Monday, October 03, 2011

Northern Ontario, Scottish Moors and Sweaters

I used to see knitting as a winter hobby. Winters up north are fierce and harsh, and naturally drive people indoors. It is the season of fires in the hearth, early evenings, Northern Lights and ice so beautiful it takes your breath away...or maybe that's just the frigid air. Winter is the season of creamy soups, hearty stews accompanied by warm, buttery homemade bread. It is the season of mittens, scarves and sweaters that you can't help but snuggle into, knitted socks in wild colors that hug your feet and give your soul a warmth no store-bought sock can ever provide. For me, winter is the season of knitting. Every winter I get the itch to do something creative, something different. This fall the bug that's bitten me has been Fair-Isle and stranded work, and cables. Which led to Alice Starmore. (That's one of her many designs upper left: St. Brigid) My ancestry is partly Celt, which occasionally shows itself in my love of wild, barren places, Celtic music, historical art and Celtic Saints and mythology. So it is no surprise to me that this autumn I am drawn to knit Celtic knots, braids and cables.

The Northerner in me likes colour, whether it be the dusky greens and greys of tree moss, the blues of water or the vibrant hues of autumn when the leaves begin to turn... my soul feeds on it. So while my DNA says that an Aran sweater MUST be knitted in shades of cream, the rest of me yearns for a sweater that snaps, that pops, that says "HERE I AM!"

Now, all I have to do is knit one.
After I learn how to knit a cable, follow a pattern and stick with it long enough to produce a sweater.