Friday, February 13, 2004

When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along
Picture of a robin
If I'm very observant and use a little imagination, I can see signs of spring. Yes, there is a foot of snow and it's not melting yet. In fact, we have a cold air mass moving in this evening that's going to take the temperatures back down into the single digits Fahrenheit. (That's double digit minus degrees Celsius.)

But the days are getting longer. And the birds that wintered over in Michigan are starting to practice their mating songs.

The classic sign of spring in Michigan is the return of the robins. In SW Michigan the daring, macho male robins arrive the first week in March. It's a thrill to spot the first one and know that spring has arrived - even if statistics show it is going to snow three or four more times.

Knitting the Winter Away
Meanwhile, waiting for the snow to melt and the robins to arrive, I continue to knit. Our CIC project for February is to knit socks for very young children. I have one pair done and a second pair about a third done. I'm planning on three pair this month. They're quick and easy with 24 or 28 stitches cast on with worsted weight wool.

The CIC project for March is to knit a caregiver's shawl. I've always thought a shawl would be a bother to wear. How do you keep it on when you're tending young children? Does it require hands so it doesn't fall off every time you move?

According to the CIC members who travel to Eastern Europe, the caregivers in the orphanages appreciate the shawls and like to wear them for extra warmth in the poorly heated buildings. I have great compassion for anyone who lives in cold conditions, so I will assume the caregivers know how to keep the shawls on their shoulders and I will knit as requested.

The shawls are triangular with five or six feet on the long side. That's a lot of yarn and a lot of knitting, so I'm only planning to make one. And, when it's done, it will be spring.

Do you have robins where you live? When do they arrive?