Yarned In!


I don’t know what comes over me! If there’s even the slightest prediction of snow accumulation above one inch, I seem to go into a trance. A yarn trance that is. Creative cogs in high gear, I pull down yarns from various sections of the house, putting them in my big white bowl to see how they get along with one another. It doesn’t make sense…I DO have several, in progress projects that could well be completed if I used the impending snow storm hours to finish them!! My Rhubarb Blanket is just inches away from being done! A pair of socks only needs the foot and toe parts to complete a whole pair! Hitchhiker Shawl languishes midway. Surely I could just sit and knit happily on any of these!!! But no…


Woolly ideas, like sheep dancing in my dreams, go traipsing through my head. Pattern books are pulled down off the shelf. Knit and crochet magazines get rifled through. Loose leaf printed patterns off the internet are looked at. Ravelry is scoured.


The search? Tunic. Vest. Cardigan? Not? As is typical for me, I cannot find just what I want. So I shift into an even deeper trance of making it up as I go. I know what I want. I see it in my head. Lots of colors. Bulky yarn leftovers. A warm, woolly something to knit in the coming snow storm…to wear in the days after.

WildHare4 Fair isle. Yes! Who better to guide me than Kristin Nicholas and her expert and marvelous book Color by Kristin. Stitch patterns and charts are poured over, some decided, some not. A desire to create as I go is much more satisfying than having it all planned out at the start. The snow will guide me. The colors and yarn will show the way. I have only to begin.


And so I do as the first flakes fall. No matter that we only get around 2″ and then some sleet and ice. But schools are closed. Everywhere is white. Snow means knitting. Hours and hours of knitting. Who cares that there are people in this house who need me to get up and go do things for them!? Sorry folks, if you need food or clean clothes…I’m “yarned in”! Quite literally, if you saw me sitting in my corner-of-the-studio chair, you would see me buried under piles of fluffy wool much like the snow falling down all around out the windows here. The only difference is that this fluffy stuff in my hands is sooo colorful!

It’s all bits of this and that. Leftovers from other projects. I feel certain they will be happy together…but I really won’t know until I knit them together. Fair Isle and bulky yarns are a bit tricky…keeping the floats loose enough is a challenge. But I don’t care. The snow trance has hold of me good, and I’m “yarned in”. Hemmed in by wools, size 13 round knitting needles, and a wonderful book from which to pick and choose all sorts of delicacies as I go.


I’m about half way finished! And it is now snowing again outside, two days after the first “storm” hit us. There is more predicted for the weekend. I think I’ll be yarned in for a few more days! I think I like that! But my family might not. They look over at me, roll their eyes and shrug their shoulders. Then they open the pantry to search for something to eat. 🙂

***P.S. You can follow my progress on Instagram, if you like! I’ve called this my Wild Hare Tunic! It’s a play on words, as in “wild hair” when you get a crazy idea and run with it.



Narnia My Backyard. Watercolor. 9″x12″

As the world outside my windows begins, ever so slowly, to be veiled in white, a sense of anticipation and longing fills the hours. Everyday tasks take on a not-so-everyday glow. A trip to the grocery store becomes an adventure. Laundry becomes lighthearted. Cooking simmers with unprecedented warmth…chili, cornbread, rice krispy treats. I waken early the next day to sigh out my windows–the hushed beauty of white beckoning me to walk in it. And as I walk, a word that pops into my head every time we have snow here in these parts, shows up as bright as the snowy landscape: MAGIC.

It is indeed *magic*, for me, every time it snows. I feel like a kid again. The predictable view out my windows is now transformed into something other worldly. Kids are out of school, and I, as a teacher, have a day off. Walking where I have walked so many days and years before seems like a whole new landscape, a different country even, a fresh clean world. Even if the white raiment is a bit see-through in spots, it still evokes magical lands like Narnia and Norway. My own childhood land of Boone, NC is recalled with great sentimentality. My memories only serve to heighten the *magic*.

I have, for many years, wondered what it would be like to be able to do my art full time: 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. To paint, draw, knit, crochet, write and illustrate children’s books, design knit & crochet patterns, sell paintings, etc. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have so much time spent doing what I love dearly? Wouldn’t it be, quite literally, *magic*?

Folks up north of here are likely NOT thinking *magic* when they look outside their windows. It is quite possible that for many of them, snow is a four letter word. When they look out their windows at yet another fresh snowfall, their Narnia has indeed become a winter that is never Christmas. They see more mounds of snow shoveling, more traffic problems to evade on the way to work, more worries about how to heat their home or whether the roof might fall in. I imagine they grow sick and tired of bundling up every time they just want to step outside their door. Concerns such as these, and many others I’m sure, bring different words to mind when they see snow.  Instead of *magic*, it may be *burden*, *weary*, *sick*, or *tired*.

I myself, remember winters growing up where we had so many snow days in a row (6 weeks to 3 months worth out of school sometimes) that we actually wanted to go back to school! Still having to do our homework (since they gave it to us over the local radio station), plus all the snow chores (shoveling the driveway, bringing in wood for the wood stove), and having to get along with our siblings, did indeed become a burden, even though memory has a way of pushing all that to the back shelf. Too much of a good thing is…well…too much!

Walking in the *magic* snow this morning, it struck me that perhaps this is why I still feel the *magic* when I paint or draw, knit or crochet. Maybe it is precisely because I am not able to do this full-time that it remains magical in my life.  After all these years of making things in and around a full life as wife, mother, and teacher, I still sense that *magic* when I sit down to draw lines or knit a few rows.  I wonder, if I did this full-time, if it would lose some of the *magic* just by the sheer volume of it. Perhaps (just perhaps:) it would all become wearying or tiresome if I spent hours and hours every day doing these things. I wonder. Someday, I’d like the opportunity to test it out.

But for now, I will revel in the moments here and there that I’m able to create. I’ll even rejoice in the anticipation and longing for time to create. I’ll be grateful for the *magic* of drawing, knitting, and snow.  I’ll smile at myself when I complain that I don’t have nearly enough of it! And when it does snow here in Kernersville, North Carolina, I’ll receive that as a day to create all day if I’d like…a whole entire day of *MAGIC*!