Flowers in January (making the best of a long, cold, winter…)

I haven’t posted in forever, I know, and for everyone who reads this blog, I sincerely apologize.  Some internet trouble early in December started this long silence of mine, and business with family obligations allowed it to continue even after we found a new ISP.  So here it is, late January in NEPA, characterized by cold, gray, dreary days, with snow, freezing rain, temperatures in the ‘teens, and so many days without sunshine I can almost feel the vitamin D dissipating from my bones.  What to do to keep spirits up?  I’ve had a few ideas.

Last January I undertook to deep-clean my entire house, and I  did manage to get all of the living areas done (basement came later in the year, attic has yet to be approached, but that is more of a decluttering mission than a cleaning project…), even though it definitely could stand to be done all over again,so far this winter I am just not feeling the same urge to scrub everything down with Clorox and Murphy’s Oil Soap.  Maybe it’s due to the fact that I am actually getting out of the house for some time each week, having recently taken a part-time job at a retail establishment where they sell both yarn and fabric (Read:  employee discount!).  Or possibly because I have a few projects on the needles, hook, and wheel, as well as some sewing I’ve been wanting to do.

For my Etsy shop, I’ve worked up a St. Patrick’s Day beret, using a center-out technique for an interesting change of pace.  I have found that I like the patterns formed by the increases on this type of knitted hat better than the bulky decreases on brim-in versions.  I’ve knitted several pairs of socks, and several single socks in similar weight yarns that I have decided are mismatched “pairs” as well.   Baby Girl got a sweater and matching hat from a Vickie Howell pattern in her Sheepish Stripes yarn that I had been wanting to make for a while, and I am currently working on a top-down turtleneck which is, believe it or not, for myself.  Crochet-wise, I’ve done a few market bags, some water bottle slings to go with the yoga mat bags, and a cute felted cloche inspired by my new loves for both silent films and “Downton Abbey”.  The spinning is a beautiful thing, with my lovely wheel, whom I’ve named “Lulu”, both because she is a Louet and after Louise Brooks’ character in the silent classic “Pandora’s Box”.  As for sewing, my new job has not only given me at-a-discount access to some incredible materials, it’s also inspired me in countless ways to spiff up both home and wardrobe.  I’ll do some posts related to my many winter projects over the next several weeks, as I get back into blogging mode.

In the meantime, perhaps the most cheering, and by far the easiest thing I’ve managed to do creatively this winter is force some narcissus bulbs.  SP is quite impressed by my ability to “make flowers grow with no heat or light”.  My mom is decidedly less impressed, having done this herself a number of times over the years.  Although I’ve had to put them on a high shelf in the bathroom to keep them away from our plant-destroying cat, they are incredibly, joyously friendly, flopping down as they bloom so anyone entering the bathroom can’t help but notice them:

Paperwhite narcissus




Maybe next week I’ll get on the cleaning project.  For now, I’m just taking some time to stop and smell the narcissi…


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Filed under Joyful inspirations, Yarny goodness

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