Saturday, February 4, 2023

Snow Art and Knitting Horror

Hello again! Are you ready to be shocked to your core? Or perhaps you need bracing with a snow sculpture from my deck railing first:

This might be the local squirrels' attempt at carving out a winter sleigh or racing animals, but it might also be the product of artistic melt. Either way, I'm so glad I risked crossing the ice early on a cold morning to get this photograph. The whole thing sagged down under pressure from the sun by midday.

I use our deck quite a bit even in winter, just to step out from the kitchen and stretch, and to get a little air when I'm too busy for a walk. It makes a nice break when I'm waiting a few minutes for something on the stove or in the oven, or boiling water for tea, or when my brain is full. Even when it's desperately cold. The key to success here is: just stepping out. If I had to stop for boots and a coat, it wouldn't feel as liberating.

Pete bought me a special red shovel (my favourite colour! so sweet of him) so I can clear out a little space for myself after a snowfall. And quite often he clears one for me, which was very lucky the day a light snowfall turned to ice.

So grateful we re-stained the deck last summer. It's reassuring to know the wood is safe under all that cold and wet.

Since I took the sculpture photo, it's snowed, and now we have a giant fuzzy snow caterpillar instead:

Okay, I should think you're ready for the horror now. Are you? 

I was looking through my old Hugs from 2017, and discovered the hat I am currently not finishing was also being not finished that October:

And frankly, I don't think I've taken it very much farther from when I took this photograph five years ago. How is it possible I have had a hat on needles for five years??  And probably five and a half.

Reading through those old posts it seems like 2017 was a terrible year overall, though we did move back into the house after our lengthy renovation and had a big trip to Germany as well. On the upside, though various events at the time (breaking two fingers at the start of the year, packing and unpacking in the middle, and preparing a rental for a tenant at the end) all conspired to break me of my daily knitting habit, I did manage to get back to writing. And writing is my first love after all.

I read an article about knitting the other day, one of the type you see every so often about how knitting is a feminist or revolutionary act, or that people who knit are all united in some movement or other, and I was struck by how much I don't see it that way at all. 

Obviously it's true in some ways. Many knitters work to donate chemo caps or hats and blankets for preemie babies to hospitals, for example. But to me knitting is like cooking. Not everybody learns how to do it, but we all rely on the product of somebody's labour, unless we live in places where the only necessary clothes are woven. 

Sometimes it's relaxing, sometimes it's a creative outlet, sometimes it's a way to show love, sometimes it's simply necessary. 

There's no rule about who can do it and who can't. There are guides for people who struggle to learn. It never goes out of fashion. It's kind of a core survival activity.

So if you look at it that way, I seem to be going through a period of takeout, combined with eating from a pantry of food I put up earlier.  

Still, I hope I do end up finishing the hat before next winter comes, even if I never bother putting one on when I step out onto the deck.

Man. I never know what to expect when I get out there, but there's always something beautiful.

Hope you have something beautiful this week yourself, and that we get to spend a few minutes together again next weekend!

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