It has been a "knitters winter" here in Southern California. Not only are we having fr-fr-freezing cold temperatures but starting in January the long promised El Nino rains arrived. Which is just as well for the meteorologist who predicted (and coined the phrase) a "Monster El Nino" event was coming to a drought weary Southern California. Poor man. By December there were more than a few skeptics wondering where his so called El Nino rains were. I saw him being interviewed and he said he feared that he would have to enter the government's witness protection program if the rains did not materialize, people would be that disappointed. But his fears are over because rainy days are definitely here now and with it lots of opportunities to wear hand knit shawls, hats, socks and sweaters! A knitter's winter in Southern California. At long last.
Normally I just wear my hand knits on early morning hikes with Simcha but with the colder days I've been wearing my knits while out shopping and visiting the farmer's market, etc. I find it amusing when I'm chatting to someone and I'll notice that their eyes are wandering and it's not that their eyes have drifted to my breasts either. No, instead I can see their eyes are perusing my shawl or hat or whatever hand knit I'm wearing. Sometimes they'll comment on it and sometimes not. But if they do compliment what I'm wearing then I'm always quick to assure them that it's super easy to knit and a fabulous life long hobby and send them off inspired to visit their nearest yarn shop.
Whoops! I almost forgot to mention that I'm wearing my Glacerie shawl in this post. Too funny. I'm just so excited about the rain! But I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I couldn't be happier with this gorgeous shawl. Paired with a lofty yarn it makes a cozy shawl perfect for a cooler Southern California winter. Although we did not take the picture this way (I wanted to show the design off) I love to wear it wrapped around my neck like a cowl which makes it into a dramatic and fabulous accent piece.
Particulars: Glacerie Shawl designed by the very talented Hilary Smith Callis (blog: TheYarniad); US7 needles; 2 skeins Old Maiden Aunt Organic Corriedale (sport weight). My only modification was to substitute the method of increases from a traditional "Make One" increase to a lesser known method of knitting into the back of the loop of the stitch below where you wish to add an increase, which I found easier to execute. Post "relaxed" blocked measurement: 56" x 21.5." If you wish to see another design by Hilary that I've blogged check out her super popular Stardust Cowl (that I adore!).
Beautiful raindrops collecting on my juniper plant!
Still a Puppy at Heart
Although Simcha may look like a mature dog he is actually still very much a puppy at heart which I had forgotten, until recently reminded. It happened like this. Over the years Simcha has had innumerable toys and some have lasted better than others but usually there are a few scattered about the house until their condition deteriorates to the point they must be disposed of. Without giving it much thought recently his toys had one by one been removed to the dustbin without being replaced. But then I began to notice that Simcha seemed "down" and not his normal cheery self. No kisses in the mornings, no galloping about the house, and no happy tail wags on hikes. At first I thought it was age or maybe he wasn't feeling well. But then it dawned on me. He didn't have any toys to play with. I immediately went to the closet and scrounged up a toy and like magic he was a puppy again. His changed attitude was dramatic and clearly linked to having a toy to play with. As you can imagine I felt just awful that I had allowed this to happen by sheer oversight and not appreciating how important his toys were to his happiness. I'll never again underestimate how important toys and playing are to him.
Until next time be well, love well and make time for the people and pets that you share your life with. Lastly, don't forget the importance of play time and sharing activities that they enjoy doing..... Tug of War anyone?