Blue is All Around Us
Since elementary school, I have associated January with the color blue. One of my teachers – I forget which one – changed the paper background behind the large calendar on the wall each month, and in the fateful year when the combination of colors with months made such an impact on me, January was blue. Was the logic that your fingers turn numb when it is so cold, or that you notice the varying shades of the sky more as they contrast with the pale snow? Sometimes the snow appears blue too, like shortly after sunrise a few weeks ago by the Kenosha harbor.
Blue permeates my knitting this month. Super soft Austrian spun alpaca is taking the shape of a mottled blue shawl, while cornflower blue Icelandic wool contrasts with a faded, pale grey in my first two stranded project ever. A wonderful small sampler of different designs, the Julesokk pattern caught my eye during Advent. As a secret stripe enthusiast, I must confess I found the vertical lines more thrilling than the snowflake patterns themselves. I love the Latvian braid finish. All these shades and stitches reinforce the message from this picture found in the newspaper.
A nameless photographer captured this blue jay, one of my favorite birds. Though I didn’t see any during my recent visit to their habitat, I heard them calling from the neighbor’s trees. Few are the birds in the Northern latitudes that can compete with blue jays for their brilliant blue plumage. These intelligent birds have complex social relationships and often mate for life. Great fans of acorns, they feast on nuts and fruit and to a lesser degree insects. For now I’ll just have to be satisfied with seeing the flash of blue on the wings and crest of Cyanistes caeruleus, or Blaumeisen, as they are called in German and this household.
Despite appearances, I don’t have the blues, nor have I ceased to gravitate towards all hues of brown. My project to tide me over until spring is twofold this year. Like last winter, I have chosen a thick classic novel as my companion on cold, dark evenings. Instead of being irritated by a tubercular Prussian at a sanatorium in Switzerland, I will be laughing at the foibles of Don Quixote de la Mancha, a man who refuses to see things as they really are. He is an insufferable optimist and dreamer who insists on infusing the world with a meaning it doesn’t have (or only he sees). Sounds like a good counterpoint to the newspaper, doesn’t it? If the first 30 pages are any indication of the remaining 910, it will be a much easier ride into spring in 2016. The second part involves knitting the Winter Mists Wrap with the Schokotatze (chocolate paw) colored lace yarn mentioned in December. Since I am not a chocoholic, I’ve dubbed it my Espresso Scarf, for it will most likely warm my neck on the well beaten path to the coffee shop every morning.
Hope you are keeping the winter blues at bay in your own way. Happy reading, birdwatching, knitting and waking up to the beauty around you!