I am especially pleased when I encounter something knitting related where I least expect it. Walking around the corner and finding a mini-yarn installation, seeing someone knitting in public, coming across a yarn shop accidentally on the way to somewhere else, etc.
This happened most recently as I was reading the novel, Tell, by Frances Itani. Tell is the sequel to France Itani’s award winning novel, Deafening, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2014. The story takes place just after World War I in the small town of Deseronto, Ontario. Knitting shows up in such a natural way in the book that it makes me wonder if Frances Itani is a knitter herself or grew up in a family of knitters. In one scene, two of the characters are having a conversation while the younger one models and the older one measures and counts the rows of a sweater she wants to copy that was knitted by her mother:
“This won’t be difficult,” she said. “I don’t have a pattern, but your Mamo — may her soul rest — designed so many of the clothes she knitted, a pattern won’t exist. I want to knit one for myself, but mine will be a different colour, green, to match my eyes. Let me write down the numbers before I forget.” Tell, by Frances Itani (p.92).
Knitting references aside, I really enjoyed this book, it is quietly written and gives a gentle view of the lives ordinary people after the first world war in small town Ontario, Canada.