Keeping warm

It started with a skein of wool, with an intriguing name ‘A Verb for keeping warm’ little did we know both of us would be plunged into days of trying to keep warm. I failed without doubt and think I have experienced how a creature feels when the need to hibernate in autumn is part of their lifecycle. More about this to follow after my yarn.



Stone cold 

The unusual colour concept of this luxurious ‘Floating’ skein from A Verb for Keeping Warm set my mind off on a journey as I expected the shade ‘lamb’s ear’ to be neutral tones of creaminess. The soft luxury of the skein was even better than I expected but the colour puzzled me as I could see a neutral base but the light green shade was unexpected. An even more curious situation arose when I started to knit a new shawl in the evening, the shawl was the shade I had imagined and dad saw the same colour as I did.


Floating skein A verb for keeping warm



The next morning I took my knitting out to examine the lace stitches only to discover it was back to green. After posting a photo on Instagram, Sara commented and everything became clear. The California based dyer, Kristine Vejar, is know for her use of natural dyes and lamb’s ear was actually the plant, Stachys byzantina. I immediately visualised the soft tactile foliage, green with a hint of silver/creaminess found in many gardens. Thanks to Sara the puzzle with the colour I expected was solved and all we had to do was to find the plant and take the lace edge of my knitting along to complete my puzzle. I went back to the website we purchased the yarn and found the information about how difficult the shades are to photograph and this definitely was the case for the one I saw in the pattern to the skein I received to knit with. Dad wound the yarn cake as per usual but now I have suspicions as to why he bought me this yarn as a Verb for keeping warm has become something I am longing for. A little more about after the photos of lamb’s ear and the start of my new knitworthy project. It will be a shawl but one I can wear wrapped round my neck like a scarf or neat wrap. The wool drapes beautifully and produces excellent stitch definition. I have a lot more to knit before I pick up all the stitches to knit the centre wedges.



Lamb’s ear with my yarn  



Knitting along the edge, lamb’s ear x2  

To feel the foliage and see the texture set my mind on a colour discovery. I would like to find out more and have a deeper understanding about the work of this lady who has brought sumptuousness  in the feel and the mysterious colours to her range. After the events over the weekend when I have this shawl knit I will indulge in the luxury of keeping warm! I am thankful that knitting lace stitches is therapeutic as I am drawing on the rhythm of the design to keep my mind focused and alive after spending the weekend without heat or hot water. 

To be succinct, our boiler decided to stop working, typically at the start of the weekend. Despite a call out and a hopeful fix, we are still without heat and hot water. This may seem trivial and not that long to live like this but if the new boiler isn’t installed today I think I will dissolve into tears. We decided to replace the boiler as a precaution, considering something else inside the old one may give up and repeat this situation. We have lost count of how many times we have boiled the kettle and that’s just to wash our hands as both of us are obsessive with hand washing. I don’t think I need to go into detail, skin care, hair washing all things I took for granted. I am extremely fussy which made me feel even worse when I couldn't follow my routines. The worst part is a home getting colder and trying to dress when I always had warm clothes on the radiator. The final crash to my confidence came on Sunday when we went to Rowallane, hoping to sit inside for coffee only to discover the drive to the house was lined with more cars than we had ever seen there. We don’t celebrate Halloween but Rowallane had an event which attracted so many people with children. Once on the road to the entrance we couldn’t turn back, we parked and hoped for room at a table but decided the best plan was to go back home to the cold. This is when I thought I was going into hibernation as I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The cold gripped me! It was to bed in ski clothes and I can only remember how cold I felt but my eyes wanted to close, so I gave up and slept. Monday the planned fix wouldn’t didn’t work, if I don’t appear online for a while you will know the heat is back on, the bath is over flowing, I’m singing my heart out with appreciation of turning on a tap on to wash with hot water and laying my clothes along the radiator to warm them up! 

A weekend we would rather forget but we will never forget to be thankful for all the mod cons and remember people who have to live like this. I had no idea how feeling so cold would affect me, mentally and physically. The feelings of sleep overcoming me despite the depth of cold I was feeling was a completely different experience than just feeling tired. My mind is in need of retuning and I need to recoup some energy which seems to have gone full force into trying to keep warm. Dad wasn't as cold as me but he suffered the angst of not being able to wash our hands with the turn of a tap. I need to feel like a human again and start to get back to knitting, especially a Verb for keeping warm

I will end the blog with the only photo I took at Rowallane to remember the unexpected pumpkin festival, when we thought we would have a quiet, warm Sunday afternoon. Everyone who attended enjoyed the fun but I was so cold we had to go home. Dad was blessed with silence in the car as I started to go into hibernation as he drove home and thankfully he kept his eyes open. We will be hosting a hand washing party soon, I hope. 



Pumpkin pulp, it was a well attended festival! 


When silence speaks