It happened to Picasso too

I’ve deleted a thousand posts because they all sound a bit sad and whiny, which I suppose is a little accurate- Toronto is still in a stay at home order and lockdown and I am rather sad and whiny about it, especially when I see my friends and colleagues to the south and across the pond slowly finding a way out of this thing. Still, it doesn’t do my heart any good at all to be jealous, and it makes no sense to compare Canada to the vaccine producing giants that are the US and UK. We’re making progress compared to  most countries that don’t have any domestic vaccine production, and I am so grateful for that. Still, after enduring that long and lonely Covid winter I had hoped for a little more freedom this spring – but the ICU’s are rammed full, the crisis is deeper than it ever was, and every healthcare worker I know would love to beat the everliving snot out of people who can’t honour the restrictions right now while they struggle to keep people alive, so here I sit.

I received my first vaccine three weeks ago – but Canada is separating the first and second doses by four months to make the most of the supply we have. I get it, as the variants savage the place it makes a lot of sense to try and give as many people as possible some protection, but it does mean that we don’t know anyone that’s enjoying the perks of being fully vaccinated. Hell, we don’t even have guidelines for those people yet, since it’s only 3% of the population. I know there’s an end in sight, but gentle readers, it just seems so far off.

Was that too sad? Whiny? I think it’s okay, I’ll leave it. The truth is that we’re holding on, despite Toronto enduring one of the worlds longest lockdowns (for the third time) and we remain pretty grateful that we’ve been able to be as safe as we have been – and that the hardest thing we’ve been asked to do is stay home and miss our families. Elliot’s dad and Sam are both essential workers in public facing jobs, and both unvaccinated as of yet, and I worry about them a lot. My hair is enormous and wild (salons and barbers closed at the beginning of the pandemic and were only open for about 7 weeks last summer, same as our restaurants) but I am used to that now and it helps that everyone I see looks the same, and frankly my own wild mane is a small price to pay for the glory that is Joe’s fantastical tresses.  I know he’ll get it cut the minute a barber opens, but for now it’s a big part of my pandemic entertainment. If I didn’t think it would be a gross violation of every vow I’ve ever made to him that would surely result in divorce, I’d show you the pictures I’ve been quietly taking each morning.

The big news though, is that something shocking has happened here, and I don’t know quite how to explain it. I have been knitting up a storm. I mean, just heaps. I think it helps me see forward movement and change in the face of all of this, and while knitting heaps isn’t odd, something else has been happening. First, I knit Elliot a blue sweater.

That’s Dogstar (rav link) again, I’ve knit him two now, though the look nothing alike – such a great pattern) and the yarn is Peer Gynt, a favourite worsted weight of mine. Hardworking, non-superwash, inexpensive, comes in a thousand colours… good stuff, that.  Now, there is nothing at all unusual about me knitting a blue sweater…for someone else. Me? My palette is famously more 1970’s appliance colours- or anything the colour of a dish you could get at an Indian restaurant.  I like korma pink, saag green, biryani yellow, … you see where I’m going with this. Dirty colours. I am not much at all for the pastels colours of spring, or the vivid tones of a summer, or even the cool crisps of the deep winter. I am fall. Autumn, the reaping and the gathering. That’s my jam. Now- that’s not to say that fall is my favourite season, far from it, actually.  I am a summer child, and I’ve always found fall to be a little bit sad since it’s the end of all that I adore and the beginning of the long-dark-tea-time-of-the-soul that is the Canadian winter, but I digress.

The last Love Note I made for myself was perfect for me. I loved the sweater, I loved the yarn and it was exactly, absolutely the right colour. (Lichen and Lace Marsh Mohair in “Shrub” and 1-ply fingering in “Woods” held together)

Now, I loved knitting that sweater so much, and I wear the finished product so much and the yarn was so fun that it made heaps of sense to me that I would knit another one, and so it wasn’t at all surprising that I found myself back on the website ordering more. What did surprise me was that I ordered this:

Same yarn, but this time in beautiful blues -the mohair was “calm waters” and the fingering “rainy day”.

Weird, right? I mean, me in blue? Me even knitting blue is a little odd, but for myself? A rather odd glitch I thought, but these are strange times.  I was confident that whatever this was, it was an isolated event. You could have knocked me over with a feather then, when mere days later, I ordered and received this:

For another sweater, for me, and yes, there were other colours available. There was even a properly yucky green that should have been what came over me, but look at that.  This time I’m after making Woven Shadows and even though I am only just past the swatching phase, I am entirely besotted and it’s the colour that’s most of it.  I tried to knock some me back into me by knitting a green sweater – but then I helplessly added blue at all the edges.

It’s like I don’t even know myself. (That’s Ellie, in Limepop. It’s a classic, as is his pandemic hair.) The crazy thing is that all this blue is delighting me.  Instead of rain and winter all I see in these blues are the things I long for, love and miss. The blue sky of Alberta and Saskatchewan, the ocean in Port Ludlow, Vancouver, Halifax and Spain, the bluebonnets in Texas at DFW, the cornflowers and lupins of summer here.

I can’t explain it and it’s so unlike me, but I’m wearing that blue sweater to bits almost every day and all this blue is making me so happy. It seems so funny to me right now that blue is associated with being sad, because here it’s uplifting. Oh – here’s a picture of the finished sweater. It’s not awesome because there aren’t a lot of photographers around, but here’s a selfie from my walk today. I propped my phone on a fence but screwed up the timer.

Anyway – just so that you know some things still stay the same?

Orange socks.