Friday, February 18, 2005

I went snowshoeing again. If it's in the 20's, I seem to need a nice warm sweater and maybe a hat. No gloves unless I am dumb enough to get my hand in the snow. This seems to be true when there's no wind; I haven't been out on a windy day. I can't quite make out what is so very beautiful: sometimes, I like the look of a crazed window-dresser going mad with the canned flock-snow. It looks too good to be true. Other times I think it's the slimming down of color and texture: white, black, brown, gray, and green, with occasional accents of pale beige from the beech leaves. It made me want to knit Scandinavian mittens. The contrast accents the lines: upright trunks and horizontal branches, and the horizontals are outlined in white against the background. And the light is very clean, because there is so little moisture in the air (and no bugs).

One of the neatest moments the other day: Sarah and I were trying to locate the woodpecker we could hear tapping away, and we found you could feel it (and hear it) all the way down the tree. I had never felt a woodpecker before. I wondered if he (I think it was a female Hairy) could feel us damping the vibration when we had our hand and ears on the trunk, about 50 feet below.

Meanwhile, I finished Sarah's Noro socks and continued to z-spin yak. I think it's z-spin, it's the the Other one, the counterclockwise direction, so I can s-ply it and see whether that makes twined knitting any more amenable. Yak feels wonderful and looks kind of yuck spun up. And it isn't stretchy so it looks dead as yarn. I think it will make a nice mitten, though. Now for some Wensleydale, also in the Other Direction. I gather some cultures saved their spun-the-Wrong-Way yarn for witchcraft, but as usual there were no details, like how one defined witchcraft that day and what the 'witch' had in mind. Maybe it was just a desire to make a mindfully different 'field' around that yarn, just leaving a place for something other than the unvarnished everyday. Or to trap the particular, like the light in the snowy forest.

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