Thank you very much for sharing our walk with me yesterday. It was really a very magical day. By nine a.m. all of the original morning snow was gone and the sun was shining as if there had never been a cloud (or a snowflake) in the sky. But then, later in the afternoon, the whole thing started up again: Tiny flurries buzzed the yard, and then larger flakes started to fall and stick, and then a full-blown snow squall enveloped our neighborhood. Clover and I sat on the sofa and watched from the window; it was like being in a snowglobe.
Oh, how my heart twirled! It lasted maybe another hour. All the little girls across the street came out and threw snowballs at each other and chased each other through the yards. They reminded me of squirrels, playing up and down the oak trunks, wild in their delight. It was the lovliest of days. I really don't think I'll ever forget it.
I finished this dress last month and for some reason just never got around to posting about it. Apparently I was waiting for a fairy-tale snow to come and enchant me with its charms; the entire time I was working on the dress it seemed like a fairy-tale dress. When I finished it I was simply flabbergasted that I was able to make something like this. It felt conjured more than knitted, though I knew that there were parts of it that had been so hard, where I'd had to rip out and redo more than once, where every stitch was hard-won and utterly prosaic. But I couldn't remember where those parts were (and I definitely can't remember now). (Lord, please let that be a metaphor.) I just sat and looked at it for a whole night. I kept shaking my head. Really? How did I do that? Since I don't even really know how to knit?
That's sort of what I've been telling myself all these years, anyway. Knitting was so hard for me, and came so un-easily to me, that even though I've been able to knit and purl more or less without complication since about 1999 (I started trying to learn back in 1994 or so), I still never really think of myself as someone who can knit. I know that's strange, and not meant to sound falsely modest, but it's true. That is my perception. A year ago I wrote the story of how I eventually learned to knit. I think it is one of a small handful of things I've written in my life that help me tell the story of myself to myself. Eventually I will amend it to include what knitting has meant to me this past year. This dress will figure into that part of the story, how the whistling work of these days and their many stitches gave us hope and happiness. And confidence, when it was sorely needed. When I finished the dress, I hung it on the wall next to the sparkly lights on my side of our bed and we looked at it for a long time. For someone who doesn't know how to knit, I will admit that I felt very proud.
*For those who have asked, you can buy a kit for the dress from the US yarn distributor here. I bought the kit but didn't use the recommended yarn. Unfortunately I don't know if the pattern is available on its own; I have called Isager to see if it is and have not heard back. I am sorry but that's the best I can do, as this is just something I knit for myself and is not my original pattern to distribute or otherwise make available. You will have to contact Isager with any questions about the Clara dress pattern. Thank you for understanding.
**Update, 1/4/2014: The pattern is now available here: http://www.yarncupboard.com/shop/clara-dress-pattern