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October 26, 2012

Betwixt and between fall and winter, I mull over summer woolen flowers.

Last spring a feral fray of mishmash yarn landed in my lap. The fuzzy strands were discovered in a tangled nest at the bottom of my mother-in-law’s knitting basket. Recognizing the remnants, I felt compelled to make use of them over the summer months. Some of the residual wool came from a handmade cardigan that now nostalgically sits on a shelf in our bedroom closet – lovingly knitted for my husband by his mother, a quarter of a century ago. The sweater is much too warm to wear in today’s climate controlled environment and much too sweet to purge in this highly disposable world.

In my post secondary years I briefly took up knitting after I had moved to a climate where temperatures routinely dipped below -40˚C in the winter months. It would get cold enough to turn a tear drop into an eyelash icicle and a runny nose into a flash freeze of glaciated nasal hair. One day, as I shivered my way across a windswept foothill, I decided it was as good a time as any to learn how to knit.

I started with good intentions to insulate myself, as well as friends and family with a collection of handmade, woolen sweaters by Christmas time. First I knit one, purled two my way through a rib-stitched scarf with great success. Considering this a relatively easy exercise, I eagerly moved on to a sweater pattern. The pointy end of the knitting needles clickity-clicked at a rhythmic pace until the last loop was tied. Then I tried it on and learned the price for my impatience. Staring back at me in the mirror was a pathetic patchwork of sweater parts that would have better fit The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Deflated by my overambitious effort and disappointing return, I terminated my sweater making ambition then and there. It is with certainty, that cardigan is not sitting nostalgically on anybodies shelf.

Pompom’s made of yarn on the other hand are easy-peasy to make. Partnered with some gnarly walnut branches that routinely drop in our yard, I made woolen flowers for birthday gifts this summer. Minus the polite obligation to wear one of my handmade sweaters, these gifts had a more positive return.

Now, as the perennial buds have withered and died outside, these fuzzy blossoms shall remain forever in full bloom, nostalgically warm and cozy, inside.

Handmade burgandy and grey wool pompom flower and homemade jam beside flower pot.
Handmade burgandy, grey and cream colored pompom flowers in garden bed and vase.

© 2012, Dana Aubrey

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2012 6:40 pm

    Such great idea! I’ve been toying with the idea of making a not-at-all-realistic bouquet of flowers for the table on deck, just for a bit of color (more for me to enjoy than anyone else), and I love this idea! So much better than frilly crepe flowers or what-have-you. Remind me of those furry truffula trees in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.
    Do you mind if I try this at home? I was always a LOUSY pom-pom maker, though…

    • October 29, 2012 2:28 pm

      Guess now’s not a good time to admit I’ve been making the frilly paper ones too. 😉 Poor Peter. Thank you Nat and I don’t mind you trying this at all. I bet you’ll do something super cool with them and your embroidery thread. Once you get bored of looking at them on deck, you can always throw them down below where your cat will happily punt them around.

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