Happy Lunar New Year and Welcome to the Year of the Wood Sheep
Our weather of late has made and I suspect in the coming days, will continue to make the news. It is cold; or COLD as the word appeared on the weather page of one of the region’s most reliable sources of news for weather and traffic. We’re all little bundles of our own warmth walking about, standing on subway platforms, or waiting to cross the street. We doff our hoods from swaddled heads once in the safe warmth of an indoor space. The brave remove their gloves to raccoon away on a smart device or more often to reinvigorate circulation to cold hands. Yes, this week it has become increasingly unusual to see someone stop in mid stride arrested by something on a small screen. Our movements in the outdoors are purposeful and directed. Even that dreaded and much derided phrase of last winter Arctic Vortex has reemerged. No one now needs a definition and the temperatures have muted protests of exaggeration.
My personal hero has been the Nomad Hat. The hat portion covers the entire head and wrapping the scarf around my neck—even though I didn’t knit it as long as the pattern dictated—protects my throat and neck from the cold. Next are my various pairs of fingerless gloves worn over gloves or convertible mitts providing an additional layer of warmth without inhibiting dexterity. Lastly, the Gansey Legwarmers worn with a ski liner and socks stuffed into boots.
Besides the weather, I have finally picked a stitch pattern from Nihon Vogue Sha’s Knitting Patterns 300. I’ve worked out how to use the knitting symbol fonts downloaded from the Knitting Universe website to type the patter into an Excel workbook. I’ve learned the value of the traditional SSK—having previously always used Barbara Walker’s version—in knitting the vertical double decrease. I’ve managed to rearrange the stitches to avoid YO’s being the first or last stitch on the needle and the knitting is starting to percolate along nicely.
Toupie is coping well. He has the ottoman, the dresser, the armchair in the dining room and the futon as refuges from the cold floor. I give him warm water daily and keep the heating at 72F. He has avoided his usual perch of the bathroom rug this week. I think the tiled floor is just too cold.