First things first, I forgot to do this yesterday. The entries for February's giveaway really cracked me up and the winner of the giveaway stitchmarkers is Bretta! I'll contact via Ravelry.
Meanwhile, this winter is certainly full of enough ice and snow. We've been on ice since the sleet storm, with an impassible driveway. Rather, we could get down but getting back up again is always the kicker. This was the top of the driveway this afternoon. This is after a couple days of thaw, but it hasn't dented the inch thick layer of compacted snow and ice pellets.
Digging around in the shed revealed a bag of rock salt and a bucket of sand, so everything visible in the picture was given a going over. This allowed us to get out and, more importantly, back up again with staples like milk, eggs, and cat food. That last one is really important. We are perfectly capable of surviving until spring thaw with what's in the freezer and pantry, but the cats are more particular than we are. :P
Not only that, but there's been a stranger cat visiting late at night since the 3rd. It's a large black and white long hair, very skittish and it runs away whenever I turn on the light and go out to look for it. But it lingers around the house and cries and cries. I think it may be a housecat that got out and is now lost in the wilderness of ice and snow. I've been putting food and water out for it, so hopefully it will become less skittish over time and I can see about finding where it belongs.
Being iced in gives me a weird sense of limbo. I've been knitting up a storm and getting not much else of worth done. I'm separating some 6ply silk into a 2ply and a 4ply for a weaving project I want to do (which is a special sort of tedium since I don't have a wheel) and I've been making stitch markers, but there's no urgency to anything. Getting to the mailbox has been hard enough, let alone the post office. With the second half of the week expected to go back down to single digits overnight, our driveway is unlikely to improve very much. I feel like I'm hibernating.
Still, one thing I did do was post my free knit jiaozi pattern to Ravelry, and I made a little instructional video, too. Both links are in the sidebar, too.
Ravelry pattern page
Ravelry pdf download link
YouTube supplemental tutorial
These dumplings were a good idea, actually. The cats have been going stir crazy indoors, and so I've thrown a bunch of these around and it lets them blow off some excess energy. Not all of them have catnip in them and they still seem to work.