Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the nights when the northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow
--Joni Mitchell, "Little Green"
We don't have much reason to long for it here, but around this time of year, lots of people begin to dream of green. I recall Februaries and Marches in New York that seemed like endless winter solstice; the flicker of sun only a match struck in the dark. Those days I would ache for spring, for just a sign that the earth was still restoring itself.
I remember when friends would return to New York after having tried living in Los Angeles. Every now and again, one of them would look at me as if she had recently escaped from a cell in outerspace and say, "...and the strangest thing about it is that there are no seasons."
I don't miss the dead of winter. I don't miss the accompanying longing. But I do miss the awareness of being alive and inextricably connected -- to the moon, the trees, the sky, the wind, the sun -- that the seasons force upon you. When you live with seasons, there is no room for insolence. If you want your car, big baby, you must dig it out of the snow.
Today in LA it is sunny and almost 70 degrees. Tomorrow's forecast is 64 and mostly cloudy, but trust me, it'll be sunny and 70 degrees. I thank the god of my understanding that there's someplace on earth with a winter like this, and that I'm lucky enough to be living in it, but some days it's hard won gratitude because the price I pay is that I get lost in the sameness of it all. I've been here long enough to know that in order to hold together, one has to look outside of nature for markers. More than looking, though, one has to cultivate the presence of mind to create them.
And so with November comes good quality heavy wool, the same as if I were still at home in Ohio. I doggedly knit accessories and wonder when the two or three days will come when I can wear them in the light, without having to wait for the drop in temperature that folds itself inside the cover of darkness. Most of the time, I wear them no matter. What I don't knit for myself I knit for others, which is the case with the majority of these items. The feel of the wool alone is enough to provide a temporal reminder.
In the case of this whimsical hat, it was about the wool, the most sensuous I've ever worked with, and the evocativeness of the color.
Black Forest Wool Naturwolle Soft (#10 Greens)
Clover circulars, size 9 (for ribbing) and size 10 (for body)
Gauge: 3.5 sts/1 inch in stockinette on size 10s
Pattern: For an 18 inch hat, cast on 60 sts. On smaller needles, knit 1.5 - 2 inches in 1x1 ribbing. Switch to larger needles and knit in stockinette until hat measures 7.5 inches or whatever height you'd like. Close using three-needle bind off. Weave in ends.
Wear or send to a friend.