Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cable Fable

The meaning of cable knit patterns.

Once there was a shepherdess who was betrothed to a fisherman. The shepherdess loved her fisherman better than well.

Though she had lived just a hill away from the ocean all her life, she feared the sea. Not for her, the foamy waves and salty spray. She loved the wind gently moving in the green grass and the peaceful sounds of her flock grazing. Each time her beloved braved the waves her heart pounded with the fear that he would never return. She would stand on her hilltop and look out to the vastness of the sea, squinting to see any sign of storm or rough seas. Hoping King Neptune was in good spirits that day.

The shepherdess decided that she needed something to keep her fisherman safe. She spun a fleece of oily wool, full of lanolin that softened her hands as the wool twisted through her fingers. As she sat on the hill and tended her flock, she knitted her fisherman a jumper. Within each stitch she entwined her love and into the pattern she imbued a magic charm.

The honeycomb pattern was to remind her fisherman to continue to be hard working, like the bee. The basket stitch was a wish for a full catch every day and the diamonds were to bring wealth and prosperity to them both. The long cable that grew the length of the jersey was to represent the strength of the ropes on his boat and the strength of the ties that bound them together.

When her fisherman pulled the charmed jumper over his head, he instantly felt strong and safe. His smile beamed at the clever shepherdess and his heart swelled with love for her. He stood tall and proud in his special patterned jumper unlike any other. The fisherman wore the jumper out to sea each day. He worked hard like a bee, his baskets burst with fish, he prospered well, the ropes of his boat were strong and so were the ties that bound him to his shepherdess.

Then one day, as has to happen every once in a while, a storm brewed while the fisherman was out on the ocean waves.  The shepherdess watched her sheep and could see they were distressed and sensed a storm coming. She walked to the top of the hill and looked out to sea. There on the horizon was darkness and squall.  As the storm rolled in she ran to the shore, calling to her beloved.

The winds picked up and the skies darkened and closed in like the weight of guilt on a soul.  The boat was no match for the temper of the King Neptune.  It was thrown this way and that until it cracked and split while the dark sky split and rained down hard. The fisherman and his crew were tossed out into the raging sea where it was impossible to stay afloat.

On the sea bed King Neptune eyed the newcomers that had succumbed to his wrath. He saw the fisherman in his jumper of twists and patterns. Even King Neptune himself could sense the magic of the pattern, could read the language of charm and love twisted into each knit and purl. He read in the jumper of the fisherman’s hard work. He saw in the pattern the hope for prosperity in the fisherman’s heart. King Neptune saw the lengths of cables and understood the binds of love that tied the fisherman.  It was a magic charm he couldn’t resist.

The shepherdess ran along the pebbly shore in the dark rain. She found her fisherman wet and gasping for breath but safe. Safe within the magic charm of her knitted love.

Stay tuned to see how the sister outlaws can breathe new life into charmed old cable knit jumpers!
posted by sister outlaw Julianne

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