Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We're having some crazy, apocolyptic weather here in Portland. It's been snowing for a week and, because it rarely snows here at all let alone for days at a time, the city's not set up to do much in the way of plowing (or sanding or graveling or salting or anything). This is especially true of where we live - on a steep hill on the outskirts of town surrounded by woods. The roads up here have never been plowed and it doesn't look like the city is going to start now. We broke down and bought chains for our truck and have made the trip into town a couple of times in the past week but then got so much snow this weekend that we haven't left our neighborhood since Thursday. We are, for all intents and purposes, snowed-in.
I grew up in snowy places and am surprised to find myself really snowed-in for the first time in my life. I wouldn't say it's all great - after a week up here I think I'm starting to feel the effects of cabin fever (spells of total loopiness and sometimes really agonizing restlessness) - but in a lot of ways it's been cool. I'm always bemoaning the lack of snow here and getting so much of it has been awesome. We took some unforgettably pretty, snowy walks with Hank. We met some neighbors that we may not have met otherwise. We shirked most of our responsibilities for the week. We skied and snowboarded through our neighborhood.
We also roughed it a little. I made the snowy 3 mile trek across the bridge to St. Johns and back for groceries. And we've been doing some stuff that we do for fun out of necessity: Colin's baked a loaf of bread every day and I've been knitting warm things for Hank - mittens and socks for playing in the snow. We've never had this kind of snow so he's never needed extra warm things to wear in it.
Which brings me to the knitting:
Hank's mittens were really thin, sorry numbers. I realized he ought to have felted mittens for playing in the snow so I knit one in garter stitch out of green Lamb's Pride and felted it in the washer to see how it would turn out before I started the second. It was sort of stiff and awful and he flatly refused to wear it. So I felted a pair of red and white mittens that I'd knit for myself last winter along with my mittens which were originally for Colin and too big. The results were mostly good. Mine were much improved. I felted them only enough to make them warmer and just the right size.
Hank's were less successful - they accidentally went through the wash one too many times and they're smaller than I meant them to be but they do the trick.
Suddenly, I started looking around the house and seeing lots of knitting projects that could benefit from felting. Hank had a pair of slippers, for example, that were way too big on him and I thought they'd be just right if they went through the washer once. Sadly, they turned out to be a total felting casualty.
Poor bears. They seem to be asking, "Why did you do this to us?" They were way too long to begin with and after felting they remained as long but skinnier and misshapen. Anyway, I moved on to wool socks for Hank. They're almost done and when they are I'm knitting myself a Christmas stocking. If we remain snowbound (and we might - it's still snowing now), I may even finish it in time for Christmas.