As the Snow Falls

Snow has been falling all day.  Big, fat, fluffy flakes.  Finally.  Winter thus far has been drab.  We were warned to be prepared for a severe winter, but it’s already mid-February and there have not been any signs of harshness.  December offered a little glimpse of promise for a true wintery Canadian winter, but that was short lived.  Other than the blanket of snow we had for a couple weeks around the holidays, everything was melted by early January.  This new layer will likely melt soon too, which is a shame.  So many days, this winter, have been very mild but grey, grey, grey.  When the temperature has dropped, it’s been frigid cold and still grey, grey, grey, without the ethereal freshness you get from a crisp covering of new white snow.  The snow is what makes the miserable temperatures bearable.  Even the days that are above seasonal are dreary because everything is brown and dead without the signs of hope offered by those early spring days that are equally as dreary.

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When I woke up this morning and looked out my window, I was so happy with the sight.  It’s been very uplifting to engage in the atmosphere that a snowfall inspires.  Not just within myself, but in the entire community.  It’s February in Canada; everyone should be expecting this.  Yet, somehow, neighbours emerge from their houses in total awe.  They turn to their left and they turn to their right; confirming with each other.  Seeking validation for what they see.  Like every snowfall is the first they’ve ever witnessed.  Then everyone bundles up beyond recognition and begins to shovel.  Not even on the nicest of summer days can you see so many people outside, interacting with each other.  Bonding over a shared experience.  Well…then there was me.  I was missing something.  A shovel.

I needed to buy a shovel to clear my driveway.  Cory left home before sunrise on an ice fishing trip so I lacked a vehicle to get to the hardware store.  And I thought shovelling the driveway before he got home would be the decent thing to do.  No worry, my legs work quite well.  It’s only a 4 kilometre trip.  In big winter boots.  On unploughed sidewalks.  At least it’s a suitable rationalization for not going to the gym.  My legs sure got a workout.  But I was so glad I went for the walk.  The snow is so cleansing.  I love it.  Everything slows down.  Everything is muted.  This was the winter I’ve been waiting for.  If it doesn’t last the week, I wanted to ensure I enjoy it for today.

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After getting in and hanging all my woolies to dry, I put on the kettle and pulled out my current WIP, the Millisande sweater. (If you’re curious, the hat and mitts in the photo are my own creation, but the shawl is the Guernsey Triangle)

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I only had one sleeve left to complete, and I was only a few rounds away from shaping the shoulder cap.  I had faith it would be finished today.  The sleeve, that is.  Not the whole sweater.  That would involve sewing, and I wasn’t feeling committed to such an extent.  So I sat.  Clicking away on my needles.  Watching the snow continue to fall.  Content.  So content.

I’ve been recording my progress on Instagram.  You may have seen the first sleeve already.

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Or even the body with my first sleeve

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What can I say about this pattern?  As expected, it’s Brooklyn Tweed.  I am such a sucker for Brooklyn Tweed!  The professionalism presented in every detail of every pattern is astounding.  Even their most difficult or complicated patterns have every last technique described step-by-step down to the letter.  Millisande is no different.  This sweater maintains an element of complexity accentuated by its simplicity.  On top of that, I was drawn to this pattern because of the collar.  I love a good collar.

Initially, I purchased the yarn to knit a different Brooklyn Tweed pattern. Have you seen Chainlink by Norah Gaughan?  It is absolutely gorgeous.  Everything about it is stunning.  Including the rich, saturated gold of the Loft yarn.  I wanted it.  I wanted that piece of clothing.  But I couldn’t afford the Brooklyn Tweed yarn.  Or rather, I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on yarn.  Maybe one day, but not right now.

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So I found a very reasonably-priced Peer Gynt (100% wool, 91m/50g) in a similar gold colour.  After nearly a year in my stash, however, I was still contemplating the pattern.  It was definitely a beautiful garment, but I was wondering how well it would suit my body type.  After much consideration, I abandoned the whole idea and sought out a different pattern.  And happened upon Millisande by Ann McCauley.  I don’t regret that decision in the slightest.  I couldn’t be happier with how it is coming along.  Today, I did manage to finish the second sleeve.  Tomorrow I hope to sew it together and start on the collar.  As much as I would like to post a photo of my progress, I couldn’t pull the pup off my work.

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As I sit here this evening, writing, I’ve got the soothing music of Basia Bulat  playing while Cory is filleting his catch in the kitchen.  I imagine we’re having Perch for dinner.  This.  This is what I live for. Slowness.  The slowness of handmade clothing.  The slowness of fresh caught and prepared food.  The slowness of the world as it trudges through the snow.  Echoed by the slow, mezmorizing sounds of Basia’s music.  This is perfection.

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Those are some huge fish! And the toque is of course handspun and hand-knit.

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