Monday, October 6, 2014

Prairie Sunset

I was shocked!  A few posts back, I showed this selfie of Sis and me doing some touristy stuff.

Marie of Sel & Poivre commented that she liked the sweater I was wearing in the selfie and  had spent quite some time searching  for the sweater on my ravelry project page. She wanted details.    I was shocked to think that anyone would spend their precious, limited time  searching for info about one of my wardrobe  pieces.    I had knit that sweater  long before ravelry existed and have never put it on my project page.  

 Marie's  time spent deserves reciprocity so here is the info about that sweater.

Years ago, I had my eyes opened wide when I received my first copy of Knitters  Forum from The Knitting Guild of Canada.  It was a magazine for knitters.  Although it finished its life as a sophisticated magazine with beautiful, colour  photography it began as a very homespun publication in a  photocopied, black and white, stapled format.    But what it did for me, I'll never be able to explain.   Until that first magazine arrived, I was convinced I was weird, a loner.  No one I knew, knit.   I had no like-minded friends with whom I could talk knitting.  Those not addicted to a hobby cannot understand those of us who are.  Alone with my needles, I knit in solitude and  shared my passion with no one. 

Then,  one day in a local yarn store, I picked up a flyer encouraging knitters to join The Knitting Guild of Canada.  The brain child of  Cindy Nicholls, membership offered the magazine, and not much more that I recall.  I sent off my cheque and waited for my first issue  of Knitters Forum.     Even today, I can still remember the feeling of awe, of finally feeling understood, of thinking - there are people out there just like me  -  that surged through me as I read that first issue.  Thank you Cindy. 

Sadly, eventually the running of the Guild with its magazine, Master Knitting Program and other various and sundry features  became too much for Cindy and she gave up her position.  The TKGC as I knew it,  died.  Today there is a Canadain Guild of Knitters but I still miss Cindy.

Shortly before giving up the Guild, Cindy collaborated with John Little from Brigg & Little Yarns to publish a book of Canadian designs knit with the iconic B&L yarn.  She called for  knitters from across Canada to submit their  designs for the book and Knits From The North Country was the result.
I waited for the book to be published and was first in line at my LYS to purchase it.  I couldn't resist such a treasure of Canadiana.  Some of the patterns  are not at all to my taste but I would have purchased it  even if there wasn't  one pattern I liked.  It tickles my Canadian heart.  

And it was from that book that I chose to knit Prairie Sunset.  It was the Saskatchewan design entry, submitted by Rena Bartsch from Saskatoon Sask.  Rena's original design featured a  coat-length garment but I made mine sweater-length by eliminating a few bands of colour work. 

There are setting suns and  sheaves of wheat cleverly constructed by cabling where the sheaf would be tied together.

There are leaves from a variety of tree types falling just above the two-coloured ribbing.

I cannot say that it was a fun knit, but it is one that I wear with pride every fall.  I can still remember saying to knitting friends - thanks to Cindy, I had some by the time I knit this -  that when I wore this sweater up north at our trailer, I expected that  "all the eyes, in all the heads, of all the women, on all the decks, of all the trailers  would turn as one when I walked by and exclaim -
 what a beautiful sweater."   I believe they still do.  

Thanks for your search, Marie. It is good to bring this design, the book and Cindy into the spotlight once again.

1 comment:

Needles said...

When I first worked at the yarn store, there was a lone copy of the book in stock. i did not move fast enough to purchase it, and I have regretted it since and will forever. Someday I will find a copy.