Winter is icumen in

Unlike the original seasonal medieval tune heralding the beginning of “Sumer”, I am not tempted to burst into song.  We had such a mild fall and delayed winter that actual cold weather now is climate shock!  I can finally wear sweaters, but I also have frozen water in the barn to deal with, among other wintry tasks.  Still, we’ve only had a couple of really cold nights so far, so I really can’t complain, can I?

That medieval turn of mind was surely prompted by the audiobook I’ve been enjoying, “A Needle in the Right Hand of God: the Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making and Meaning of the Bayeux Tapestry”, which is just fascinating.  Of course, the down side to audio books is that you can’t see the pictures.  (I do have some pretty good mental pictures of several scenes to help me along.)  On the other hand, it’s much safer to listen than read and look at pictures while driving!

If you’re not familiar with the Bayeux Tapestry (which is really not a tapestry at all, but an enormously long piece of embroidery), you can read some background information here, and see images here.  In brief, it was created to commemorate or document the Norman invasion of England in 1066, specifically the events leading up to and the battle of Hastings.  I do have some personal interest in this, as at least one ancestor of mine was part of the expedition.

I was inordinately pleased to listen to the narrator describing the wool thread of the embroidery as being spun Z-twist (clockwise) and the thread of the linen backing spun S-twist (counterclockwise).  Some things never change!

Of course, winter brings Christmas time, and I had happily agreed some time ago to knit Christmas stockings for my two little grandsons.  I finally found five different shades each of red and green fingering / sock weight yarn that satisfied me, and started in on the first stocking on Thanksgiving day.

It's nearly finished!

All I have left to do is tack down the lining of the cuff, decide if/how to secure the ends on the inside, and add the hanger.  Then a good wash and blocking will help a lot.  I’ve already started big brother’s, and will have to move along to get it finished in time!  This one wouldn’t have taken quite so long, but with a dozen or so balls of yarn, it’s not the ideal take-along project, and I ended up spending nearly a week with DH in the hospital.  (Thanks, he’s doing much better now!)

My other finished object also makes me think of winter.  I really do love those achingly clear winter nights when the frost on the ground looks like diamond dust in the starlight… and Dream In Color’s Starry yarn reminds me of that sparkle.  This gorgeous yarn quietly boasts 2% real silver, in the form of a very fine filament.

Starry Night Wrap

I started this as a travel project, so it was one of my hospital-sitting activities.  I’m very pleased with the way it turned out!   It is quite difficult to catch the starlight-glimmer in a photo, but I think the closeups (taken with flash) do give a bit of the idea.

…and even closer.

This pattern (Starry Starry Night) is a bit fiddly to get started, but once you get an inch or so on the needles, it’s smooth sailing, and the simple lace pattern is a perfect complement to the yarn.  The only thing I changed was to add a small picot edge to the end.  I can’t wait to wear it!


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