The last two days have been warm enough to wear a sweater instead of a jacket outside, and all of a sudden the whole world is coming to life. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting back to normal after this cold, but I swear I can feel nature’s pulse quickening every day. It’s amazing how a little bit of sunshine is all it takes to make it smell like spring. My garden is starting to emerge from underneath the snow, and I like to imagine that the herbs are yawning and stretching in preparation for their first burst of new growth.

Those lonely few crocuses from last weekend are now accompanied by an army of companions, all laid out in a straight line and growing fast. At the end of the column, there’s a whole crowd of them, shooting up from the ground.

I love that these tiny little plants have been hiding there all week, waiting patiently under their mantle of snow and ice.

Branden helped me finish up the fiber blending for the crocus sweater last night, but I am not quite to the point where I have enough yarn to start knitting. To avoid another weeks’ gap between knitting projects, we took advantage of a local shop hop to pick up some things at Coveted while they were on sale. I bought a couple of skeins of merino-silk from a local indie dyer Heather from Mad Color Fiber Arts (colorway Delirium).

These are destined to be a second version of my Beehive hat and scarf, and will be a good quick project to sneak in while I’m spinning for the sweater. (Or so I tell myself…we’ll see how much time there is to knit this week!)

I also picked up another skein of the Plymouth Gina and Cascade 220 in a dark eggplant solid to make a slightly different version of the Diamond Tesselations hat.

And then, I noticed that the mink yarn I’ve been eyeing for a while was half off (!), so I grabbed a few of those. On a whim, I also threw in a dark red metallic called Mesmerize because I’ve looked at it a few times and thought it could be fun. (First bright colors and now novelty yarn…what’s to become of me??)

I’m not sure if the Mesmerize will make its way into this project, but the color is right up my alley, so I’m sure it will find a home somewhere.

I brought all of my finds over to the couch to show them off to Branden, and we somehow struck up a conversation with Leslie Wind, a metalworker who was doing demos in the shop for the day. I had been eyeing the shawl pins while talking with Branden, but hadn’t quite gotten over to look at them yet. About 5 minutes later we were well on our way to becoming good friends, and I think we chatted for about an hour. (Branden, very patiently, went back to his game. At least they have comfortable couches at Coveted.) While we talked, I picked out my favorite shawl closure, a silver one with a spiral at one end that holds it closed to keep it secure.

This is perfect for me. I have a couple of shawl pins, but I seldom wear them because they tend to fall out, and I’m afraid they’ll get lost. That clip at the end will hold it securely in my knitting, and I won’t be afraid to wear it!

When I asked how much the pin cost, Leslie gave it to me as a gift instead, so I picked out another to buy (I’d been dithering anyway, and if one’s free, you might as well get two, right?) The second is in bronze, and has a different type of closure (I think she called it a tab closure). You hook one end in the knitting, stretch to put a little tension on the pin, and then catch the other in the fabric, too. The tension also helps to hold the pins in place.

I love the size on both pieces; big enough to be noticed, but not so big that they’re clunky or get in the way. As a “uniform” dresser, I really like having one bold piece of jewelry as the focal piece in an outfit, and I think that both of these will do a beautiful job. When I went to pay for the second, Leslie foiled my plans by gifting me that one, too! I was kind of blown away by this generosity, but will take it as an extra reason to be sure that they get good use. When we got home, I pulled out the dress form and played dress up.

I love how strongly both pieces stand out. I am always drawn to curvy, organic shapes, but these really grab me. Doesn’t that bronze one look like a wandering river, or maybe a snake? It has a nice, hammered texture that really catches the light, too. The curves on the silver one make me think of pea tendrils, just after they unfurl.

I can’t wait to use these as part of my wardrobe, and there are several on Leslie’s Etsy page that I’m eyeing as well. Between new shawl pins and more knitting, today was definitely a good way to wrap up Spring Break!