Preparing for spring

Over the past few years, I’ve come to make the winter months precious by filling them with winter-only activities. Come spring, I’ll be needed in the garden, and I’d like to immerse myself in a fleece or two on rainy days. That means that there won’t be much – if any – time for knitting. So I’m doing a little pre-spring cleaning, and using up the bits and pieces left over from other makes.

So far, three such projects have graced my needles: a long-awaited (we’re talking years) tea cosy for our house, a pair of colourful wrist warmers and the start of a sweet little bonnet for a soon-to-be-born little person. I started the bonnet on Sunday afternoon while watching a film with the girls and went wrong twice before finally reading the pattern properly. I have to say, I didn’t mind a bit. I was so cosy, wrapped up on the couch in front of the fire, and working on something so small that it was the work of an hour to pull it out and start again. The yarn is leftover from the socks I designed, with the idea that the busy new parents will be able to throw it in the machine when it gets grubby. I’ve been there.

The wrist warmers were a bit of a slog, if I’m honest. Not because they were hard (they aren’t) but because there were three yarns used in every colourwork row, so I had to keep dropping and picking up two of them. They were one of those projects that I had to set an end date for. I’m glad I did, though, because Fliss loves them and I’ve set them aside for next Christmas.

Bringing me the most pleasure, though, is the new tea cosy in my life. This is going to sound ridiculous, but why did I not know how effective these things are? They keep the tea piping hot for ages, even in our somewhat chilly house. I used a pattern from this book, and have plans to make little birds with the last of my leftover scraps. More Christmas presents, you see. The pile on the present shelf is growing, as there have been some little sewing additions too, of late, and it is so satisfying to reach for a gift you made a few months earlier with just that person in mind. Come next Christmas, it really will feel as though the elves had made it all.

With the lengthening days, the urge to read about the natural world has come again, and I found myself scanning the library nature writing section. In the end, I plumped to reread The Shepherd’s Life. We’ll be going to the Lake District in the spring, and journeying through its pages feels almost like setting off on that little jaunt a few weeks early.

I love having so much to look forward to, but instead of thinking I can’t wait, I find that really, I can. I can because I have so much to enjoy doing between now and then. Next up will be another pair of wrist warmers, and a second snood, and perhaps even a second little bonnet to tuck away for another, as-yet-unknown baby. A few little birds might find their way into the children’s rooms. There are winter walks to enjoy, still, before reading about the rest of the year indoors, in the warm. Come the spring, I’ll be out there all the time, with my hands in the cool dark soil. For now, though, I’m preparing for spring in the most pleasurable ways I know.

Madeleine

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along at Small Things

How are you preparing for spring? Or is it not on your mind just yet?

6 thoughts on “Preparing for spring”

  1. I’m preparing for spring by buying dahlia tubers and looking at clematis plants. In my growing zone, I can start planting in March. I also want add a few more primulas this week. My big accomplishment though has been to choose new flooring for our downstairs and all our bathrooms. Next, it will be choosing paint colors for oak cabinets throughout the house that are looking tired. It’s a spring refresh on a bigger scale!

    1. It certainly sounds like it! It’s fun to choose things like that when you have the time and the mental space for it. Your garden sounds wonderful just now – there is very little going on in mine! However, the sun is shining today and I have plans to get outside and soak some of it up, if only while running some errands by bike. I’ll start sowing seeds in March, but I won’t be planting anything out until a little bit later in the year.

  2. I read that book a few years ago–you are in for a treat! It was such a cozy read. If you like that, you might like the Cottage Garden Diary, which is a year-long account of one woman’s life on her farm, living in an 18th century manner. There is a lot of gardening details, using weeds as food, and other interesting bits of herbiage. She also goes on several long treks in the area (I think she lives in the northern part of England) and chronicles those as well. I read both books close together and found they dovetailed nicely.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation – that does sound up my street! I’ll seek it out. I’ve read The Shepherd’s Life before and loved it so thought it was time for a reread. Comfort reading, really!

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