Somewhat unseasonal snow leads to a bigger blanket

Posted September 28, 2019 by Maire in Hobbies / 2 Comments

An egg-shaped rose quartz crystal and a small green succulent plant loiter on the window sill as snow falls in the yard beyond.
Snow falling in the back yard.

I woke up Friday morning to large white fluffy flakes falling outside my window. After a few bleary-eyed blinks to ensure I wasn’t hallucinating, I reached for the camera. I was aware that snow was coming, just not a day early. Perfect day to curl up in my office and work on the Phoenix blanket.

Truth be told, you almost always need to be prepared for snowfall in Calgary. We lost a gazebo to a freak summer snowstorm a few years back. The wet snow fell so fast that it piled up and collapsed the thin metal pipes holding up the fabric roof before anything had a chance to melt. Considering we’re officially into Autumn and snow usually sticks around by the end of October / beginning of November, a little flurry in September isn’t unexpected.

I grew up in a small town in the Ottawa Valley, where the streets were lined with beautiful old maples. I’m used to my trees turning into a canopy of autumn colours, and the leaves falling before the snow. Even after twenty two years in Alberta, I still feel disappointed that the kids are wearing snowsuits under their Hallowe’en costumes. I’m happy when we get a mild Autumn, because it means I can take a walk wearing a sweater or a light jacket with a pretty scarf rather than dig out my winter coat and mittens.

More often than not, I have to wear a coat, as well as a scarf, hat and mittens to boot.

Combat the chill without heating the whole house

A crocheted blanket propped up against the back of a grey sofa
Progress has been made on the blanket

When the weather starts to turn like this, the house gets chilly. Our home is equipped with a thermostat that automagically kicks in when the temperature in the house heads south of 17 degrees Celsius (about 62.6 F). Before I do anything so drastic as turn up the thermostat, I’ll reach for a sweater or hoodie first, and a blanket after that. If I’m still shivering, the house needs to be warmer. Which is saying something because my home office is on the south side of the house and gets nicely warmed by the sun (when it’s available).

One of the benefits to crocheting an afghan, blanket, or throw, is that you don’t really need to reach for another blanket if the piece you’re working on is large enough. When last I posted about the crocheted Phoenix blanket, I’d just finished the central motif. It’s grown by another 15cm (6 inches) from the edge since then, give or take. I think I have a couple more rounds to go before I have to switch to the second jumbo ball of yarn. So far the Red Heart Super Saver hasn’t disappointed me. I’ve gotten used to the texture, and it’s keeping my lap warm while I crochet. Aside from a couple of times where I’ve had to rip back — totally my fault for forgetting a couple of stitches — the project is ticking along really well.

My socks for the family, on the other hand, have slowed to a crawl. Whoops! Guess I’ll have to do something about that. Particularly now that we’ve gone from bare-feet-and-tank-top weather to sweaters-and-socks. Those hand-knit socks might come in handy.

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2 responses to “Somewhat unseasonal snow leads to a bigger blanket

  1. lydiaschoch

    Wow, you get snow early! Here in Toronto, it generally doesn’t show up until mid to late November.

    • Alberta does get snow early. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the weather patterns over the mountains, but my family in Yellowknife often get a similar frosty start to their autumn.
      I grew up in the Ottawa area, then lived in the NWT for a couple of years. After that, I went to the art college in Toronto before moving here to Calgary. I liked the turning of the seasons in Ontario, but Calgary gets chinooks (which make winter a lot easier to deal with). The NWT is manageable, if you don’t mind the darkness and the long cold season. Sure, you get -40 on the regular, but it’s a dry cold and you warm up really quickly 😀

      Either way, right now I’m envying your maple trees!!

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