Sister Winter

Greetings from a storm battered Treehouse! Like much of Northern Europe we’ve been visited by rushing gales and battering winds. I took a few things from my balcony as a precaution but other than comforting spooked cats from the whistling sound of the winds and worrying for my partner who had to cycle home during the peak of the storm things haven’t been too bad. How is winter treating you all? Since my last two posts were look backs on what I made and did last year, I though I’d write a bit about what I am working on and doing now.

I know that for some people January feels like the longest month in the universe. I typically don’t struggle with the late winter months, but this year I got super sick and as a result struggled with energy levels and felt tired for a large chunk of the month. Overall though, I feel winter is flying by. The light is returning and I felt the days getting longer almost by the day.

I have enjoyed being outside a lot. I know not everyone is keen on the bleak greyness that often accompanies this time of the year, or the empty branches on the trees, and I understand why people feel like that (there are days where I definitely agree!), but it can be such rewarding time to be outside as well. The bare branches make it easier to spot wildlife for one thing and I enjoy bundling up and just seeing winter’s stillness as well. Though the winter has been so mild that signs of early spring can be spotted all over the place right now, so while it’s early days the transition from winter to spring is in full swing here.

I participated in my first national bird count at the end of January. I don’t know if this is a thing in your neck of the woods, but if not it is a day (or in our case, 3 days) in which people pay more attention to the birds they are seeing outside their home and count how many and which species. This can be for a whole day, part of the day, or just half an hour. It helps gauge the health of birds and gives an indication how well bird populations are doing. For me it wasn’t much of a deviation of normal days except being more concious about actual bird count. It was fun to do and interesting to read the general report written about it by our national bird conservation organisation and compare my area with the nation’s average.

I did make some plastic free suet cakes for the balcony birds for the occasion. Which was a fun and easy home DIY to do. I don’t think I’ll be making them again this winter though, because it has been so mild and spring is around the corner, and birds’ nutritional needs change with the seasons, but I will remember it for next year.

I have been busy making things as well. My main project for this winter was a colourwork allover cardigan for which I’m doing most of the motifs myself. I’m not a stranger to going rogue with patterns and such but never on this scale. I’m now in the final stages of this project and it has been pleasing to see it come together like this but it has been equally satisfying to see I can actually do this and get a project such as this over the finish line.

In the last days of 2019 I cast on a quick in between project for some distraction. The past two years I’m not the best with small projects, to the point that I didn’t knit anything that wasn’t a garment at all last year. It’s not even that I don’t enjoy knitting or wearing them. I think I just get so enthusiastic to throw myself in big projects all the time that I tend to forget the smaller ones? Anyway I want to make an effort not to neglect them, so I started this colourblocked skiff. It was an idea I had in the back of my mind for some time, possibly since I finished my first skiff hat? I guess it’s also a low key precaution to make sure that I at least will have knit something other than sweaters over 2020 (ha!). This one actually isn’t super quick, with the looooong ribbing and I couldn’t knit much for a few days because I injured my hand but it is certainly a lot faster than my usual projects. It is finished now, so once I have taken photos of it you should see it pop up here.

I’m in the very last stages of the blue allover, so I’ve picked the yarn out for my next big project. The colour theme for this one is very different and it’s going to be my first time working with Rauma Finullgarn. So I’m excited to get started with that.

I’ve been in cosy land with my sewing this winter. I just finished a dress in brushed flannel for myself and then fell into another sewn project where I’m using a flannel fabric for. I’m very much in the early stages of this latest project but it will be a shirt for my partner. It’s the first time I’m sewing a piece of clothing for someone other than myself and it is equal parts exciting and daunting. I’m a slow sewist in general, but for this project I’m taking it even slower, hopefully this will benefit the end result but who knows.

That’s all for now. Stay cosy while storm Ciara rages on just a little bit longer,

Xxx

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