current favorite tea mug.  I like to think that before too long we will actually be seeing our domestic American robins over in Central Park.

May March come in as a lamb.  Next week I will again begin to try my luck at keeping away from chocolate during Lent.  Will any of you all be trying something similar?

Thank you all for your visits and very interesting comments.  It's great to see that some new folks have become followers.  I truly appreciate your interest.