Cold. Dark. Winter. We need to slow down and hibernate, but everyone is trying to stay on top of the game, bounce and shine like it is the middle of summer festivities. A few years ago I decided that is why I have the winter blues and looked to occupy myself with some laid back fun, giving me time for introspection, planning and recharging for the coming year. I used to craft a lot growing up, and noticed that as long as I work with my hands I am happy. Learned the basics of woodwork, knitting, sewing and crochet before starting school. Then added on a bunch of other things by urging my Mom to take workshops, and as we didn’t have a babysitter I could tag along for the classes. She seemed to enjoy it too, btw.
Knitting was what I decided to start doing again. Liking the idea of us living in some form of sustainable harmony with nature, I chose to go with only natural fibers, but only those that feel really good. Otherwise, why spend all that time and effort if it is not slightly luxurious, a treat both to work with and wear!?
Robbed the bank to become a true fiber snob from the get go. Cashmere and this thing I had never hear of “qiviut” from muskox, which I definitely had seen. Twice as warm as cashmere, softer, can be washed in boiling water without shrinkage, keeps you warm even if it gets wet, doesn’t felt. Apparently it must be made in heaven for people like me who hate to freeze. Alpaca is nice too, and stretched my funds a bit.
The other year I found out my landlord had ripped me off, and was willing to settle. Just couldn’t help myself, I was so in love with the qiviut that I bought enough yarn for six or seven sweaters. Please never ask me how much I paid for that! (I am a true blonde, however dirty blonde it is at this point, I do not remember) The producer asked me if I owned a yarn store… People usually only buy enough for a hat, and maybe gloves.
That is how I made myself feel like a kid in a candy store, freedom to play, create and still more yarn to go. Eventually I started to dye it to get more colors, thinking: Geez, this is so much fun, I wish I could do this for a living!
OK, knitting is fun, sweaters are wonderful, but at times I need a jacket. It was the third winter in a row I was looking for a regular black woolen jacket, without any luck. Those in my price range either didn’t fit or had zippers and stuff that would tear up my sweaters that I spent hundreds of hours designing and making. Those that fit and would be kind to my prideful sweat(ers) cost an arm and a leg, and there were way too many ugly details I wanted to change. Enough is enough, I got a new sewing machine and then went to the fabric store. No wonder I could not find the right coat in the stores. It was apparently not a black coat I really wanted:
Back to knitting. Smaller items, giving away some instead of only making things for myself. You know when one thing leads to another and then you stand in front of that absolutely wonderful thing. Somehow, I again stood in front of even more luxurious yarn and fleece, fitting the fiber snob that I am. Ooh, like the softest cotton. No, like silk. No, what a cloud must feel like, and really warm. Paco-Vicuna!!!? A cross that apparently happen in nature at times, when alpaca and vicuna interbreed. At one point I met a breeder of this very rare livestock who kept asking me if I spin. No, not since a kid. One of those times, at age 7, when I begged my Mom to take a workshop so I could learn. The wheels started to turn in my mind. This time I truly robbed the bank to get myself set up for a new life in the proverbial candy store, but more about that soon.
Here are some pics of my winters’ joys in NYC.