Saturday, March 21, 2015


Dear Mom,
The calendar says spring, and so does my front yard! Right on schedule, a few of the  100's of crocus bulbs I've scattered throughout the front lawn over the last few years started blooming on Tuesday.
 There are a few snowdrops, too, but they don't show up as well as those bright yellow croci.
Seeing those blooms gives me hope. 
I think we had more winter after the Groundhog saw his shadow than we had in the months before. It was wearing me down. 
However, the longer winter did give me more opportunities to wear a sweater and cardigan combination that I love. The dress is The Factory Dress from Merchant and Mills. I ordered my pattern from Purl Soho. This pattern went together like a dream and the dress fits exactly as I hoped it would. I splurged on some really nice wool from The French Seam. The pattern, fabric and I all got along fabulously. When a suitable spring/summer fabric presents itself at the shop, I will make another dress.
I then knit a cardigan to wear with the dress. The pattern is Tiramisu and I knit it with Shepherd's Wool,  color "Milk Chocolate". This is one of those colors that can look brown or grey, depending on what it is next to. The sweater knit up very quickly and the design is very easy to wear- a practical, pretty sweater. I've cast on for another in a cotton yarn.
Here is the combination, on me.

I found some sweater tights at Target that look nice and stay put. I had a pair of fleece-lined leggings - warm and comfy!- but they were sadly lacking in anything resembling elastic in the waistband! Of course this is something a person doesn't know until she wears them and I had a rather interesting day keeping my leggings up.  By the end of that day had some serious concerns that they would be around my ankles before I could walk from the shop to my car. I was thankful for the long coat I was wearing and imagined myself in the middle of the street with a puddle of leggings at my feet and white legs exposed. I did make it to the car- crotch at my knees. Since then, some reinforcing elastic has been added to what was an empty casing at the waistband of those leggings.
 I had to laugh a few days later when I opened up a new pair of tights.
 The label on these tights boasted a "comfort no-bind waistband". When I pulled them out of the package, the waistband was about the circumference of my thigh. Maybe smaller. (Actually the words 'small' and 'my thigh' do not belong in the same paragraph, but you get my meaning.) From one extreme to the other. The miracle of spandex allowed them to stretch enough to fit around the location formerly know as my waist, and at least I had no worries that this pair would be overcome by gravity.

It comes as a great surprise to me to find myself painting. I thoroughly enjoy the escape into watercolors  and look forward to the class every Thursday morning. I nevereverever thought I would be holding a paintbrush and making any Thing. I may even be spending more time with watercolor paints and brushes than I am with my knitting. This shocks me. And scares me just a little. I have piles of failed attempts, but I do want to share two things that turned out well enough that you won't need to play that kindergarten game where you ask the child to "tell me about this picture" because you have no idea what it is she painted.

I think part of the appeal to painting, for me, is the total escape.I am exploring a new world of things to learn. I feel No pressure to produce anything for anyone and feel an enormous thrill when something actually turns out. The escape is especially appreciated and the NEED for it is possibly explained when I take a step back- our Young Man celebrated his 21st birthday and our Young Lady has taken the SAT, ACT and is, as I write this, on a college visit with My Hero. Time marches on. As it should. I remind myself that All Shall Be Well and that God's plan is perfect. And my energies are better focused on creative pursuits than worrying about stuff. Maybe I felt the need to paint that fledgling robin for more reasons than the date on the calendar.