Lopapeysa in Winter and Tracks in the Snow

Hey all,

I mentioned last week how winter decided to make a visit, and how I wanted to make the most of the frozen landscape by getting out there as much as time and Covid regulations would allow. Before I move on with some more of that, I want to briefly mention that I’ve been doing some work on the website in the past few days, which hasn’t gone as smoothly as I’d hoped. So, apologies if you tried to get on my website this week and things were a bit weird or if you couldn’t get to my page at all! That was me having a couple of eh…communication issues with technology, that should be smoothed out by now. Onward to things are is not me pushing buttons and cursing at a screen!

And what is nicer to talk about to cleanse ourselves from uncooperative devices and unruly websites than wool and winter? The first half of the cold weather spell was marked by heavy snow fall and blowing winds, the latter half couldn’t have been more different – while the temperatures dipped further in the minus, during the day it felt warmer as the sun came out and it was almost windstill.

We’ve been living in our Icelandic jumpers the past weeks. In general that tends to happen in my household any typical winter, but with the snow piling outside and the temperatures dipping into icy territories the lopapeysa have practically not left our bodies. Particularly my Afmaeli and my Tundra have been in heavy rotation!

During this walk the sun came out and while it was still freezing it felt a lot warmer and I was weirdly overheating a bit in my coat and all my woolly layers so I took it off for a bit to let my jumper sunbathe for a bit. What a difference from before, when there was a snow storm and the wind was howling and blowing ice cold snowflakes in every direction. I thought I’d take this opportunity to snap some photos of my Tundra jumper for you all in what is more or less its natural habitat (a snow cloaked and ice cold landscape, albeit not an actual Tundra).

I made the Riddari jumper a bit longer ago and since it’s the only Icelandic jumper my partner has, you can imagine it has seen a lot of wear. I’m trying to show more about the life of my knitwear after the celebratory finished project post and I guess this post can be seen as such, though perhaps more so for the Riddari jumper which is a few years going now than for the Tundra which only has been worn this autumn and winter. So when I talk about heavy usage this jumper is a very good example of that (though to my mind you wouldn’t really know it given how well the jumper has held up with extensive wear!)

Throwing snowballs + bare hands = a lesson

We stumbled on this idyllic side road when exploring new ways of getting to one of our regular stomping grounds to go for hikes. It’s more of a sand path, reminiscent of those you often see in farm dotted landscapes. But when it’s like this, covered in a layer of snow, it seems like one of those places where not too much has changed for some time. A big dose of nostalgia hides the fact that that’s obviously not true – but still you’d be forgiven for stumbling on a lane like this with snow piled thick everywhere and imagining yourself in a fairytale where a couple of singing dwarfs can come down the hill any moment… is that just me? The small sluice gate in the canal to regulate water levels was starting to freeze over at this point and didn’t need much more to come to a complete stand still.

Rivers and ponds froze over and true to this country’s character many took to the ice. My brother took my nephew for his first skating experience on what are called “doorlopers” here. They are blades that you bind under your shoes (as if you were putting on a sandal over your shoes) and for small children they have two blades instead of one ( with two blades they are called glij-ijzers). I wasn’t there of course, with covid and all and also the general distance, but it was fun to follow along via video and photos and remember my own first steps on ice on those very same types of skates.

The freezing cold coupled with the sun being out made for some picture perfect winter landscape photos. The lakes had completely frozen over at this point and was strong enough to stand on. Ordinarily this is a prime area to spot water birds but now I saw many flocks of geese and the likes flying over in search for open water elsewhere. As a trade off I could see many tracks on the ice of rabbits, hares and deer and such who are using these frozen over lakes as short cuts to get to places.

I have been seeing lots of tracks in the snow in general, which has been interesting to see. In town it’s mostly birds and pets but outside it’s been a cool mix of wild rabbits, hares, small critters like mice, deer, badgers and foxes. It’s not often that snow stays around here long enough to really be able to see patterns. It helpfully confronts you with the animals that live in your surroundings but that you don’t see that often.

Because I’ve been trying to be outside as much as possible, my knitting, spinning and sewing has been on the back burner for a bit. I do still have a project that I’ve been working on that I’d like to show you. I started this before the “The Great Sock knitting Winter of 2020-21” commenced, after that I basically ignored it until two weeks or so ago when I thought it was about time for me to work on a colourwork allover again (lest you all would forget whose blog you’re reading). For the first bit I’m doing a chaotic mix of stranded knitting and intarsia and it makes for the most pleasingly puffy colourwork monstrosity to work on while the snow is piled against my window. I’m about to start the snowflake pattern so the snowfall couldn’t have timed it better if it had been meticulously eyeing my knitting progress on this particular project.

Between me growing a tree on my balcony, spindle spinning on my balcony throughout the summer, harvesting chamomile on the field next to my building and now me hauling my knitting wips outside to take pictures of it in the snow I’m really cementing my reputation as the “local oddball” among my neighbours. I wonder what I should do next to defend my crown…haha…do let me know if you have any fun suggestions!

It’s supposed to warm up in the next coming days and we’re expecting kind of the pole opposite with warm spring weather in a few days (which seems mildly hilarious looking at these photos…but I guess that is February in these parts). Hope you are all well and until next time!

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