Just In Time

This is a part of Virginia that gets at least a couple of several inch snows each winter, once in a while, a foot or foot and a half that prevents us from leaving for a few days as the State 700 roads are the last to be cleared, plus we live downhill about 2/10 of a mile on a dirt and gravel driveway. This winter has been an anomaly. There have been flurries and barely dusting bare surfaces, an inch or two that lasted a mere 6 hours before there wasn’t a trace left. If all the rain we have gotten since September was snow, we would never get out. Each time the forecast says snow possible, weather patterns shift just enough for it to be wintery mix or rain. There is another weather event predicted that could/might unload 2 up to 4 inches late Sunday, but chances are it will just be another cold rain.

As I was walking back from releasing the hens into the yard, you can see a few inches of Daylily leaves emerging and the daffodils in the back garden have buds. The snow won’t bother the daffodils, the Daylilies won’t be too happy, but will be okay. The Snowdrops on one of our walks are blooming. They will be fine, they often bloom in the snow when it happens.

In the fall, during hubby’s early months dealing with the health issues, an online friend offered to proxy shop for a spindle for me from the craftsman who makes the best Turkish style spindles available, Ed Jenkins, Jenkins Yarn Tools. They are in Oregon and only do events within a couple hours from home. Linda bought me a lovely Crabapple Finch, a smaller size that I love and wrapped it in some gorgeous black Merino/Alpaca/Silk blend roving, a very generous amount. About a month or so later, she was going to attend another event where Ed and Wanda were set up and offered again, this time getting me a Lilac Finch, and packed it in the same blend in a camel brown color. Those fibers were spun on the spindles they came with and a shawl/scarf was started for me. Last night, I cast off “Linda’s Hug,” soaked it, blocked it, and because it is so delicate, the yarn spun to 20 wraps per inch or lace weight yarn, it dried over night.

The two yarns were used together and in spite of the light weight (50.94 g or 1.8 ounces) of the shawl, it is very warm with the Alpaca and Silk, just in time for a possible winter blast.

I am ever grateful to the friends I have met through my Jenkins group and also my two local friends who I taught to spindle spin and hooked on the Jenkins spindles. They have been very generous in their time and support first through the Covid lockdowns and then through the early days of hubby’s issues. Each time I wear this shawl, I am reminded of love and concern.

Brrrrr – Nov. 13, 2019

It is November, still Autumn according to the calendar, but the thermometer and the weather prognisticators say otherwise. When 70% of the country is expecting freezing or below weather in November, something is wrong. Two days ago, I was in a long sleeve tee working in the garden, yesterday we awoke to snow falling and lightly coating the world with it hovering at freezing and expected to fall all day and through the night. I awoke at dawn, the heatpump not keeping up with the cold and no fires stokes and not wanting to get out from under the two quilts on the bed. Wishing I had worn wool socks to bed last night.

With two pups nudging me to get up, let them out, and feed them, I finally conceded, layering on wool layers from the skin out (wish I had some wool trousers) and going down to let them out, cook their egg, and get my coffee going. This is what the front porch thermometer read.

The early dawn hours it reached 14f. We have experienced colder weather skiing out west, in Vermont, even in West Virginia. It has dropped below that on the farm, but not in November. At 8:30 when I finally added boots, hat, gloves, and barn parka to go out to the chickens it was 17f, sunny, the wind from yesterday finally calmed, but bitingly cold.

In this world of social media, we have friends we know, we hang out with, can hug or shake hands with even if it is only once or twice a year. Then we have friends we have met through social media that have similar or like interests with whom we share photos and online conversations. One of the later is a retired physician that lives in Iowa (bet it is colder there today than here), who is a fabulous fiber artist. She makes beautiful one of a kind jackets and coats hand spun yarn, felts among other things. Her Etsy shop is FiberCurio. Late last winter, I mentioned having regrettably not purchased a felt hat at SAFF quite a number of years ago and Ellen came to the rescue and made me a gray felted hat to which I added one of my woven tapes. I like the hat and wear it when it is cold. Though I spin yarn and knit many hats, my head doesn’t seem to be the right shape to make a knitted hat fit well and look good. Last week, Ellen posted pictures of some felted women’s hats she was taking to a craft event and one of them shouted at me. Now, I can’t attend an event in Iowa, but I reached out to her about that hat and by the next day it was in the mail to me. Yesterday in the midst of falling temperatures, snow flurries, and brutal wind, a package arrived, my new hat.

I love the cloche, it pulls down over my ears and is warm felted Merino. It should help keep my head warm when it is truly winter here, and now during our early Arctic Blast that looks to be lingering for another day or two with very cold nights and early mornings even after that. Social media can be wonderful at times.