September 1, 2017

A 2011 Cabernet Franc, from Seven Stones Winery in Cawston, a chocolate truffle from Chocoliro in Armstrong, followed a garden dinner of perfect tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, and boccincino cheese swimming in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. A dinner to consider this end of summer.
The heat still resonates, the smoke ebbs and floes, the earth sits waiting for the eventual rain, and tomorrow I will swim naked in the rays of a full moon.
Flooding, heat, fire, cleansing, fire, meteor crashing through the atmosphere, fire, smoke, eclipse, fire, heat, smoke, cleanse. These are the themes of this summer.
This weekend while the IPE celebrated Farm to Table, we celebrated the knitters and the crocheters in the valley. My sister Jane ‘manned’ a table near the displays meeting the amazing crafters and makers. I am so blessed to be in a business where people explore their passions through the creation of beautiful fibre.
Saturday morning I woke with yarn dreams facilitated by Stephen West. He is coming to KnitCity in Vancouver at the end of the month and I have been looking at some of his designs. So with that in mind after a very hot day at the IPE I sat in the Twisted Purl and imaged the summer we have just experienced. Fire, smoke, sun, darkness, challenges, transitions, water, smoke, came in colours as I perused the shelves in the store.  Sea Turtle Yarn, Noro, an Unkown from my ‘collection’, and Noro once again. I began feeling the colours, fire, flood, fire, smoke, fire, eclipse, water, garden green, fire, water, the brown bark of the pine trees, fire, smoke, they knitted off the needles into a shawl form, undisciplined, unusual, just like this hot sweltering summer has been. I sat knitting unable to put the shawl down and the yarn and colours expressed themselves.

Charlotte Brontes, Jane Eyre had a similar affect on me this summer. I dove into the book and found myself unable to do anything else but to inhabit this 200 year old novel. Each word enticed and the characters and their endless flaws drew me towards a deeper understanding of our human ability to create the life we want even though all may be lost in the fire, smoke, flood and heat of a particular summer day.
All is not lost of course, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, onions, garlic, herbs, beets, have all continued to flourish in this amazing summer of heat. I slice the beefsteak tomatoes so that they can fill the whole slice of bread, spread them with basil pesto then carefully place a poached egg on top to make my mornings divine. I roast the tomatoes with onions and garlic and rosemary, slowly, until they dissolve into a perfect red mush, ready for those winter pizzas. Plums, and early apples fall to the touch. Mulberries squish deep red on your fingers becoming lickable. Grant delivers Chinook salmon caught in the depths of the ocean off Nootka Island. This is the life that I imagine as the fire, flood, smoke, fire, smoke continues to make its way into my life.
Tonight I will finish the shawl with a beautiful grey smokey Noro yarn I bought in 2011 when we moved here to the Okanagan. I have attempted a couple of sweaters with this yarn and it has never materialized. Tonight this beautiful smokey yarn finds its place in my “Summer Shawl”.

I hope you all had a great summer and remember the life you really imagined and allow it to be there when the flood, smoke and fire clear.

Here’s to an amazing Fall.
Love Kathleen


Our Summer Shawl pattern was inspired by Stephen Wests’s Hellik pattern found in the book Wool Journey, Patterns and Places a Knitter’s Travel Guide. Like a good book with great characters, knitting this shawl was like the end of summer, wishing for the end of the heat yet not really wanting the cold to arrive.  I am looking forward to Stephen West’s workshop at Knit City, who else is going to be there?

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