Sunday, February 01, 2009

In the Bleak Midwinter

IMG_4882, originally uploaded by littlemissmuffet.

This winter, as anyone in the Midwest will attest to, has been brutal. We have reached record snowfall, roads are treacherous, and quite frankly, morale is low.

Every day is filled with the cacophonous cries of animals whose cabin fever is worse than mine. Merlin, Wheaten Terrier Extraordinaire, is not handling the winter well. He's 11, and his joints are achy, his spirit is low, and he looks old. His 9 year old "sister" is in better shape, but due to her brother's old age and my lack of energy just sulks all day. I'm sure she'd like to be out in the snow for hours, but by the time I get home from class/work/voice lessons/choir/etc I am too tired to play,and too worn out to walk for a mile in the unshoveled snow. I'm sure they will be just as happy as me when the snow finally gives way to Spring.

Too bad that won't be for a while.

To pass the time, I have been doing nothing but knitting and reading. And singing, and helping Eric brew beer, but mostly just knitting. Christmas knitting led into New Year's knitting, which is leading into just plain ol' knitting. And, it's been a while since I posted so I figured it was time to emerge from that snowy hole, like the groundhog will hopefully do on Monday, and say hello.

I was lucky enough to have LOTS of time over Christmas break to knit. One of my favorite projects was the Swallowtail Shawl from IK. It was a quick knit, since the shawl itself is small, and I really enjoyed it. The finished product was stunning; the recycled silk/cotton I used lent itself well to the subtlety and depth of the lace pattern, and I love the ice-blue color, especially knit up into something so delicate.

The shawl, knit up, blocked, and ready to be given to Eric's mom, seemed to cast a spell over me for a brief moment. At this point we had nearly 18" of snow. We were snowed into our driveway. The city of Kalamazoo was at a standstill, and the whole world seemed to be silenced under a think blanket of Christmas precipitation. Standing outsidewith snow past my boots, I laid the Swallowtail shawl over the white snow to take a picture. The beauty created--the synthesis of art, nature, and silence--made me forget that I was standing in a dirty parking lot in a student ghetto. The snow hid all of that. The shawl simply amplified the beauty of winter.

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