Well. I was rather aggrieved to see newborn calves, lambs and kids frolicking in the fields this week. Just what gives cows, sheep and goats permission to start producing young when it’s still officially winter!? And then there’s the matter of those daffodils looking ominously like they’re about to burst into flower… and the fig tree’s greening tips… aaaarrrggh!!!! It’s not supposed to be Spring yet! Next thing I know the Kowhai will be in full bloom.
This picture was taken last spring, but I thought I’d insert something visual so you know what the Kowhai looks like if you’re not in NZ.
As you can tell, I’m of the knitter variety who would be extremely happy to be blanketed in snow for 10 months of the year. The other two are allowed to be mildly cold, but not hot. But I guess I can dream on. Or move to Canada.
There’s something very cosy about sitting in front of the fire in the evenings, knitting a nice project, and feeling wonderfully snug in a soft, woollen pullover. Or pulling on a knitted hat and wrapping your neck in a snuggly scarf, enveloping your hands in comforting wool to go out into the refreshing, crisply cold (and hopefully icy) winter morning. I look forward to it all through the hot summer months, and gleefully review my winter wardrobe and prioritize projects for my family and me at the first hint of a chill Autumn wind.
My mother (who doesn’t like the cold) said to me recently “If you like winter so much, why don’t you just keep the windows open?”. That’s not the point. The point is that I like to feel warm and snuggly, dressed in layers of lovely wool. And if it’s hot outside, you can’t really justify all the layers, that super chunky knit, and the cosy crackly fire, can you?
Summer in New Zealand is lovely, with the long evenings, the many outdoor activities and abundance of summer fruit and berries. But the UV level in this part of the world is so high that unless you want chunks of melanoma cut out of your sun-dried skin later on in life, you end up spending a good part of the day hiding from burning rays, vigorously applying sunscreen, veiled in a hat and long sleeves, venturing out only in the early morning or once the clock hands have passed two. Which sort of defeats the purpose of Summer, non? Not to mention the bright light gives me a migraine, causing me to want to lie in a darkened room with an ice pack over my eyes. So that’s why I don’t really like Summer.
Knitting for me doesn’t stop in Summer. But now that the weather appears bent on turning towards warm, I am beginning to think of lighter projects – that super pretty laceweight handspun I got at Fibre & Fleece tells me it’s time I made it into a shawl. The very cool sock yarns I’ve acquired from New Zealand’s indie dyers (Knitsch, Fibre Alive, Needlefood…) are asking me what I’m going to do with them. And that gorgeous 4 ply alpaca called Marmalade from Flagstaff Alpacas is still waiting patiently…
And then of course, with the pressure off to produce knits for immediate enjoyment, I can focus on projects that require more time. I have two self-designed projects planned that I’m hoping will be good enough to share as free patterns once they’re done – one is a cross-over cable fingerless mitten in Zealana’s soon-to-be-released yarn, and the other a cable and rib pullover in Kiwi (Zealana’s cotton/merino/possum blend) that will be perfect for not-so-cold days.
And I think it’s probably about time I became comfortable with one of sock knitting or lace. It’s really quite silly to be depriving myself of another facet of knitting enjoyment.
So there’s plenty to keep me busy. I just wouldn’t mind a bit of decently cold weather before it heats up again!