It's NOVEMBER! Daylight casts its muted glow along quiet sidewalks. My hands tucked into my comfy woolen coat with a bottomless hood that I've been told makes others jealous for the coziness of it. It makes me feel a little like a Once Upon A Time character strolling through the Enchanted Forest. It felt so great to bundle up over the past week. We're coming into the quiet season.
After two high impact weekends, it was nice to keep slow today. To wake in warmth, thankful to God for His provision, for family, for blankets, for a steaming cup of Holiday Tea nestled between my palms. The cure for my year long reading slump: The Hunger Games. It's been seven years and this is the only novel in the series that I have yet to reread. Sometimes you don't need something new. You just need home. Collins' writing has always felt warm for the minutiae of her world and characters. A study in keeping what is real close to our hearts. It opened my eyes to the everyday wonder of a handmade life. This time, I'm keeping my eyes trained on the same heirloom-delicate details that inspired me to start knitting in the first place. A sort of full circle to read the novel that started it all, as I embark on a new knitting adventure: a sweater.
Sweaters remind me of Civil Wars (the band) country. Old browning volumes of Flannery O'Connor. One Hundred Year Old libraries. Bucolic farm lands redolent with rain. Brontë strolls through mists. Of hands now wrinkled with age stranding Autumn into yoke sweaters, passing it down down down. That vintage varsity jumper teeming with spirit. A noun for keeping warm.
I've attempted two other sweaters in my life. One: a Boyfriend Sweater , an 18th Century Vassar College red (or at least that's how I envisioned it whilst reading The Gilded Years). Two: a current work in progress called Nolita, raven black with turquoise cuffs to make it playful. Although these two patterns make for two of the coziest sweaters, the downside is that they are knit up in pieces and seamed together afterwards. A feature that many knitters have cautioned me against for a first sweater. But last week, I discovered Five Dollars in Paris, a beginners raglan knit whole from neck to cuff. Cue my excitement! This pattern seems very beginner friendly and for that I'm so grateful, because it means I'll finally accomplish a knitting goal I've had for a very long time.
My sweater is a silvery mauve, soft as my Rosie's kitten paws between my fingers as I give in to each whispering row. Today, as I sink further into the body, it dawned on me that I'm actually doing this...knitting the fiber equivalent to a house. As I graze the purl bumps along the underside, I'm excited that one day, I'll be able to cuddle up in it during a first snow. Or while browsing the endless stacks of the Strand. Or, on homemade cider days.
This is the magic of a slower life made my hand.