Sunday, March 1, 2009

Springtime Too Soon? A Knitting Aside

I was out for a walk today, and crocuses are popping up (did I miss the snowdrops?) all over. Even better than seeing the flowers, there were places where I'd turn the corner and the sweet scent of Daphne rolled over me; around the corner from a heavy machinery supply store there was a thick carpet of violets--I smelled them before they appeared.

Normally I would be thrilled with this--barely March, and I'm looking for signs of spring. But this year I'm hoping for a couple more cold snaps, or at least a crisp morning or two. Why? It's all these mittens fault.

My sister gave me a kit for my birthday, and as soon as they arrived in their pretty carton, I started in on them. There were many days in January and February I would have been happy to have them. Now that I've finished them, I'm going to wear them even if it means my hands sweat.

The yarn comes from a small Finnish business called Riihivilla--no knitting locally on this project! For a fun excursion to Finland--and interesting information about plant dyeing--read a their bilingual blog, Riihivilla, Dyeing with Natural Dyes.

Don't be too alarmed when you get to their site--the Finnish language section pops up first--scroll down to see the more familiar English. (Though Finnish is pretty interesting to look at!). They use various plants and mushrooms for their dyes--apparently the Red-gilled webcap, Cortinarius semi-sanguineus is responsible for the reds and oranges in my mittens.

The yarn is lovely, sheepy-smelling soft yarn. If you're curious about a more in-depth yarn review, here is one. If you want to get yarn or a mitten kit for yourself, visit the Riihivilla store.
Perhaps spring can come. The kits are generous--look how much yarn is left--I used only a bit more than half the yarn. Maybe I'll make some fingerless mitts for the occasion.

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