The winter nights are long here on the south coast as we spiral down to the solstice. Noticeably longer than back in the city, just a few hours north. It is dark before dinner, and by the time the kids are all in bed I am ready to crawl in after them. While I would love to be spending these cold, dark evenings sitting in front of an open fire knitting wooly jumpers, in truth I struggle to finish knitting a row before I head off to bed.
I finished this pixie hat for Thea's first birthday, then started another when I realised it was a perfect fit for Quinn, who will be four next week. I am knitting with a yarn spun from fleece grown just down the road in Kent River. Next to spinning my own (which I hope to learn with the fleece from a friends' goats this winter), I don't think I could find anything more local. And I love this vibrant teal yarn more than just about any other wool I have worked with. To celebrate the launch of their website, our local craft shop is giving away a free ball of wool to anyone who pops by their page and says hello. I am still wondering what to do with my ball of cream yarn, but I think I might try dyeing it with tea leaves.
We are still talking about where we are going to put our fire, next winter, when Thea has some sense of its danger. There is none of the romance of an open fire in the reverse cycle air conditioner that heats our home again this winter. I burn beeswax candles just to see the flicker of their flame, and huddle under colourful crochet blankets on the couch.
A friend gave me a lovely piece of pink wool (which she had bought while pregnant with her first baby; who came out a boy, as did his brother) to make into a blanket for Thea at the end of last winter. I finally got around to binding its edges using offcuts from all the things I had made for Thea during her first year. The dresses and bloomers, smocks and apron tops, and even the birthday bunting that I strung from the trees for us to (almost) sing happy birthday to her beneath. She is sleeping under her blanket now on a mattress tucked into the space between our bed and the window, from where I will scoop her in beside me when she wakes in the dark of the night.
Thea's pixie hat raveled here.