My Knitting Needles Are Calling

We finished the farm season in the barn last Saturday giving Thanksgiving shares to the dozen members who signed up for them: carrots, rutabagas, parsnips, winter radishes, leeks, onions, garlic, shallots, rosemary & parsley, a butternut squash and a pie pumpkin, plus a bag of greens just because we still had them under row cover in the garden. The parsnips were two-feet long, making digging them without breaking a challenge. I wish I had a picture of John and Peter popping parsnips out of the ground with a baling twine lasso and the post puller, sort of like extracting a tooth—or giving birth; we weren’t sure which image seemed more apt.

Now all that remains in the barn are the onions and squash for delivery to community Thanksgiving boxes this week and extra roots and onions in the insulated cool room for our winter meals. It feels good to be done in the barn, knowing that all the vegetables are awaiting wintry meals and holiday celebrations.

As we talked with friends in the barn on Saturday, rain started to fall, turning to snow throughout the afternoon. The day before, the remaining fall foliage still blazed brilliantly against the foothills, but this snow brought down the leaves and now the trees are bare. Funny how much colder the world feels without that autumn gold.

We’ve got the woodstove going in the house and I pulled the first heavy sweater out of my closet yesterday. Now begins a quieter time at the farm. Our winter plans include replacing, with the help of the utility company, a decades-old power pole (who knew we actually owned that thing, but on a farm, we do) and renovating the granary we trucked down the highway last spring. And we’ll be writing, working on projects already begun, taking them a step further into the world.

Now that the clocks have fallen back, the evenings feel longer, or at least longer to fill. John made the first round of root soup with dumplings on Saturday night and we’ll soon get the pressure cooker going with the dry beans we finished shelling last week. With greens from the bluehouse, squashes stored in the closet, canned goods in the pantry, roots from the barn, and tomatoes in the freezer, we’ll eat well all winter.

Now, as my friend Barb reminded me, my knitting needles are calling. Knitters know how hard it is to throw away those little bits and leftover skeins of yarn. I’m just about done with an ipad sweater from one such skein, a bulky Icelandic yarn, now cabled to “cozy” my ipad. I made one last year for my laptop and get lots of appreciative comments when I take it for service to the Apple store.

That’s what leftover bits of time are good for too, the hour before bed in the dark evening when I have to unplug or the half hour while the dinner cooks and I need to get off my feet. A little bit of quiet, a slightly slower pace, and less driving anywhere unless we really have to go. We’re looking forward to these days of winter work and rest while the world keeps spinning around us.



Filed under ecobiography, memoir, sustainable agriculture

6 responses to “My Knitting Needles Are Calling

  1. Ellen Mendoza

    Lovely thought, to tuck in for the winter. Unfortunately, I’ll be getting up in the dark tomorrow morn to start my commute. Ugh.

    • I am so in sympathy with you about commuting. The only thing I miss about it is listening to books on tape. I always felt a little guilty about extra time for reading while I was driving–seemed too good to be true.

  2. Lorna Yoder

    Me too John…I have been obsessed with this election and it is now time move on to novels and needles…if my elbow ever quits hurting…think it is hoo
    As always, a nice post and makes me want to slow down a bit.

  3. Goodness, don’t taunt us! Post a photo of that iPad sweater. And a few knitting instructions would be welcome with it.

  4. johnmmartin

    Your pictures always remind me to look more carefully. To quiet evenings of novels and needles.

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