More snow’s in the forecast – could you use a little knitspiration?
Our snow is over (for now) on the Eastern Seaboard, but there’s a blizzard forecast for the Midwest. I love snow, but I’m sure most folks have had enough of it.
We feature Red Birds in Snow because it’s a nice nod to our state bird here in North Carolina, the cardinal, which gives a lovely burst of color to the monochrome landscape. I also love it because it’s a good reminder that noticing the things around us is a good antidote to the winter doldrums. Seeing something so bright in an otherwise gray day can snap the world back into focus.
In honor of Beatrix Potter’s birthday, how about a little knitspiration?
Helen Beatrix Potter was born 149 years ago today. She had great success as a scientific illustrator and conservationist, but is best known today for her children’s books. Everyone has a favorite. Mine is Peter Rabbit. It’s such a nice mix of home and hearth – Peter’s mother even knits! – and mischief, as Peter gets himself into one fix after another.
Although I have enjoyed her work as both a child and a parent, I also enjoy her artistic talents. Her use of color is inspirational. From soft leafy-greens…
To the bright colors of the farm.
From fresh pastels of Spring…
To warmer tones of a cozy home.
Beatrix said, “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” I think we all know the same is true each time we pick up a ball of yarn. We hope all your crafting adventures are as enthralling as those Beatrix Potter wrote about.
The geometry is perfect here – the angles and colors, the twists of the sails.
The masts and lines of Blackburn’s piece call to mind the waves of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton’s Lattice Cowl above. The combination reminds me of a family favorite poem, Sea Fever by John Masefield. It’s read beautifully here by Tom O’Bedlam.
In the poem, John Masefield wishes for “a merry yarn.” It may not be the kind that he’s thinking of, but we wish you much merry yarn as well.
Romare Bearden (1911-1988) has a special place in my heart. He hails from my hometown of Charlotte, NC, just down the road from Universal Yarn. He moved to New York and contributed to Harlem’s vibrant arts scene in the 30’s and 40’s, often using imagery from his home state. Romare Bearden was that fortunate artist who gained respect and recognition in his lifetime, with his works displayed in important collections around the globe. If you’re ever in Charlotte, take a pleasant stroll through Romare Bearden Park – then come up the road and see us.
What I love about this picture – and about all of Norman Rockwell’s work – is that it tells a story. The eraser on the floor shows that her students wrote on her board in a rush and then had to scramble back to their seats. The eraser on the student’s head shows that maybe they’re not always little angels. And the fact that Miss Jones isn’t bothered that they’ve ruined all her multiplication problems shows that she’s the kind of teacher who values her children’s high spirits and appreciates their thoughtful intent.
Today is my birthday, and like Miss Jones, I recognize this as an opportunity to reflect on generosity and intention. I am truly fortunate to have the kind of co-workers here at Universal who will bomb my office with streamers and present me with the traditional Universal Yarn Birthday Tiara.
This is a time to be thoughtful and ask: what opportunities can I seize in my life to show un-asked for care to others? Am I showing generosity to myself as well as to others?
Today I will practice gratitude for the abilities that I have – to think, to craft, and to love. And I will be grateful, too, for those who appreciate those gifts.
What will you do today to bring joy to yourself or someone else? Whether you create a garment or a moment, know that what you do has value.