Saturday, February 26, 2011


I've finished the third and last level of TKGA's Master Hand Knitting program. I have not yet heard back from the committee on whether I have passed or not. Needless to say, I am sitting on pins and needles around here. It would be nice to get this over with so that I can move on to other projects.
The gansey I was working on IS done! I finished it it before Thanksgiving of last year and it fits like a dream. It was an instant hit at the holiday gatherings. People have been calling it the 'sailing sweater' since it has my boat's logo and number stitched into the back. I love it and I wear it as often as I can.
My knitting project for now is a simple lace shawl using yarn of a wool/cashmere blend. It is a little something to keep me occupied and my mind off of my level III submissions.

I am also taking a writing course. For my next assignment I have to write a short fiction. I already have a good idea of what I am going to write about, which I won't reveal here. What I would like to say is that the story will take place on Beaver Island. It has been ages since I've been to Beaver Island, yet that magical place has constantly been on my mind. I still remember the waves crashing onto a beach full of smooth pebbles. I still remember that dew-covered spider web glistening in the morning sun. And I still remember the circles of stones that predates European arrival to the island. I have a sneaking suspicion that those stones were put up by the original natives in worship of storms.
On my last trip to Beaver Island I found a cairn, and as I added a stone to it I offered up a prayer for a sign that the island is aware and has blessed me. Later that evening a young buck came to within three feet of me, stomping and snorting, in the soft rain. I had to laugh at the incongruity of the situation, which scared the buck off. At that moment the rain stopped and a perfect rainbow appeared in the sky. That buck and the rainbow was the sign I prayed for. That moment I felt I was home.
It has been three years, and yet the island still tugs at my heartstrings. There's something about the landscape that is both beautiful and ethereal. And there is something about the people with their warmth and beliefs in unseen powers.
I've been thinking about all this this lately and how much I would like to design and knit a sweater to commemorate Beaver Island. It would be an Aran sweater, of course, made from a heathered undyed tan wool with bits of blue, green and violet. The patterns would tell a story of the island ~ the ropes of the fishing trade in the 1800's, living in close ties with nature, the otherworldlyness of the island, and so much more. The idea is a bit vague and misty, and I will have to do some experimenting with Aran patterns to find what I am searching for.

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