It’s been quite an extreme winter seemingly everywhere, and the city here has been no exception. Several blizzards and ice storms have walloped us, leaving large snow deposits virtually everywhere the eye can see. From an observer’s perspective, I’ve really enjoyed witnessing the different types of snow as it falls, as well as how it behaves on the ground in the days (or weeks) following. There are currently glassy layers of ice covering oddly shaped mounds. Some are still white, thankfully.

The inevitable Quieting Of Things that snow heralds has been really great for me. I’ve been slowly but surely finding my way back to balance after a a very crazy period following Shelter’s launch, and feel my creativity restoring as a result.  I’ve used a good deal of this snowed-in interlude to work on new projects and get back to basics with a healthy amount of swatching – one of my favorite pastimes.

I’ve also been spending some serious time reading (or, re-reading) Sharon Miller’s work, and continue to marvel at the amazing tradition of Shetland Lace. Her new bookLove Darg Shetland Shawls – is fantastic.  Above is a swatch of one of my very favorite Shetland Edgings that I’ve been playing with.  I’m so taken by soft, wool garter stitch lace and have a few pieces on my needles.  Knitted lace worked in garter with fine-gauge wool creates fabric with such vitality.

Color has been a focus as well.  I think it’s a good idea to seek color inspiration outside of my yarn stash every so often. Last week I dumped the whole of my thread collection out and organized it in palette order to get the creative juices flowing. All this color creates a welcome contrast to the grey days.

Speaking of Shetland, I’ve been deeply enjoying the use of one of my most treasured souvenirs from the islands.  I brought back this large woven blanket from my trip and really adore it.  Jamieson & Smith sells these beauties in a number of different designs, all woven from hand-sorted, undyed Shetland fleece. For me, this is pure luxury. I could’ve taken the whole pile home! Each limited edition blanket comes complete with a tag identifying the specific Croft from which the sheep were sourced — mine originated at the Kirkhouse Voe Croft.

I’m sure the weather is helping you remember and enjoy your own special luxuries too.  Stay warm and keep the wool coming!