Monday, March 2, 2015

The blessing of snow day knitting

With my line of work, I don't really get snow days. Everyone I come in contact with has been cursing the harsh winter and the white stuff that keeps falling from the sky. But I still become giddy when it comes, and even more so when I get to be home on such a day.

When I was a boy, I think my fascination with snow was as a thing in which to play. Now that I am older, I have lost my interest in sledding or building snowmen, but not in playing.

Now that I am older, a snow day means a day to stay indoors.
I love to pull the shades back, sit by the window, and let the bright, soft light flood the room. I pile up a few good knitting books, a basket of yarn, spare needles, and some graph paper. With a cup of hot coffee next to me, I begin to let my imagination run.

When the snow is falling, it is not a time to tend to business; it is a time for dreaming. It's a time for trying out yarn that I've been wanting to knit for ages. It's a time to pore over stitch patterns, to rethink my priorities, to take time to just be present with knitting. The need to be productive is on vacation for a space, and I can steal the moments to visit with Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmermann and other knitters who help me connect with my self.

In such times, I often find new projects jumping ahead of long-standing WIPs, begun solely on a whim. I may feel inspired to magically finish more than one project in a day, by some trick of a time warp and a marathon approach. Or I may suddenly have the courage to start a design I'd been stuck on for years.  Perhaps I may even write a random blog post (or two or three).

Even as I type this entry, the snow has already fallen, and the blue sky has just begun to peek through the clouds. With the passing of the cloud cover, I feel my creativity waning. The blue sky brings with it the reminder that I have bills to pay and taxes to file. The sun is climbing through the sky, marking the time in harsh strokes; there are dishes to wash, and laundry, too. It was fun while it lasted; for a brief while I was able to play. Now I must be an adult again.

When I was young, the play left nothing but a melting mound where there had been a snow fort; now I am older, and it often leaves me with the beginning of a new pair of socks. In the grand scheme of things, it's all transient. Knitted items develop holes or lose their shape, and even the knitter eventually loses the ability to wield the needles effectively. But while the snow is falling, I swear it feels as it time has stopped, and anything is possible.

On a snow day, even a trash dumpster...