Signs of Spring

Spring has arrived. That is what the calendar says. Some people would say there is no way that Spring has arrived to the state of Maine but I have noticed that there are signs of Spring here. Not in the form of flowers or buds. Signs nonetheless.

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The sun is higher now. This photo was taken at 4PM. The sun is setting much later now. I know the time change helped with that but still, it is later.

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I went for a walk this weekend. It just felt like Spring.

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We dug out one of the hoop houses this weekend too. I was thinking that there must be something in there since the sun has been higher. We had to dig about 3 ft down to be able to lift the plastic.

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I was not surprised to see some green. Most of it is overwintered but I did notice a little new growth. I guess this means gardening season has begun! Now I need to get out there and plant some more lettuce and spinach seeds.

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The sap is flowing as well which is always a sign of Spring. I didn’t collect sap last year and I really missed the syrup. It is so expensive to buy in the store. This year we should have a nice amount. It is simmering on the stove as I write this.

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Another sign of Spring is the sun on my face is warm and I love the feeling. On my walk I put my hand up to block the sun so I could see something that was on a tree and I felt the warmth of the sun on my hand. It is so strong.

Happy Spring to you! Hope you are seeing some signs around you.

 

Knitting Saved Me

I know that sounds very dramatic. It is true though. I learned to knit during one of the most stressful times in my adult life. It was a distraction to say the least. It was calming. There are many things that knitting has done for me, but the most important for me was the way it stopped me from obsessing about particular things. No, it didn’t solve all of the problems going on at the time. It certainly helped me handle them a little better.

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The above picture was one of my first projects. I made two poncho sweaters for my daughters. They were quite little and still growing and they did not wear them for long. But I didn’t care. It took me about a year to make them, but again I didn’t care. The act of knitting was so meditative, so fun that I would knit just to knit.

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In time I learned how to knit, purl, increase, and bind off. I learned how to block. I made hats, scarves, and cowls. Now I am making sweaters, and socks and mitts.

Knitting gives me something to do. Just sitting and waiting is hard for me. I believe it is hard for most people. I bring my knitting pretty much everywhere. On car rides, appointments, when I wait for one of my children, to watch movies, recently I even brought my knitting into a restaurant and knit while we were waiting for a table. My daughter did too, which was great.

Knitting has taught me how to fail. How to mess something up and own it. Knitting has also taught me how to try and try again. Not to quit when I fail. Valuable lessons and never too late to learn. I will be 50 this year!

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Once I saw a pattern for a lacy scarf in a book and just had to make it. So I learned yarn overs and how to count. Of course I knew how to count but I think knitting counting is harder. This was the project that I learned about a life line. This project taught me a lot about patience. I was never a very patient person. Didn’t like to wait, didn’t like to not know something. I am also a perfectionist and that was hard as a new knitter. I am very good at ripping out projects and starting over so that I can get it right. I still mess up my knitting, still frog it, and still keep on going and get it right eventually. That takes lots of patience.

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Knitting is just for me. It is time for me. Even if I am waiting for someone to get out of class, even if I am teaching math, playing a game with a child, I can knit, for me. Even when I am making something for someone else, the knitting is for me.

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Knitting is exciting. Most people would look at me funny if I said that out loud but don’t you agree? Isn’t it exciting to be in a yarn store and see and feel all that fiber? I love going to fairs and touching the animals that make the yarn and then going into the booths and feeling all the different fibers. Wool, angora, alpaca! I love it all. It is exciting to learn new skills. Sometime this year I want to learn to cable. Right now I am learning how to read a chart. Something new!

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The above picture is the beginning of a sweater. I have to read a chart. So far I am on the third try. Finally it looks the way it is supposed to. I may even put in a life line soon in case I mess up farther along. I am proud of myself for learning something new and for not quitting. (I almost did but my daughters talked me out of it. Boy do I love them!)

So, knitting has done so much for me. It calms me. It keeps my mind and hands busy. Knitting has taught me patience. I am keeping my brain healthy with all the new skills. It is something just for me and that is a wonderful thing for anyone that does things for other people all day. Knitting adds so much to my life and I am glad I learned.

How about you? Why do you like to knit?

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Snow Again!

Interestingly on the day I decide to do a blog post there is another blizzard blowing its way through Maine. The very last post before this one we were having a big storm as well. It is almost pure white outside my window.

I brought some Forsythia inside a few weeks ago, as I always do every single year. I love forcing them to bloom. It gives us a bit of color and warmth during the white and cold of winter.

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I have been sewing and knitting like crazy. I know Spring and gardening are on its way so I am trying to fit in as much stitching as I can before I get busy outside. The girls are doing their classes at the outdoor adventure school again on Fridays and that gives me a whole day to myself. I don’t really need the day though because my night sewing and afternoon knitting have been consistent enough to make progress.

I made these cute little zipper bags for projects or whatever will fit in them. I love the fabric so much and I have been trying to use up some recycled denim.

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They were so easy to make and I plan to make more! I am really excited that I was able to get over my fear of zippers. I also have been making journal covers and some drawstring bags.

While the snow is blowing and coming down in sheets I am cooking a whole chicken in the cast iron pot on the wood stove. It is smelling so, so good that I want to eat it right now. I will cook up some rice and make a nice salty, creamy gravy.

In future posts I plan to show you all my sewing machines. I just got another antique one. And I want to tell you what knitting has done for me since I learned. Stay tuned. And thanks for visiting my blog!