Long ago and Far away

I sit in the window of my small cottage, the children have long since gone to bed.  In the quiet evening and by candlelight I knit my husband’s gansey.  My husband is a fisherman and every day he goes out to sea and ply’s his nets to provide for his family.  The seas are often rough and cold.  But he knows that this sweater will provide him with warmth and comfort, which gives me great joy.  He is late tonight so I patiently watch and knit away the hour till his return for the seas are rough this night and I might be waiting along time.


I first learned to knit as a small child at my mother’s knee.  I made many sweaters for my brother as I too came from a family of fisherman.  We always used a dark navy woolen spun 5ply yarn.  This yarn is a very dense yarn, which resists strong sunshine, salt water, sea air and biting winds.  The designs were passed down to me by my mother.  My hands now remember the designs so the knitting moves along at a fast pace.


When my husband asked for my hand in marriage, I set to knitting him a special gansey for our wedding day.  I used the designs from our family as well as from his family designs.  I also knit my initials in the underarm gussets and his initials on the bottom of his sweater.  My boys already have their little gansey’s to keep them warm while they are out helping their father with the boat.  I am teaching my little daughter, just turned four, to knit the family designs.


The candlelight is low and my needles whisper the same rhythm of the ages.  The wind howls and the sea breaks upon the shore; my husband will be home soon.