In the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, birds are singing, flowers are starting to bloom, the grass is greening, and people are getting out their shorts. Not here in the Teton Valley. It’s not winter, but it’s far from what most of the world would consider Spring. This non-season is not-so-affectionly called “Mud Season”, “Shoulder Season”, or even “Bad Skiing”. No self-respecting Teton Valley-ian would call late-March, early April “Spring” with a straight face or at least not until they were 4-5 craft beers in.
Well over a foot of crusty, dingy snow still buries most of my yard, the trees look like sickly, withdrawn sun addicts with not a speck of green in sight amongst this waste land. Even our local moose has given up on our yard; heading back to its hangout somewhere in the creek bottoms. Late October, early November has more cheer and color than this season. Cabin fever can be rampart and many of our friends travel south to the desert retreats of Zion and Canyonlands to escape the dreariness of the Valley. Seed catalogs pop up in mailbox, taunting me with their bright, blooming plants, laden with the fruits of summer as my garden beds still lay heaped under snow.
It’s enough to drive a soul mad and want to curse out the cruelness of the world. The only way I have found to cope with still maintaining at least some shred of sanity is my knitting. During this season, my regular colors of soothing blues, greens and teals, turns to springy greens, bright yellows, warm oranges, and fiery reds in a desperate bid to find color and life amongst the drab, drawn out colors of this season.
But yet, even under the wasteland, one can see the settle changes that life and spring do indeed exist somewhere under the snow. The sunlight is a bit warmer on your cheek than it was less than a month ago, the days longer and the breeze a bit warmer and not so keen to cut through you like a knife. Perhaps there is a new species of bird hanging out at the bird feeder tonight that was not there yesterday.
When Mountain Man wanted a long, narrow scarf for his “dress coat” (read non-ski coat), I was happy to oblige since he prefers yellows and oranges. On a wimp, I had purchased a skein of Hedgehog Fibres Sock in “Pollen” during our last trip to Bozeman in January. Digging through my stacks of Japanese stitch dictionaries (more addicting to me than Lay’s Potato Chips), I knitted a long, narrow scarf to Mountain Man’s satisfaction of golden yellow. I’m normally not a yellow person, considering yellow a lovely accent color, but I gladly wiped out this scarf without a word of protest from me about choice of color. The stitch pattern knitted up quickly considering it’s a moving 1×1 twisted rib pattern.
In hindsight, I’d probably adjust the stitch pattern to be a bit wider than I did. At 29 stitches across, (25 pattern stitches, and 2 border stitches on both sides), it ended up a bit narrower and longer than I intended. I’ll tweet the pattern to make it wider and add a few more border stitches to make it easier to block before writing up the pattern for the test knitter.
But it’s lovely to know I can get that long of scarf out of one skein of Hedgehog Fibres. Though I should have known, or at least suspected, since it’s one of the few sock yarns I can get a pair of socks out of Mountain Man out of without sweating whether I’m going to run out of yarn halfway through the second sock like I have with so many other socks yarns. As a big-footed person of women’s size 12 feett, skimpy-yardage socks yarns are the bane of my existence of a sock knitter and will get a sock yarn on my black list faster than just about anything else short of bad dye jobs.
Today as I hung the scarf out to dry over our fence after washing it, I found hope for spring even in the wasteland of my yard. The holy grail of them all, finding green poking out from beneath the snow amongst my garden.
Hope springs eternal.