March 1, 2011

March Madness

When I woke up yesterday morning, it was freezing cold and raining. But not just raining. It sounded like someone was hovering outside the bedroom window, pelting it with ice shards. A specter, with this message: Guess what? It's still the bleak midwinter here in central PA, and you're wide awake at 5 am. The specter was right. Our yard was a giant, semi-frozen puddle of sludge. Snuffy would not go out, and Lucy stood in the rain, baffled by the thunder and shivering.

Oh, we got a puppy in August - she's 3/4 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, 1/4 Cocker Spaniel. I had been pining for a long-haired dachshund whom I would name Mr. Peanut, but it was not to be. After reading this blog for a while, I was smitten. Our Lucy came from a local puppy mill breeder, but I feel okay about it. Pennsylvania hearts puppies now, because of new laws that say we can't stack 'em five high in wire cages anymore.

But I digress.

When I woke up this morning, the sun was shining brilliantly. I heard birds. The sky was so blue it made my teeth hurt. Timmy left the house in a bright green Springtime tie, which is a sure sign that change is coming. You couldn't design a more different day from yesterday if you tried. Last night we watched Factory Girl - ugh. But tonight? How about Meet Me in St. Louis? Or the Music Man? I half-expected a marching band to come down Allegheny Street. Happy March 1st!! It was that kind of day.

Today is Robert Lowell's birthday. I know this because I read it on the teeny tiny screen of my iPhone, courtesy of the Writers' Almanac, along with the facts of his life. The sudden change in weather seemed very fitting to me, because of his manic-depressive illness. His madness, to use the old term. I have always loved Lowell's poems, which manage to achieve compression and expansion all at once, the language and the emotion. They also make my teeth hurt, but in a good way.

Where am I going with all this?

Well, I also had one of the knitter's moments in which you cross from darkness into light. All winter, I've been knitting gray items. Some wrist warmers, a toddler sweater, an infinity scarf for myself. All grayish. At best, vaguely tan. But, as I was trolling around on Ravelry yesterday, I came across this. It seemed like a small moment of kismet, because I'm currently knitting another of Veera's designs, Golden Wheat, also to die for. Only mine is more Brownish Wheat. Generally, I'm not a shawl knitter. When I revealed this developing plan to Heather, she just said,"you love sock yarn." Which is true. But I never knit socks, because I always end up breaking those skinny needles, like Frankenstein or Jake LaMotta would, if either ever started knitting.

This shawl spoke to me. It said: Guess what? You have the yarn! Now, I don't have the called-for yarn, which would be the best of all possible scenarios. To be dumbstruck by a pattern and actually have the exact yarn in your stash? That has never happened to me. Has that ever happened to anyone?

Anyway, I remembered two skeins of madelinetosh sock yarn that have been buried under the heap of gray. Actually, the red was buried. The blue has been sitting on my dresser since December. The prospect of not having to launch an manic, exhaustive search for the perfect yarn nearly did me in. What more could I want - more kismet? The colorways are Thunderstorm and Tart.