Rules are made to be, sorry… what?

I know I’m not the only one who feels this way –  but doesn’t it seem like there’s something wrong with the flow of time? Here in Toronto we’re still waiting for the world to open up a bit. A few stores have opened, those that can meet the strict health regulations,  but except for those for those few people and our essential workers, we’re still in our homes, still missing each other, and it makes time… weird, doesn’t it? I feel like there’s not that much to do, but somehow the days are both long and short at the same time,  blurring and evaporating.  The way spring has come here makes it all the more strange.  Just two weeks ago I was watching the snow fall and cursing this northern wasteland and it’s eternal winter, and now the lilacs are out, everything is blooming, and we’ve just had three days of our first heat alert of the season.

It makes it hard to know what to knit, doesn’t it? It makes it even harder to follow the rules – it rained the other day and I almost got out the spinning wheel, but it’s summer rain now, and that means that the sky opens and dumps 43577 million litres of water, and then by the time I’m standing in the stash trying to decide what to take down to the wheel, the sun is out and the birds are all laughing at me. I only had time for a brief conversation with myself the other day, and it went like this:

Me: Oh! It’s raining. Let’s spin!

The me in charge: Okay. Sure, that’s the rule. What would you like to spin?

Me: A gradient! To make a shawl. A lace shawl.

The me in charge: Okay, sure – I’m sure we can find something like that in here, how about…

Me: AND IT SHOULD BE PINK LIKE FLOWERS. Maybe with some yellow, and little bits of blue like the sky and

The me in charge: Listen, we don’t have that. You hate that. Look at this nice one that’s the colour of…

Me: Winter. That’s the colour of winter. I won’t spin it. I want PINK, and lilac and daffodil and grass green and warm sand and…

The me in charge: I can’t work with you when you’re like this.

That was the moment that I knew that I’d tipped over the edge, I don’t know if it’s our recent loss or the soul depleting nature of a winter, or the sadness and perpetual weirdness of navigating a pandemic, but suddenly I couldn’t cope with one more thing that even remotely looked like the season we’ve just limped through. I powered though the last few things on the needles that seemed ridiculous.  Mittens? What kind of fool am I?*

(Pattern, if you are inexplicably in the mood, is Signal Hill – the yarn is my handspun from the last time it rained and I was obedient.)

Fingerless mittens? Those will come in handy. (See what I did there?)

(Pattern, should you live in Australia, is X-Mitts, the yarn a particularly cozy and warm discontinued beauty from Dirty Water Dyeworks.)

Warm, winter spice coloured shawl?

What was I thinking? What was my plan? When I decided to take that out two weeks ago where was my head? What about the impending summer spoke to me and said “cashmere.” I mean, it’s lovely (you can’t tell because it’s taking a bath in the sink, but it is all the gorgeous colours of the fall and coming winter and wrong, wrong, wrong.

Now, it’s raining again, and I’m not spinning.  No, no.. because there is nothing in the spinning stash that is the pink of hydrangeas, the purple of lilacs, the yellow of forsythia, the viridescent sparkle of fresh leaves.  I’m putting shorts and changing the channel.  Someone get me some *&^%ing sky blue.

*Yeah. I know. I’m Canadian. Winter is coming – it’s not like this won’t all be used in about 15 weeks, but couldn’t we pretend for a day that it’s never coming back? 

89 thoughts on “Rules are made to be, sorry… what?

  1. Get your self some pink girl! Yes celebrate the flowers. You know it will likely be a gift for someone you love that does wear those colors. Enjoy the sunshine and blue sky to the best right now. I just finished a lace wrap out of a lace weight alpaca/silk blend and added beads along the way. It feels like angel wings!! It too is a gift as I am not a girly girl. But d@mn it was awesome to work on.

  2. Here in southwest Missouri, we’ve survived one of the wettest, coolest springs I’ve ever seen. (I’m not a native; I’m a southern girl. Retired here two years ago to be near the granddaughters, whom I’ve seen only three times over the past many, many weeks.) Last week there was water standing in our yard. I told my husband that the robins are going to need swimming lessons. It rained a bit yesterday and the glorious sun is out today. No rain in the two-week forecast. Hooray! And we have baby sugar snap peas and baby tomatoes in the garden. I’ve been weaving all spring. Bookmarks to give friends if/when I ever get to see them again.

  3. I bought blue linen yarn today, more the colour of waves crashing on the East Coast, but gorgeous and hopeful.

  4. Yup, the pandemic and LOTS of rain have extended the winter doldrums here, too. I would suggest you get online and order fiber, roving, dye, yarn, etc., in all the spring and summer colors you can find. Listen to appropriate music — say, the Beach Boys — while you shop. Do this as quickly as possible. After all, you’re in Canada where winter starts in. . .oh, half an hour or so.

  5. You must have some white roving around. That and a variety pack of unsweetened KoolAid and you can make whatever colors you want. I’ve never done it, mind, but I’m sure there are instructions floating around the internet somewhere.

    • And so easy. Have done it in a crockpot so you wouldn’t need to feel any heat!! Considering this northern wasteland turned right quickly into a steaming tropical rainforest – in about 5 minutes flat.
      Mind you Kool aid dyes won’t likely maintain their colour forever so consider that in your plan.
      Chris S

    • I was just going to say this, too. I’ve done it with yarn — koolaid and food coloring — and I’m planning to do some roving next because I definitely want some pinks and purple to spin, too.

  6. I feel the same way. I want color – bright color, yellow and pink and green – nothing dark.
    Is this week 11? Or 12? Days are so strange, reflecting the world, I suppose.

  7. Someone told me that June 1st is 3 days away and I didn’t believe them. Where the heck did May go??? We too had snow the first week of May. Now heat and humidity. Last night, at 9 pm, was living room was 95 degrees! (35C).

  8. Mitts….maybe a good idea. I walked in the rain and it was a bit chilly. Worried for my garden this weekend. Mitts for tomatoes?

    I love the colours. They will be warming for winter – whenever that is.

    • Kate, I’m just east of you in NH, and we’ve had some rain in SWNH, some snow, and some summer weather, all in the last two weeks. WTH Mother Nature? I spent my birthday worrying about my oldest child who is in Oakland with riots happening outside their door. Thanks for this laugh today. XOXO (my youngest is up in Castleton with his partner- I love VT).

      • Hi Neighbor Beth!

        Yeah, this morning was 32.6 F at my house, after crazy heat mid-week last week, and of course the snow before that.

        Sigh, 2020.

        Hope your kid stays safe!

  9. I’ve never been so glad we live in the same climate, just 24 hours apart. Hard enough to know the day of the week, but lately we’ve had to double-check to he time of year. But hand on heart, after a rainy morning, were padding on to you a perfect afternoon, and reasonable spring weather for a few days, just so we can all get our feet under us. Yesterday Mo Willems (does Elliot like Dont Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”?) wrote “Science will get us out of this. Art will get us through this.” Forgive him for saying “art” when clearly he meant knitting.

    • Perhaps he was trying to be inclusive because knitting is art. Or maybe he just doesn’t know any knitters. Poor soul.
      Chris S

  10. I live in the Phoenix Metro Area. Hibernation season has started early this year. 100+ (38 C) more or less since the 1st of May. I’ll share with y’all. 110 today, Wah-hoo it will only be 100 next Friday if the weather-guesser get it right.
    So, I say take a pinch of this roving and a pinch of that roving, make the roving of your dreams and spin away out on a porch or sun room if you can.

  11. I am all for the Spring colours, even in winter, but I literally just saw a pop up for a fabulous Maple Leaf Shawl. Sure, it’s shown in fall colours, but it would be just a lovely in a spring green. It’s a spring weight – fingering weight, and there could be silk, too. And as my favourite Canadian, it made me think of you. I’m glad you’re ok and still more-or-less yourself. Hang in there, change is coming. Just like spring.

  12. Yes time is doing funny things (it’s the end of May already??)
    Last Monday & Tuesday (18th & 19th) I wore my down jacket to do the tractor work and we had a frost that Tuesday night…..by this past Monday it was t shirt, sun hat, and sleeping with the fan on!
    The oaks finally turned green and I am 100% with you on pink, purple, yellow flower colors!!

  13. The answer is brilliant turquoise.I am craving it like chocolate. I also am looking for really good chocolate to get me through these strange times. Can you hook me up? I sound like an addict or something…

    • I painted my craft studio brilliant turquoise when we bought this house two years ago. One of the most brilliant things I’ve ever done…can’t be sad in that room! (Of course, being surrounded with yarn, needles, patterns, scrapbook paper, punches, wrapping paper, ribbons, and sequins of all colors doesn’t hurt, either!) And there’s chocolate hidden in one of my storage bins.

      • My craft room is also brilliant turquoise, and it makes me very happy. Here in the UK, instead of our usual cool and rainy spring we have had two months of beautifully warm sunny weather (this never happens here) and now a week of rain, which we desperately need. I’ve been putting off painting with weather so nice, but now I need to get onto it. There will be colour. Lots and lots of bright spring colour. I wonder if I will regret this, in winter, or be grateful?

        • My guess is that you’ll be grateful! My guest room is painted a soft yellow, and I used primary colors as accents. Makes for a happy room! All that COLOR!

    • Oh, Girl–check out Lindor’s Chili Pepper, which comes in 100 gram bars…in my extensive observation, this one tends to be loved by women, not so much by men–it’s one of the most thoroughly satisfying chocolates I’ve ever had, and I’ve done a LOT of research!
      Also, if you’re willing to order-in (most places) Bernard Callebaut is fantabulous…

  14. Whoever dreamed when we changed our clocks that we would go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone?

      • I needed a good laugh. Thank you, Trish.
        Low 50s today in Seattle. Was awakened by thunder yesterday morning. The Pacific Northwest (or Northwet, as I prefer), rarely has full-on thunderstorms. It lasted 2 hours and was polite – no funnel clouds, almost no wind, and I didn’t see any hail. Just thunder and lightning and rain.

        I am also craving the colors of spring right along with chocolate and spinning with friends.

  15. Im an Aussie, transplanted to the South of England. I hate the heat & this week have been complaining of our 22 degree days.
    Because I was suffering a cold for a few weeks in February, I have been “at home” for 17 or 18 weeks now. The only day I am certain of is the day of & the day after “the communal clapping for the NHS” which I believe they are going to stop doing now as its gone on longer than they thought & is just a reminder of how much the government have cocked up the management of the pandemic.
    The only way I know its May is that the peony has burst forth with glorious soft pink blousy blooms.
    I am however getting loads done & quite frankly could use another 12 months to catch up.
    Hook yourself up with some pretty spring coloured yarn, someone will love the result and if it cheers you then its done its job. Cocoon yourself in the soft colour of soft yarn. Softly softly as you go.

    • I’m an ex-pat Aussie in North Carolina. It’s green all summer…..and rains all spring and summer and is humid. If I stay outside too long, I wonder if I’ll start growing mushrooms and toadstools all over me. lol. The upside is hand knit socks!

  16. I *do* live in Australia and will be looking up that pattern. We are sliding into winter here, but winter in Adelaide, South Australia still includes bright sunshine and blue sky scattered through the greyer, wetter, days. No snow. I don’t know how Canadians cope.

    • It’s in our bones… and there is som beauty to it… and a good down-filled coat and lots of woolly things!

      But really it’s one of those things that at times you just endure. We’re tough, especially in the Maritimes or on the prairies…

    • I live in Tasmania, and those mitts are exactly what’s required right now. There’s a decent chance we will get snow at some point. But at least our winter doesn’t last for 90% of the year.

  17. I’ve managed to almost finish one of a pair of socks, but lately I’ve enjoyed the mindless (almost) winding of skeins into balls without the swift and ball winder (both of which I own. By hand with tangles and all. Mostly meditative until I hit a @)#* knot/tangle. Still the neat pile of little (and not so little) balls is growing. Can’t decide what to knit, but when I do…I’ll have options ready. lol

  18. I can so identify with the need for spring colors. I have lots of natural colors and grays.

    Last week, we had lows in the 40’s (F) and the gas fireplace felt great. The last 2 days we are in the 80’s (F).

    I am trying to finish a pair of mittens that have been on the needles for over 10 years?

  19. I inexplicably have three projects in pink on my needles now. (2 of them from recently bought yarn and 1 is from an advent calendar, so stash but it wasn’t something I had picked out, ie I don’t really have pink in my stash). It’s like spring hit and I was like I need all the spring colors now! I hope I both finish these projects and get some use out of them!! I hope for you that it opens up enough in Toronto for you to be able to hold sweet Elliot and the rest of your family again! Good luck knitting spring!

  20. I hope that you find something cheery for your wheel! If the pandemic lasts Much longer I will be purchasing a wheel before winter… but in the meantime socks seem like a good project. I will get my sock drawer ready for ten weeks from now.
    Summers usually fly by, so at least that should make time seem to pass more normally, right? I feel sort of suspended in time at the moment, I know it’s passing but at the same time it feels as if it has been this time of year during a pandemic for at least six weeks.

  21. Why thanks! I do live in Australia, one of the chilly bits (we have nothing that compares to Canada in any meaningful way). Those mitts look perfect. You go find some PINK!

    I have to touch the t-shirt. Nicely played…

  22. I hear you. The last time I felt that way I knit Mixology. In the exact original colors. Two or three pinks, bright yellow, aqua, blue. A complete outlier for me. I may never wear this shawl, but I keep it near my desk to cheer me up between zooms.

  23. Our weather is crazy! In this province they go from winter to summer in one day! Spring is in your imagination. We are seeing temps of 30 C to nearly 40 C. Temps have been in the low 30’s and add the humidity in and it is about 35+. We call it humidex and the US call it heat index. Basically, 90’s F.
    It feels like wash, rinse, repeat. One day after the other. It is starting to get annoying. It has killed my shopping interest except for a few items. Will it end in my lifetime – I wonder!!!!!
    Take care, Steph, and stay safe and well.

  24. Steph, your last lines about the return of winter struck me. The snowless season IS all too short here in Quebec, so I quickly ordered some hot pink linen yarn (lace weight) for yet another shawl to knit. Hot pink is so cheering, don’t you think?
    My thoughts are often with you and your family – take care of YOU, as my therapist used to say.

  25. This week we’ve had a heat wave, a hail storm and grey and cloudy. Kind of matches the state of the world here in California. Lots of chaos. What’s the cashmere shawl pattern? I’m staying in hibernation and need that beautiful pattern!

  26. In March one year, after one particularly dire and snowy winter, I went to the yarn store. The world outside was white, gray, and (mud) brown. Spring wasn’t going to showing up for a month and a half. I walked out of that yarn store with a bag of yarn, and people, it was ALL green. Every single scrap of it was green.

    The heart and soul crave what they crave. If it’s green yarn, it’s green yarn. If it’s pink, and other springtime colors, that’s what is needed. Looking forward to seeing your lovely springtime projects!

  27. As a Western New Yorker, I knit with wool year round with the mantra, “Winter is always coming.” However now that things are blooming and so lush and green it seems ages away. Even 4 months sounds like a long time but when you say 15 weeks it feels like I need to panic and whip out some mittens!!

  28. Two days ago, I walked the dog in a sweatshirt and oversized wool sweater with cold hands in my fingerless mitts. Today I am in the back yard in the heat, wearing an indecently short dress, drinking wine, and knitting thumbs on mittens. That is me, though. Go with your sky blue and lilac flow. We are Canadian 😉

  29. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a case of the Pinks. I went through my stash and pulled out everything in the pink family. I have lots of it, most of it fingering, from various festivals and events going back to wool-knows-when.

    Now what to do with it all?
    email if you’d like some. I’m in the US,

  30. Thank you for the good laugh. Here in upstate NY the weather is a bit better, but not so much as we had snow 2 weeks ago too, and then the heat wave and then the torrents followed by sun. I am having a great deal of trouble knitting as well.

  31. On our local (HFX) afternoon show on CBC radio last week it was reported in full seriousness that the date was Blursday, March the 95th. So yes, time is weird right now.

    I understand the need for colour completely. I’ve been labouring away on a grey sweater for the entire duration of the stay-home-stay-safe and last week I caved to the inner voice clamouring for something else and have a side project of a shawl in shades of spring green leaves, fresh turned earth and bright blue skies. Now I have both on the go.

    Hang in there, and thank you for writing to us. Sharing your struggles helps us with ours. <3

  32. Please, please choose to do anything that brings you some light and joy. G-d knows you deserve it. And please allow us to share it. If you haven’t noticed, your friends south of the border are in pain for any number of reasons. We’ll hitch our wagon to your moment of light in a moment. Stay home. Stay safe. And, thanks.

  33. I know I know! I talked to my sister (it being my birthday) and she complained about being cold because those meanies in her essential office insisted on having the ac on meat locker mode. TA DA DAAA! Super knitter to the rescue with all the single, non matched skeins of MadTosh A.S.A.P in my stash. I got busy and one week later, I sent her a Coat of Many Colors (well, shawl) that was bright and warm and , um, Autumnal. I should feel terribly gratified it worked up so well & so quickly, but it feels like the dregs of winter clustered round my ankles even though it was 78F today! Well, at least I have an excuse to rebuild the stash

  34. Spring is inevitably like that in CT. All of the nice warm sunny days in March are a false promise. Come April it is cold and rainy until about now and then the weather seems equatorial . We also had a very brief snow storm in May. With regard to rules however, in a burst of trying to find my copy of Knitting Rules I stumbled across my Knitters Almanac. According to Elizabeth Zimmerman (who lived in Wisconsin) we are in mitten season right now.

  35. Much the same here in Northern Ohio. Cold, rainy then a lovely heat came and now it is cold again (thankfully the rain stopped). Between quarantine and rainy, cold weather this spring has been dismal but things here are opening although we have decided to stay home this summer as much as possible, no sense tempting fate. At least my kids are finished with school, pandemic didn’t disrupt us much since they already school online anyway. We can go more places here (we were one of the first places to lockdown in early March) but we are choosing to still only go those places that we absolutely have to go, like husband to work but still staying home most of the time. Wishing you the best! Have a great summer when it finally arrives!

  36. I am knitting a pair of yoga socks in an Arne and Carlos Pairfect sock color way that is forsythia yellow, lilac purple, and shades of hydrangea pink with some blue sky thrown in. Pairfect indeed!

  37. I’m working on 2 shawls, both in cream. One in silk/merino lace which will end up being “pastel” after I talk to the bride, because she chose a white dress and all her future step-mother-in-law (my sister) knows is her colors are pastel and her flowers are sunflowers.
    The other is a bamboo lace yarn, and it’s lovely and it will end up staying cream, I think, because my niece doesn’t have her dress yet but her complexion is such that she should wear a cream dress.

    The point is… it’s all cream. All the time. I’m looking thru my sock yarn to see if I have something in bright crayon rainbow colors to counterpoint the all-cream-all-the-time party.

  38. I’m knitting the last few rows on the second sleeve of a fingering weight Arwen by Isabell Kraemer in the same pink Manos del Uruguay Fino she used. It’s gorgeous and soft and as soon as I cast off, I’ll be casting on either a sunny yellow or a fresh green fingering weight sweater, or maybe even both! I have all of them in my stash, it’s as if I had been preparing for this world wide “pause”!

  39. Oh I had to laugh WITH you. Soaking now: 2 pair of fingerless mitts, blocking: a worsted weight squishy shawl and it’s because it live in Interior Alaska. When I started these 3 weeks ago, it was still 30℉ at night and moose were bedding down for a 3day staycation in the yard because the snow was so deep. Today, it was 80 ℉ on the deck, the first wildflowers are blooming and there are butterflies! I even put down my knitting to rake a couple of hours. I’m delirious. Must be spring fever.

  40. I don’t know if Toronto weather was like Ottawa but we froze our asses off yesterday and this morning!

    My brain is not happy… my world of structure and routine has gone. I knit all the things, buy all the yarn, eat all the food, hardly sleep anymore and exercise has been non-existant! I am a person who gets up to go to work, drives the same road, takes the same bus and then the same train, runs up or down the same 60 stairs from the train station and walks the same route to and from the office each and every weekday. Now? The 2 hour 45 minute commute is gone! I have won the time lottery!

    I am still working but from home. I don’t mind that part as I am more of an introvert (a social introvert… the one who is happy not really saying much in a group) and happy with my own company.

    Today, I will walk… I have a scheduled power walk and tomorrow, I will run and I will also look for somewhere to bring my bike to have the tires checked and all. I am building a new routine this week.

  41. Knitting another sweater! My 5th in 45 years. Because I don’t have enough quilting, miniatures, gardening, writing, reading, Zooming to fill my time.

    I figure it might be done by October. 2020. Why wait for fall? Knit it now.

  42. I have noticed a tendency to dye sock yarn in Easter egg colors as winter ends. Each March I think I am creating a new color scheme only to realize it matches the previous March color scheme. Apparently my optimism is on a reliable annual schedule. The colors do brighten a few days of late winter and I have some colorful socks to show for it.

  43. toadhollownj.com sock yarn. (From virtual Maryland Sheep and Wool festival)… colorway Hope Springs.
    That’s a blast of spring in a skein!

  44. Avocado green for grass, burnt orange for poppies and golden for the spring sun. 70s appliance colors translated to spring. Run with it!

  45. The first pattern of yours I ever knit was tiptoe through the tulips……I wore those socks til they fell apart and now i think i need to knit them again. 🙂

  46. I just wanted to mention how much I use the calendar in the upper right hand corner of this site….. while waiting for a post.
    Thank you.

  47. I’ll just say: two weeks ago it WAS still literally freezing overnight, so…yeah, there’s a reason your brain had not yet switched over?!?
    Here in Manitoba we’ve had 31 degrees (Celcius) this week, but less than one week ago we needed to switch the furnace back on overnight…maybe it’s not your brain, it’s your thyroid gland that is not yet convinced we’re really Over It!!!!?

  48. gorgeous mittens! Just gorgeous.
    and “handy, see what I did there?” Yes, indeed I saw and I say two thumbs up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.