Thursday, 2 January 2014

Hooking by flashlight, as one does

The power has been out for nearly three hours now. On the coldest day in five years, apparently. All the Winnipeggers I know are scoffing, but for us Ontarians -20C (-31C with the wind chill) is a wee bit nippy. Even nippier without benefit of a furnace.

Thank God the gas fireplace works without power (who knew?) so I’m reasonably warm as long as I don’t stray beyond the confines of this room.

So I won’t. I’ll just continue to sit by the fire and write until my laptop battery dies, and then hook by flashlight.

Look at me! I’m practically a frontierswoman! If you don’t count the fake, battery-operated candles I’m using as auxiliary light (along with a heady mix of scented Christmas candles).  It’s all vanilla and cranberries in here. And darkness. And cats huddled by the fire.

But this is not even close to the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. Not by a long shot. So onward and upward.

Now, about this sweater I’m crocheting by flashlight…

Two years ago My Beloved gave me a gift certificate to buy yarn from my favourite LYS, Spun Fibre Arts. Because buying “real” fibre is a bit of a luxury to me, it took me months to figure out what I wanted to make. And I’m pretty sure there was at least one trip to the store to pet the yarn too, which is an important part of the decision-making process. And not at all weird.

I finally settled on a lovely cardigan pattern designed by Joy Prescott and picked out a gorgeous, fine merino superwash aran (which is surprisingly soft and feels oh-so-fabulous slipping through my fingers as I crochet) from Diamond Yarns in a rich shade of charcoal gray.

And then I put the whole works in my yarn closet (yes, I have a yarn closet) and promptly forgot about it. I got distracted by chemo caps and Christmas presents, and then more chemo caps and  more Christmas presents. Two years’ worth of not-the-pretty-charcoal-sweater projects came and went while the beautiful gifted yarn sat idle in my closet.


I don’t know what made me think about it again after nearly 2.5 years, but I pulled it out yesterday and starting hooking away during the aforementioned Winter Classic hockey game (like the good hockey widow I am).

I’ve made dozens of Amigurumi toys and hats, a handful of scarves, and even a baby sweater and a couple of purses, but I have to confess that I’ve never made an adult garment before. I’m a little afraid that I’m going to look like a baby elephant in it (I’m reminded of the great home ec trackpants debacle of ’82), and the idea of possibly producing a sweater version of Theo Huxtable’s infamous "Gorden Gartrell" shirt (look it up--hilarious) is making me twitchy. But having finally remembered the lovely sweater pattern and yummy wool after all this time, I can’t bear to hide it all away again.

So I’m hookin’ and hopin’.

And in the meantime the power has come back on, so I can do it with light and heat! Huzzah!

Look! Look! Isn't she pretty (so far...)?


  1. Oh, wow. I have yet to move onto fibre, still clinging to some pretty cheap yarn so that whatever I make doesn't have to be good, lest good fibre be wasted.

    1. Yeah, that's why I've waited so long to make a garment out of "real" fibre. It's coming along, so I'm cautiously optimistic!

  2. I hope it turns out to your satisfaction, but if not, you can frog it and give the yarn a bath and it will be ready to go again!!

  3. What a gorgeous colour. One of the girls I work with is a very talented knitter & crocheter -- she is always wearing a lovely sweater or scarf that she has created, and I sometimes see her in the food court during lunch hour & coffee breaks, at work on a new project.

    Glad your power outage wasn't too prolonged, and that you have a working fireplace to cozy up to. I hesitate to complain about the weather too because my family out west won't let me hear the end of it ;) -- but as I said on Facebook, while it's not Winnipeg-cold, it's certainly been cold enough. And that old joke about the Prairies having "a dry cold" is true. It's a different sort of cold here (and often without the benefit of the blue skies & sunshine we get as compensation on the Prairies) & until you've spent a winter here & experienced it for yourself, I wouldn't be too hasty to judge. ;)

  4. That colour is just beautiful.