Well it’s Autumn. I have a real fondness for Autumn. I tend to wrap things up in Autumn. For me it’s a time when things just come together, when all of my ideas and ‘works in progress’ come to fruition.
This last week saw a couple of important milestones for me.
On the knitting front, I completed my first (and my very own) Still Light Tunic. I wrote first, because although this project took me a long time to complete (to be fair it took the back seat most of last year as I was so busy knitting away for Christmas fairs), now I need to knit one in all the colours. Yes all the colours, yes, even in salmon pink. Well ok, no. Not quite. But I could do with at least two more Still Light Tunics.
This one, the first of the collection – which may take me a lifetime to complete – is in ox blood …
This tunic has accompanied me in so many places. People who have been anywhere near me for the last couple of years could be forgiven for thinking it was my comfort blanket.
Maybe it was?
All hand knitted garments carry their own stories which are invisible to the seer, and known only to the one who patiently made it. Hours and hours of thoughts, meditations, problems to solve, waiting, longing… Hours of knitting through happy times and sad times, silently weaving in moments and memories into the fabric.
“Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises” – just like Elizabeth Zimmermann said.
I knitted my tunic in size L, using local wool, grown by the sheep from my local biodynamic farm, who graze all year around on the Ashdown Forest, where I live. The sheep are very much a part of the landscape here, as they have shaped the forest for decades now.
The pattern is very straight forward, although I did make it longer in the torso than written, because I wanted mine to be a bit baggy and long. I wanted it to be comfortable, warm and cozy, like a wearable hug. It certainly is just that and I don’t see myself taking it off until late spring now (see? I need a few!)
I had troubles with the sleeves and had to unravel and reknit them as they were too wide at first. Then too tight. But it was worth undoing and redoing (to my friends dismay) as now they are just right. And I have learned so much while knitting this project : I am now a champion in Make 1 Right, Make 1 Left and I can adjust sleeves to fit my personal preferences any time. So every single stitch unravelled was completely worth it!
Yes my precious, the tunic has pocketses! (golum! golum!) – We have been enjoying watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy again. We started with listening to the dramatised BBC audio stories of the Hobbit, then Lord of Rings. And of course we had to move on to watching the films. I wasn’t sure at first, as these orcs and urukai do look very ugly, I was worried Boy might find it too much… But after watching The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, he is now eager to watch Return of the King.
But I digress.
There is a button at the back of the neck… It took me a while to find the one.
After some searching through the tin of buttons that my gran gave me years ago, I found this very special button, which I suspect was forged in the mines of Moria…
There is only one of them in the whole tin. I think it adorns my new tunic perfectly, don’t you?