“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things” Henry Miller
Olive is coming home. The summer will be drawing to a close soon and really she is just a little bit homesick, even though she won’t admit it. She has traveled to many places and met many people and seen many sights, but now, now she is a wee bit tired and has found herself longing for her chair, the comfy one that sits in the bay window. The chair that is surrounded by her knitting bags and yarns. And her books, she misses her books. She misses her favourite brand of tea, in her favourite mug. Somehow the tea tastes better in that mug than in any other. Little things in her life, but they are comforting.
Olive leans her head against the back of the airline seat, and closes her eyes. She thinks about sitting in her chair, with that mug of tea and anticipates mulling over the places she’s been and the people she’s met while knitting up the yarn that she’s bought. Her souvenirs of her trip, the yarn and the stories. She has talked to all manner of knitter and heard their memories, their musings, the tales and thoughts of how their knitting is linked to their lives.
The Calais Shawl reminded many knitters of joyous trips to France, of walks on the beach in Calais with their loved ones.
The Dover Castle Shawl brought back memories of taking the Calais-Dover Ferry, the color of the water and the sky and the first glimpse of Dover Castle in the distance.
So many memories of children in Cornwall were reawakened by the Cornwall Beach Shawl. And really what better memories are there but happy ones from childhood.
One knitter lives in the New Forest and was pleased to find the New Forest Shawl on her doorstep one morning. Most knitters didn’t notice the shape or pattern of this shawl, the twin to Cornwall Beach, but always mentioned were the colors. The colors seemed to evoke memories and emotions in many.
And lastly, the Heart of Wales Shawl seemed to go right to the heart of one knitter from New Zealand who shared her memories of being in Britain because of an illness in the family. She spoke of urgently searching for yarn and supplies because she needed the reassuring feel of needles in her hands. And when the illness abated and her husband joined her, they took the Heart of Wales line through the Welsh countryside and she knit. People came up to her on the train and spoke to her about her knitting and I think that she found that tremendously comforting. She was a long way from home.
People who don’t knit think of it as a hobby. I suppose that’s all it is to some knitters. But for most, the knitters I’ve met this summer for sure, knitting is more than a hobby. It’s a link to the past, the present and the future of our lives. We remember where we were and the color of the sky and the laughter of a child running on the beach. We think of the ones who have gone and the ones yet to be and we echo all this through our knitting. Knitting takes time and patience and precisely because of this our emotions have time to steep slowly and pass on into our projects as we work. When we are done we have much more than a knitted item in our hands.
So we reach out to friends and we reach out to strangers and we tell our stories because we are all knitters so it is a safe place to be. There is a knitter out there who will understand.
There is a knitter out there named after my favourite color……and she’s just had the best journey ever. Thank you for that.