30.1.13

53 After the snow

Not the prettiest of pictures, but do you know what it is?

True to my word I've been tuning in to small delights these last few days, entranced by the myriad muted colours of the farmland after snow - the rolling hills, the hedgerows, the field margins - and haunted by these words of Andrew Wyeth's ...
"I prefer winter ... the bone structure of the landscape ... the loneliness of it, the dead feeling ... something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show."
And I've been gathering together yarns and fabrics, feeling my way towards a knitted shawl, or perhaps a blanket, and a tied quilt, in a palette of tones that will celebrate this season I so love. I'm in no hurry, quite the opposite, these are projects I want to take slowly, relishing the process not rushing toward the finish line.

Already this year I've written about going with the flow, about embracing life's abundant simple pleasures, and about streamlining, paring down, choosing to make do with less. Look back to one of the earliest knitsofacto posts and you will see Alan Watts' Zen: The Supreme Experiencein use as a substitute niddy-noddy. And the list of post topics, now moved to the blog's footer, has always included 'Japan'. So perhaps my current reading - Andrew Juniper's Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence- will not surprise you.

And my current knitting project? I'm working on a little secret something that will hopefully become the next free knitsofacto knitting pattern. Watch this space!


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53 comments :

  1. Top/stem of a squash or (discolored) pumpkin?

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  2. I think your delightful, wonderfully frosty photo could be rhubarb stem! (I've never been good at guessing but I still think it's fun!) Enjoy your wintery projects, Maggie

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  3. Stem of a sunflower ?

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  4. it seems a flower upside-down!!!!
    xxxx Ale

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  5. I was thinking along the same lines as Jen. Looks to me like a pumpkin stem.

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  6. A stem on a great big wabi sabi squash?
    I'm glad you seem to be feeling better .... And look forward as always to whatever you come up with.

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  7. I have no idea what that picture is lol! Glad to hear you're so much better!
    Sarah xx

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  8. I'm with you on loving the season we are in! Isn't it beautiful not to have a deadline when we're doing something creative? Just enjoying the moment as it is, the way it is.
    I just love Andrew Wyeth's words talking about winter: ".... something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show."
    I'm going to check out the links you gave in the posting.
    The photo? It does indeed look like a big pumpkin flower which has survived the season.

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  9. lad you are well again. We are sitting through a seasonal overabundance of rain. Perfect yarn weather finally as summer here does not lend itself to finishing a big woolly rug over one's knees!

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  10. Hm, looks like the end of a leaf stem, possibly horse chestnut, where it has been shed. Or maybe not...

    Glad you're on the road to full recovery!

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  11. i love winter here too annie, the quality of light somehow more delicate and precious i guess because of the shortness of days. i also knit with no deadlines or timelines in front of me. relishing is a very good word to describe working on a beloved work in progress, like a good book, i sometimes don't want to end.

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  12. Is it the stem of a pumpkin flower? I'm not very good at guessing....
    Looking forward to hear about your new pattern!

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  13. Is it a macro photo of a 'flu virus?

    Just thinking on my feet here!
    Best wishes
    Jenny

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  14. It's the base of a dried out sunflower - upside down.

    btw I love the Andrew Wyeth quote... and agree whloeheartedly.

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  15. Hello Annie:
    We can positively feel your mellow mood in this post and are delighted to know that you are beginning to feel yourself once more.

    In our gardening days we would always judge a garden by how it looked in winter. The bones, the structure, the permanent planting. For, if a garden could hold its own in winter, we argued, then it could 'hold its head up' at any point in the year!

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  16. A sunflower, one that has been left as a winter feast for tiny creatures!
    I've tried but winter is not a season I love, come November and I'm looking for spring, as you know Annie. :)
    V xxx

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  17. I think I agree with Celia - it looks like a sunflower to me. I have just finished your beautiful Demne cardigan for a new neice/nephew. I just need to add buttons and block it. So I will wait with anticipation for your next pattern. I really enjoyed knitting it as it was more of a challenge than my usual projects... Thank you Annie!

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  18. I love the way you describe your gathering of resources. I have been doing something similar and have been struggling with the fact that in the process I am accumulating "more stuff", even though I know exactly what I want to do with it. It has been such a relief to have the snow melt at last... though I hear there is more on its way!

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  19. It looks like a frosted Gunnera leaf... but the ones in our garden are now just a sodden mush so I don't think it can be!! Looking forward to a new pattern!

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  20. Is it some kind of leaf??? Please tell us!
    I LOVE winter - well, the frosty and snowy days anyway! I love the peacefulness of it - and the whiteness!!! :-)
    Carly
    x

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  21. Being a northeast native, I love the seasons & winter does hold such a special place in my heart.

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  22. Your words are so provocative today...
    Winter is a season of peacefulness, renewal and coziness.
    Hope you're feeling better.
    And if you're missing the snow well I could send you some... quite a bit in fact.
    Susan x

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  23. Thank you for posting that beautiful Andrew Wyeth quote. It expressed how I feel about winter perfectly. And thank you for reminding me about Wabi Sabi. I've been meaning to read that book forever and now seems like a perfect time!

    So glad to hear you're on the mend.

    I think that your gorgeous photo is a shot of a squash (pumpkin?) or sunflower stem... Whatever it is, it's beautiful.

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  24. I've no idea about the photo, but it's fun reading everyone's guesses. I've recently embarked on a new crochet project, a blanket which I'm in no hurry to finish. I'm taking it easy crocheting one square a day, it's going to be a lovely, long term project, leaving me plenty of time for other things too. I'm looking forward to hearing what you decide on, a blanket or a shawl.

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  25. So glad you are on the mend Annie. I really love Winter and I'm already looking forward to it. Here, the Winters are relatively mild and not too wet and the light is beautiful. No idea what your picture but I'll guess an upside down flower or leaf :-)

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  26. Thank goodness you're feeling a bit better Annie. I think it looks like a rather dead pumpkin leaf!

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  27. Your photo... Simply beautiful... 'Tis of frost, and nothing is more lovely.

    Oh yes, winter has its beauty. I've always loved the sillouette of bare tree branches, against the sky.

    Keep on getting better! And keep on streamlining. :-) Be a Beacon for us.

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  28. winter has always been my favorite season---i love the nesting, the crispness, (the lack of mosquitoes!); unlike many of my friends who 'put their gardens to bed for the winter', i leave mine to show the bones. i love the greys, taupes, blacks--could the photo perhaps be a sunflower--face down?? whatever it is, it's beautiful! can't wait to see what knitting all these wonderful colors have inspired!

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  29. Glad you're feeling brighter! I love this season too, and today has been just perfect. That image looks like gunnera to me... x

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  30. Annie, I very much enjoyed reading this post. Winter is so full of inspiring possibilities. The winter landscape, macro and micro, encourages careful long inspections. The shapes and colors are beautiful. Bundling up in layers for a longish winter's walk can also encourage contemplation.

    Thank you for reminding me about Wabi Sabi.

    I agree with Celia's guess about the subject of your lovely photograph, and look forward to seeing more of what you are creating.

    xo

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  31. So glad you are feeling better. Not sure what your photo is of although it does look like a stem of some kind with the ribs showing a bit like driftwood after being in the sea for a long time. Whatever it is, it's beautiful celebration of neutral winter colours and makes me want to make something homespun and earth-coloured especially after absorbing Andrew Wyeth's evocative words. Happy knitting - so good that you're back posting again! E x

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  32. Winter is a wonderful season and plays an essential part in the rhythm of the year. There's a lovely pause while the countryside is quietly sleeping and conserving energy ready for the exuberance of spring. I think your lovely image is a courgette or squash leaf. Enjoy your project planning x

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  33. Oh that has my brain working overtime but I do think it's either a squash stem or sunflower upside down. Thais for your comment, Annie, wise words on the dreaded lace patterns would be appropriate right now, I am considering calling it a day with the wretched cowl but have seen a hat I rather do like ;)
    X

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  34. Definitely a Sunflower skeleton.

    the sun has been shining for two days, I feel so good.

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  35. You've got me stumped on the photo. It does look like some kind of dead flower.

    Winter is a time of reflection for me too. I love my garden, but it's good to have a break from it for part of the year. It gives me an opportunity to look back and plan forward and decide on some priorities for the season ahead.
    And today I've had the seed catalogues out. Yippee!

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  36. Oh Annie, I'm sold. Alan Watts and Wabi Sabi? I'm a tibetan Buddhist but I love Alan Watts. And Wabi Sabi is totally my style and the way I see things in life. So now I really need to learn to knit. You should post a tutorial for lazy beginners with the attention of a three year old. I know there are tutorials everywhere, but I sense yours would be different.

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  37. I'm guessing a flower stem - no idea which one - but initially thought a chick's foot! Those macro shots always catch me out!

    Seems strange to be reading about folks getting all fired up about the impending spring when here everyone is thinking 'autumn'! I shall be quite muddle-headed by the time we get home!! Lxx

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  38. Glad you are feeling better!
    I looks like a stem of some sort, or a deceased sunflower... I think.

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  39. Oh how I love your posts Annie. I love the tones of winter and as I get older I find I mind winter less and less. Having said that I always welcome the sun...

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  40. I thought top of a pumpkin when i first saw the photo, but after reading the other guesses it does kind of look like a sunflower stem. Glad to hear you are feeling better after being so poorly. Caroline x

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  41. Although I can't say Winter is a favourite (more of a pre-Spring woman) I adore those muddy colours and can't wait to see your new design!
    P x

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  42. I have no idea what the photo is, but as a fellow winter-lover, I loved your quote from Andrew Wyeth. I'm so glad you're now feeling well enough to enjoy planning new projects and I look forward to seeing them come to fruition in due course.

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  43. I like the quote and your picture goes so well with it. I think the landscape can look so beautiful in the winter.You can really appreciate the magnificence of the trees. When it however, comes to my garden I prefer seeing it in the other seasons. We are so lucky to have the seasons to appreciate the differences that they bring.
    Sarah x

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  44. Glad to see you back in the land of the living Annie. Hope you feeling more yourself again. I agree that winter does have a great deal of beauty. The obvious snow and frost incrusted kind, the brooding low hanging foggy kind and even sometimes, when highlighted by a clever photographer*, the dead and dried up kind! I do see it, but you've reminded me that there's more around than a casual glance may suggest.

    After originally thinking I had no idea at all, I'm now wondering if the photo is an aged sunflower head, face down and stalk showing?

    Sandra x

    * That'd be you, of course!

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  45. i love alan watts but never thought of using him in this way. i kind of love the thought. xo

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  46. We knitters are obliged to love winter, yes? I have no idea what is in your photo. No idea at all! x

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  47. Your posts always get me thinking Annie. Like Greer above, I like the way winter gives me an excuse to sit inside and knit/crochet/sew whereas in the summer i feel I must make the most of every sunny moment. Winter gives us permission to rest our bodies and minds, I think, and I like it for that.

    Gillian x

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  48. I think you and I are in the slow lane together! I used to be like a bullet, but the stuff I missed as I dashed back and forth. The days I missed thinking about tomorrow! You take your time, we can wait! :) x

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  49. I'm trying to play honourably by not reading any of the comments before mine. First guess is a grapevine, though there's something very familiar about the appearance that I can't put my finger on - something not grapevine-y but more ... squash-viney? The texture reminds me of a squash stem and also of some flowers with woody-type stems. Now this will bug me the rest of the day - take pity on us and reveal the answer soon, please Annie!) :)

    So glad to hear you're feeling better and going with the flow.

    P.S. One of my earliest blogging friends is also a devotee of all things Japonais. She has lived in Japan, and writes lovely haiku and senryu (and I know not what other Japanese-inspired verse forms). Here's a link if you'd like to meet her: http://foralovelything.blogspot.com/

    P.P.S. NOW I can go up and read your other comments - perhaps someone's guess will strike a chord and relieve me of wondering what plant that is. :)

    P.P.P.S. A thought just struck - the bean vine that - dang, it's not circumnavigates - circumniates? (What IS the proper term?) You posted a photo of it last year - could it be that? I shall shut up now and head back up the page to see what others are saying.

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    Replies
    1. (Striking forehead) A sunflower stem! Yes, it does look like one. :)

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  50. Enjoy your knitting! Happy to hear you are feeling better!

    Madelief x

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  51. How fun to walk about and snap pics of nature that catches your eye. I'm reading backwards so I already know the answer to this.
    I'm glad you're on the mend.

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  52. he he, I love a quiz! The snow is back here today. Oh and while I'm here I read the word 'secret' which reminds me of #2's word 'sneakret' which seems to work even better than the original.
    Lovely writing as always Annie,
    fee x

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