” I’m so glad that I live in a world where there are Octobers.” Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, 1908.
Sometimes I feel so honoured and lucky that I live on the island that inspired L.M. Montgomery. Reading through her journals, she is the essence of Anne: highly spirited, optimistic, in love with nature and bewitched with a powerful imagination. Strong and willing to take on new challenges with an upbeat perspective on the world – or wallow temporarily in the depths of despair before the silver lining inevitably lifts her out. I feel like as soon as Autumn rolls around, I start seeing quotes everywhere from a book that dates back over 100 years. She spoke so crystal clear to our hearts. What matters in life but love for our friends, family and the breathing planet? Our willingness to join it as personally and enthusiastically?
Today, I split wood until my body told me to stop. The sky fluctuated between bright shining sun and total overcast with spitting rain. The Ash trees are heavy with berries and the maples are burnt orange. The split wood pile is growing and growing with every ache and pain and I’m feeling more confident about winter. More willing to embrace her like the old friend that she really is.
I keep telling myself that I will share with you all so much about the past year. It’s studded with heart ache (maybe L.M. is a kindred spirit after all?) and excitement. I mentioned briefly a book… well. I had signed a contract in the spring to write for you a knitting book. I was excited beyond belief (okay, and terrified) and inspired. Patterns and design began to flow so freely from my heart and I finally dedicated the time to writing patterns, not words but codes and numbers. K1, Sl1, Psso. Perhaps fortuitously, my wrists stopped me from proceeding. I could hardly hold my phone let a lone knit anything. When this pain started I chose to ignore it. I decided it was temporary, that I could keep going. However, it became obvious that I had to stop. I didn’t understand, I had knit just as much in the past without consequence? I had typed 2 degrees out while knitting frantically, playing guitar and mandolin in addition to a healthy addiction to Skyrim to balance myself. All of which, required the strenuous use of my fingers, thumb and wrists. Why now?
When I met my partner Jamie, he has just received a diagnosis of Tendonitis. He was finishing his bachelor of music in guitar. I remember that this was crushing news to him and although he still played guitar, graduated with first class honours, his wrist has never truly recovered. He advised me to just stop completely because the pain would develop into something that may be irreversible. So, my friends, I canceled my book deal. I took pretty well the whole summer off from knitting, from using my phone. The deadline for the book has already passed and I’m only now beginning to feel fully confident in typing and knitting to my hearts content.
This decision was extremely difficult for me to face. I thought I was failing. But what scared me more, was the idea that I wouldn’t be able to use my hands in the same way that I have my whole life. Tirelessly.
I am really, really sorry that I couldn’t do this for all of you. I always feel like everything happens for a reason and perhaps another opportunity will poke it’s little head. You may wonder why I said it was fortuitous? I just need to think of it in this way to not totally descend into that depth we were talking about earlier. It’s okay and good things are to come. This I trust.
You may wonder, where are these patterns? Well, my Elf Pine Socks were originally dreamed up for the book. Many, I have just sitting on my computer. I have a cowl, that I’m going to post freely on my blog when I make at least one more in another colour and then there is this sweater. The forage sweater.
I wrote the following for this design, fragmented but still holding onto what I hoped would carry with the design, the wool, the hands that create:
“Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year – The fields and forest are cast in a golden hue of summer’s end;
The vines that I have been eyeing throughout the heat of the summer are now heavy with juicy blackberries and raspberries. The abandoned apple trees are abuzz with activity as I fill baskets avoiding the wasps that inevitably feast on the fallen apples. The mushrooms pop their fungi heads and all the world is full! I always feel like the world provides for us and the harvests of a forager in autumn is one sure way. Our pantry will be well stocked with jams and preserves from my time spent picking from forgotten berry patches and old homesteads.”
It was very clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to finish all of the designs in time for the deadline with my injury (can I call it a sporting injury? I sound more cool :D) . I was like 12 designed short and yes, I have to knit everything – multiple times- to design it. This sweater ended up taking me a long time to finish and was truly knit just listening to my intuition and not writing anything down. It almost became a closure knitting project. If there is enough interest in it, I will add it to the designs that I am going to be working on all winter.
So, I have set the challenge out to finally get out my knitting patterns to the world. Instead of focusing on new designs, I am going to get out the many sweater patterns that I’ve designed over the course of my life here on P.E.I. This to me, is exciting! Because of the overwhelming feedback and requests for the Pangur Ban Pattern, this sweater will be the first to emerge.
October has so much promise and I’m looking forward to our Canadian Thanksgiving next weekend. For now, I’m going to leave you. My mind has stopped working and I’m ready to just sink into one last walk and knitting. Maybe some ghost stories and a bath 🙂
Many, Many Autumnal blessings and thank you for reading <3
Leaving you with just one of the most beautiful messages <3
And some music by my favourite Medieval revival group, Vox Vulgaris: