Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Magical Mystery Tour
I have recently discussed my new found enthusiasm for Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. Not only are the patterns in the book appealing, but the concept of the book is an intriguing one. Each pattern relates to a certain place that the author has visited. One of the most popular patterns in the book--Conwy-- happens to relate to a place I have a very strong personal attachment to as my grandparents lived there for my entire life and we visited them there nearly every summer.
For a time North Wales was the place to which English from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire retired to--sort of like Arizona in the United States. After a life of frugality and saving, they bought a cottage in Llandudno, the town next to Conwy. Their cottage was perched on top of a large hill from which you could see Conwy Castle, the inspiration for the Nancy Bush pattern. Their back garden opened onto a large green pasture (see A.D.D. Knitter, c.1970, pictured above) where local sheep grazed and shepherds trained their work dogs. Working on the pattern I thought about my grandparents and the magical place that they lived and enjoyed revisiting the time that my family spent with them.
Pattern: Conwy from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug
Needles: Size 2 circular
Mods: It seemed entirely appropriate to use a Welsh yarn for this project. Colinette Jitterbug is a dream to knit with--very springy à la STR. I modified the pattern and did it toe-up using the Magic Loop method as I have sworn off cuff-down forevah.
As children my brother and I spent many carefree hours playing behind my grandparents' cottage on the hill. When I was an older adolescent I would take my diary, climb up to the top which was craggy and steep, watch the clouds roll in across the bay and dream about my future. North Wales was pure magic, and as an adult I realize how fortunate I am to have been imprinted by my experiences there. I am curious: What special childhood places have left an indelible impression on you?