Sunday, January 26, 2014

Brrr--- It's been Cold!

Apparently, the once in a lifetime polar vortex will be returning. There was a frozen inch of crusty snow which melted today when temps hit 58F/14C! Midwest weather is whimsical at best, yesterday it hailed, rained, then got sunny... Now tonight we are at 23F/-5C, the wind is howling and snow flurries are in the air. The dogs, Emma & Wendy, got a walk in the park today before the arctic wind started again. They have been happily wearing their coats around the clock, but today had some fun without them.

I have become somewhat reclusive staying indoors, reading, drinking gallons of hot tea and knitting. Since returning to work post knee surgery, the challenge of reconditioning my body to the demands of the shipping industry has left me quite sore after sorting thousands of pounds of packages per night. I now refer to my bed as the "recovery pod," from which I drag myself out every afternoon. I have regularly been doing my exercises but most of my day is low key as I get used a higher activity level. Every night at work is a bit easier and this week I'm starting to feel back to normal energy-wise.

Anyway, a few knitting projects have been on the needles lately. I finished and mailed to my sister, a cabled hat in Mochi Plus, color #560, which since you won't be able to see it was in shades of lime, purple and turquoise. Having forgotten to photograph it before it left the house, the pattern example is the purple cabled hat at left. This is the perfect, quick cabled beanie, definitely a satisfying knit. Unfortunately, since I have been knitting this pattern for years I have no idea where I found it. I just keep copying the tattered original.

 I also finished knitting a new pattern beanie for my brother. Via Pinterest & Ravelry, the Swirl Hat by Mandie Harrington is a free download, get it here I'm using Imperial Yarn, Tracie, a 2 ply sport weight in color #116 Black Cherry. This 100% wool comes in twisted 400 yard hanks and is a pleasure to work with, please view the website here at beanie goes in the mail tomorrow, so he can have it when the cold wave here reaches him on the East Coast in a few days.
Swirl Hat

Some of the excellent books I've read or listened to recently are: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan; a mysterious bookstore which has links to the first books ever printed and Google. The Maggie Hope series (3 books so far) starting with Mr. Churchill's Secretary, by Susan Elia MacNeal; set in WWII London during the Blitz interfacing spy intrigue with cryptography. My final selection is The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna; a novel set in a post-war Croatia into which a British woman and her children have moved and hired handyman Duro, who shields the family from local hostilities. As you can tell I lean towards the mystery genre but enjoy novels set in Europe or with a historical reference. Got to keep the mind as active as the body through these doldrums of winter. Hope everyone is keeping warm, well read and creative during this cold season.

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