I feel like standing atop the tallest tree and just calling out to the wind! I hope you are all well and feeling a sense of renewal or a glimpse of hope! What a long winter and what better way to celebrate the sun and all his energy than creating and joining nature?
June was such an important month. To me, it is the most magical of all the months – for the solstice, for my inner child over flowing with joy at the end of a school year and the stretch of summer before us, for the peonies and scents, bugs and blossoms, for my birthday as well as my sisters (we share the same day and our menses are synced despite being provinces apart!). I always felt like June was like a Friday (July a Saturday and August a Sunday) – The whole month filled with the anticipation and excitement for the freedom summer brings. Freedom to swim or run or eat a carrot right from the earth, dirt and all.
On the East Coast, June is a fickle month. Sometimes, it feels more like April where I grew up in Ontario than June. The peonies are still bound up in balls and the wind, rain and cold persists. The Atlantic Ocean is frigid and diving in is akin to a polar swim. I hold my breath and just do it before rushing out. It’s become a type of ritual for me to welcome summer and embrace the ocean, a dear, ancient friend.
I’ll move on… to making and hiking!! Friends, I have been making SO much, drawing a lot and I have to keep it all hidden for many moons. I have alluded to this a couple of times and still have not officially announced what the hoopla is, but soon, on a full moon I will share this exciting news.
This June, we spent time in Toronto, our biggest city and Cape Breton, a wildling place. Jamie is a huge Toronto Raptors fan so we visited the city for a couple of days to partake in the pandemonium (I mostly was excited to eat all the foods we lack and see my sister ). In contrast, we spent time in the Highlands of Cape Breton Island – the most beautiful place in the world! Bias, perhaps a little 😛 My grandmother was born in Port Hood and the proximity of the island to where I went to university and even now where we live, makes it the perfect little get away. I remember piling in a pick up truck to drive up to Cèilidhs in the mountains or to spend a weekend hiking on the trails. In retrospect, I cherish those days so much and wouldn’t trade it for anything (despite the number of times being told an Arts Degree *focused on folklore none the less!* is pointless. Please, if your heart wants to learn and study, don’t listen to anyone with this kind of message! Study literature, philosophy, folklore, music! If you ache to study something that people are discouraging you from – please send me a message, you need to do what is in your heart).
We managed to cover a lot of ground in the Highlands – the most notable being Pollett’s Cove, outside of the National Park. I love walking because when you set out – your mind may be occupied with all of these swirling thoughts but by the time you find a rhythm in your step and tune in to your environment, your thoughts slow and whatever may have been bothering you is gone. Replaced with a sense of strength in your body and the pulsating life around you – birds, rocks, trees, the wind! Your just as much a part of this earth as minerals, song birds and ocean foam. Never do I regret setting out on a hike, never! I only ever regret not going out more!
And then of course, the sweater, the reason why I chose to sit down and write! Over the duration of Winter and Spring, I knit 1 lopi sweater. Yes, just 1 (rare for me – I know but this year was generally weird). I’ve named her “Flora & Fauna” because of the botanical motifs (and alliteration of course). I am, I guess what you would call a free style knitter. I design things as I go and they honestly just come to me. This sweater is a result of tuning into myself and my natural environment and just letting what unravels come to light. The result, in my humble opinion, is a magical work of art – one that fills the wearer with a sense of protection and love (or at least, this is what I hope).
I used Lett Lopi from my now dwindling stash – Ash, Light Beige, Ivory and Rust as the colours. My original intention was to do just an Ash and Ivory sweater – I think the subtle and gentle contrast would be so pretty – the emphasis being more on the nature of Icelandic Wool – however, I just can’t say no to that rust colour! And I think seeing a definitive contrast is what makes Icelandic Sweaters so interesting. What makes them unique and worth twisting your head to think “that’s a nice sweater.” 😀
I really loved making this sweater. The colours, the motifs! My mind is constantly churning about future projects and this is one that has been ruminating for some time. I thought that Cape Breton, atop a mountain would be the perfect place to photograph it! How romantic – a vista of ancient mountains, fog, expansive grey sky with the ocean stretched out to eternity. Instead of course, after a steep trek up Franey mountain (Not only this sweater in my pack but also the one that I was working on – priorities – who needs water or nuts anyway? No one.), I had messy hair and the sun was glaring and the sky hazy from the heat. Jamie took a picture of me wearing the sweater, looking out at the Clyburn Valley, probably thinking about water, food and cursing myself for my priorities. It was truly beautiful though and looking back at the photographs (hydrated, I must add) I only feel a small burst of happiness! Wool and hiking truly can be enough to keep the human heart content.