Wednesday, January 6, 2016

...and Gone with the Wind

The tree is down, the decorations wrapped and put away for another year, the wreath taken off the front door, and we are settled in for winter. On Saturday, I yanked the new Wolfe Island Gansey off Isabel's back (she had been wearing it more or less continuously since those photos from the last post), and scrambled to do some last-minute finishing. First, I trimmed any frayed edges around the steeks, then I worked blanket stitch around the cut edges. Did I mention earlier that this was a steeked garment? The reason: it's so much simpler to work gansey stitch patterns, with "action" on every row/round, when the right side is always facing. In the best of all worlds, I would have used a lighter weight wool to do the blanket stitch. For instance, if the cardigan had been knitted in Quince's Lark, I would have used Finch in the same colour for the finishing. In the real world, I was in a hurry, and using a wool that couldn't easily be split into its component plies. So, I just barged ahead. No time for photos, but if you click here you can see all of this demonstrated when I tidied up Trellis. Finally, I decided to tack down the little collar on the underside in the back between the shoulders. It was lying flat, but it was quite narrow, and I worried that the effects of the wet blocking might diminish with wear. We hugged and said good-bye at the train station, and now, the gansey and its owner are gone, gone, gone with the wind back to grad school. It hit me with a shock that this is how it will always be from here on--comings and goings, with their accompanying joy and sadness. The baby bird has flown from the nest. Parting is such sweet sorrow and all that.
That knitted bookmark is the very first item Isabel knitted--still going strong!
While in that Shakespearean frame of mind, it struck me that my mood was perfectly captured in this evocative music video performance of Elizabethan songwriter John Dowland's "Now, O now I needs must part" by Les Canards Chantant". The lyrics are about romantic love, but the sentiments expressed hit that bittersweet spot right on target. Perfect for when you want a brief wallow in melancholy.
Now, the sun is shining, the temperature going all the way up to 0C, and the new year beckons. Time to get going with some new designs!


  1. Lovely sweater with exquisite detail. My only daughter lives way across the country from Michigan, in Portland Oregon and our two of our three sons live in California and one in Florida. Indeed it is a life of arriving and parting.

  2. My daughter and I celebrated her 30th birthday today in Boston. It was pure magic and now she's gone back home. I can't stop thinking about her. I just love your posts. The pictures, your model is pluperfect in everything and your recipes. Made the mincemeat pie using your pie crust method as I have little counter space for flour and boards, etc. Thank you... She left with half of it this afternoon.