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Memory Knit
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Memory Knit

I have talked about this subject before, and I know that many of you also experience this phenomenon as you are knitting a project:  the setting, the sights, the smells, the sounds – everything that happens around you as you are knitting becomes a part of the project.  A heightened sense of awareness – and subsequently you knit these memories into your project.  The project becomes a time capsule.

Sometimes the stitches take on the physical manifestation:  too loose or too tight because of how we are feeling at any given moment.  We knit through pain and we knit through joy.  We knit en route to a destination, or in a favorite location in our home.  We knit with others or alone with our thoughts.

My Aftur sweater will forever be remembered in my mind as my “Alabama” sweater.  I knit this project while Kris and I drove to visit my family in Alabama – hours of riding in the car, and then photos of the finished sweater after a Thanksgiving meal at my uncle’s cabin in the woods.  The love for my family is built into that sweater.  Perhaps that is why it remains one of my favorite knits.  My Verona shawl evokes these same strong emotions.

Forrest Pulli Progress

I started my Forrest Pulli on the plane ride to Seattle – back on March 11th.   The pattern is simple:  a v-neck pullover from Rebecca #33 knit in Kraemer Tatamy Tweed.  I saw it as a good piece for transitional weather – and the perfect thing to wear to and from yoga classes when I didn’t want a jacket.  With the long plane rides to and from, and all of the knitting I did there in Seattle, this project is nearly complete.  I wanted to get at least one blog post about it before I showed you a finished sweater!

Forrest Pulli Progress

This pullover is only 11 days old and it is already filled with memories…

Humor: …eavesdropping on the people in front of me on the plane:  “Bar none, best salad I have ever had!” (The guy said “bar none, best ___ I ever had” about five times)

Solitude and Quiet: Sitting in Jenna’s kitchen in the early morning hours knitting and purling.  I didn’t adjust to the time change well, so I was up super early each morning.  It gave me plenty of time to knit!

Joy and Contentment: Driving around the Olympic Peninsula in Jenna’s car.  Being with my best friends: Kris and Jenna.  Singing along to the music (our trio singalong of Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and Flight of the Conchords) and laughing at silly stories.


(sidenote:  look at all of our handknits! :) )

Overwhelming Beauty: The Olympic Peninsula of Washington truly took my breath away.  This one day will live in my mind for a long time.  I saw amazing sights and I was with amazing people.

Kris and Jenna on the Beach

Jenna Exploring

[My Full Seattle/Olympic Peninsula Photo Set Here]

More Humor: You may recall my little fascination with vampire novels late last year.  Guilty pleasures and harmless fun.  As we drove through the forests of the Olympic Peninsula, we made it to Forks, Washington.  If you are familiar with the Twilight books, Forks is the setting of these vampire stories.  As we came upon the small town, I put down my knitting and I asked Kris and Jenna if we could stop to get some photos… neither of them have read the books (and they say they have no desire to) but they obliged and stopped the car for a photo at the city limits:

Oh Forks!

Oh Forks.  You knew not what you wrought.  Or what that author wrought upon you when she chose Forks as the setting of the books.  At least the small town has gotten an economic boost.  I actually had to wait in line to get this photo – right after the “Dazzled by Twlight tour bus pulled away!  We stopped in Forks for some liquid refreshment and ogled a bit:  we saw signs everywhere that mentioned the characters of the book.

  • At the local inn:  “Edward did NOT sleep here.”  heh
  • At a souvenir shop:  “When you live forever, what do you live for?  Duh-shopping!”  (I just had to shake my head at this one… marketing geniuses, these people.)
  • At the bakery and the coffee shop,  themed foods and drinks:  Twilight coffee blend (special dark) and “Bella Berry” muffins.

We just had to laugh at the hilarity of it all.  We didn’t spot any sparkly vampires or werewolves (I was looking!) but we had a lot of fun making jokes and just enjoying the experience.


As I finish my pullover – second sleeve underway! – these memories stay with me.  Fresh in my mind.   These memories are a part of the fabric of this project.  Each time I wear this sweater, I will think of these things.   Making me smile and bringing warmth.

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50 Responses

  1. Emily

    Wow, what a fun trip. It looks like a beautiful place to go. My friend actually went to Forks this summer on her trip to Washington. She has tons of pictures like yours, she actually bought me a shirt there with a big set of vampire teeth on it.

  2. Gudrun

    This is one of the things I love so much about each knitted piece I create…the memories behind each one, the places it may have traveled and the things it has overheard….. and if it is a gift, the love that has gone into it and the time taken to think about that recipient….

    Can’t wait to see the FO shots of this truly gorgeous looking sweater…..you pick the best colours!

  3. Kala

    Your sweater is looking gorgeous, I looooove Tatamy Tweed!

  4. Jennifer

    Very cute. I didn’t know there was a real Forks. How fun. I bet the bars have a good Bloody Mary. Great photos. Great sports to stop at Forks for a bit of fun. I can hardly wait for my Netflix Twilight DVD to arrive. I haven’t seen it yet. Sigh.

  5. Sarah

    You went to Forks! That is fabulous! I should so not be surprised that they already have a Twilight tour thing set up.

  6. caroline

    Coincidentally, I’m working on an “Alabama sweater” right now– I’m in Mobile for 3 weeks and I’m trying to make some headway on a cardigan I started early this year.

  7. Aponi

    I went to Forks before it became famous – LOL! So glad you had the grand tour while you were out here – I’m going to go snoop at your photos now!

  8. Liz U

    I have the same feeling, even for the same peninsula. I could very happily live the whole of my life there.

    I’m working on Anne Hanson’s Irtfa’a, in Malabrigo lace hummingbird, which I got as souvenir yarn when I went out to Seattle last summer.

    The pictures make me wistful and want to be back on the West Coast. Thanks for sharing!

  9. lauren

    You crack me up with that Forks picture. And yes – Neutral Milk Hotel! – I am singing along with ya, at the top of my lungs!

  10. Rebecca

    That is the BAR NONE best sweater ever!

    It was great meeting up with you, Kris, Jenna and Laura here in Seattle. I think the dinner at Cedars was one of my best ever.

    I’ve been busy petting my yarn and thinking about what to knit with it.

    It was wonderful meeting up with you and I hope to see you again soon.

  11. Valerie

    What beautiful thoughts and memories to put into your knitting. I can’t wait to see the finished project. I’m also glad to hear that you had so much fun on you trip!

  12. Josiane

    The fabric of your sweater is beautiful, and for so many reasons!

  13. Leslie

    Great post! Remember I wrote a piece that will appear on the back page of the summer issue of IK? It has many of these same themes… Can’t wait to see your finished sweater. Glad you enjoyed another trip out west. Hope you’ll be back in SF soon. :)

  14. Kim

    Pretty sweater! Oh “Twilight”…I’m a 5th grade teacher, and my students, boys and girls alike, are all mad for it. I saw the movie and read book 1, liked it well enough, but prefer Sookie Stackhouse as my silly vampire heroine.

  15. Lisa

    I came last to the Twilight madness, not reading the books until shortly before the movie came out. Both the books and the movie were fun things to bond with my 12-yr-old daughter over, though. How fun that you got to stop in Forks! :)

    Your sweater looks lovely! Such a pretty green. :)

  16. Estella

    Love your sweater – the color is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing the bit on Forks – I read the whole series (as did my 11 year old) and will have to show her your picture from Forks.

    I sometimes name my projects based on what was happening in my life or where I was. It is amazing how you can put yourself, your place, your heart and mind in the item you are knitting.

  17. emy

    The fabric is very interesting! Can’t wait to see it modelled!

  18. felinemagnet

    Very evocative post about emotions and knitting. I have just started a simple shawl (stockinette and garter) to calm the stress I am going through and it is the best therapy I could be doing. The simplicity is just the right thing now. Plus, I am using Kureyon Sock so seeing the colors emerge is very soothing.

  19. knittingnurse

    Aaah, yes, knitting and it’s emotional connections. So so true.

    BTW, I dub your Forrest Pulli the “Jacob’s Forrest” Pulli. Appropriate, don’tcha think?

  20. Faith

    I just blocked a Hemlock Ring blanket that I had completed knitting last year. When I blocked it last week, the smell of the wool and the feeling of the fabric brought me right back to the weeks I spent knitting it while traveling in Italy. I love the way knitting carries our memories with it — especially when they’re good ones. :)

    Love the tweed of your Forrest Puli. Can’t wait to see it complete! I’m pretty sure I’ll never tire of tweed; it’s so timeless.

  21. winnie

    I loved this post! Yes I recalled your vampire novel kick and suffice to say that I’ve been on the same kick myself. I couldn’t help but laugh at Jennifer’s comments about Fork’s having really awesome Bloody Mary’s… your post made my Monday so much better.

    *Say it…say it out loud…* LoL.

  22. katie m.

    What a gorgeous sweater! The color alone is so perfect for conjuring up the Olympic Peninsula — never have I seen so many greens. Thanks, too, for posting on your trip. It is always especially wonderful to see one’s own home refracted through the eyes of an engaged (and engaging) visitor. Now, of course, I’m a bit homesick.

  23. Ingrid

    Cute. I love this entry. All of my knits have so many memories — usually relating to music or places I visited whilst knitting.

  24. CC

    What a great post! Yarn, good friends, great memories, food and vampires–who could ask for more?

  25. Lin

    Such a lovely trip, the yarn you used for the sweater looks a beautiful colour. I hav etried to think of a memory knit that I have, it was a lace shawl in France, quiet evenings and nothing to do but knit, bliss!

  26. Amy

    It’s so fun to see my home state through someone else’s eyes. It reawakens my appreciation of this beautiful place. Wonderful photos, Lolly!

    I love your forest pulli–those colors are amazing!

  27. Stephanie

    I love that color and I can’t wait to see the finished sweater.

  28. Erin

    What a beautiful post. I love the concept that our experiences are knit into our projects.

  29. Misty

    Because of you, I read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series in a two or three-week time period a couple months ago. And now I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment in May. May! That’s too long to wait!

    So far I’ve held off from the Twilight fray. We’ll see…

    I’m glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  30. little_lj

    Oh, it’s all so true. Even though I am just starting out knitting, I can see exactly what you’re talking about here. Just another reason to love what we do :o )

  31. Jenna

    I don’t have words to respond to this, just a lovely feeling of well-being :) I can’t wait until you come back.

  32. tiennie

    Now you know why I love this area and won’t ever move away! I love the beauty of the Pacific Northwest!

  33. Bossygirln

    I don’t know which I enjoy more, your knitting, your yoga journey, or your travel posts. Thanks for your delightful writing and great photos…

  34. Kristin

    That jumper looks fantastic – I LOVE the colour. Can’t wait to see the finished version.

  35. Amanda Cathleen

    so true! Memories are knit into the fabric, same with where the yarn was purchased too. Love the color that you picked out for your sweater!
    Sounds, and looks like a great trip! I haven’t read the twilight books, probably won’t. However the name of that town has me gigling, Forks? hehehehhe!

  36. Teresa

    I am not in on all this ‘Twlight’ hype, but your story made me smile! It sounds like a good time. Pullover color is gorgeous, and I like the pic of you all in the car!

  37. Marn

    A line to take a pic next to the city sign, too funny.
    I love the yarn used for your forest pulli, very pretty

  38. Margarita

    Hello Lolly! I have loved your post. The picture of the three of you smiling and singing in the car is just fabulous! I am really glad for you!! I saw the picture of Jenna with the scarf. Wonderful picture and lovely scarf. Take care and thanks for everything

  39. Nicole

    What a great post, Lolly! I love it when you bring us along on one of your adventures. And the sweater looks so lovely!

  40. meg (kiss my style)

    Love your traveling pics – your knits are always beautiful. I love having pieces attached to good memories too, makes them uber yummy!

  41. mramichael

    what a great post.
    on a silly note, as soon as i saw the section about driving around the Olympic Peninsula, i thought to myself, hmmm, i wonder if Lolly went to Forks, because i definitely would… ;)

  42. Leslie

    Thanks for visiting my humble little blog…I just updated it with some thoughts of Cuba, finally. I so enjoy your blog for insight and inspiration and Rav of course for your beautiful knitting!

  43. Stacey

    I don’t travel much, but whenever I do, I bring knitting, of course. And I forever think of that trip when I see the finished item. Knitting *is* like a time capsule!

    And Forks? Hee. I totally want to go there…mostly to see all the little things you mentioned. How even the coffee shop got on board with Bella themed muffins. Funny.

  44. Sarah

    My husband, who worked at Olympic National Park, said “Seriously, that book is set in Forks? Who would even want to go to Forks?”

    I’m totally with you on the memory knitting – I also experience the same things with music and books. Love the yarn you’ve used on your sweater, just gorgeous!

  45. Rachel

    Lovely post! While I don’t comment as much as I should (I don’t know how you do it–you take so much time to offer support to so many in this community!), your knits and your blog really are a huge inspiration for me. Not just your choices in pattern, colors etc, and the skill you display with the execution. But because I can see the love and the heart and soul that goes into each and every knit. Truly inspirational.

    So glad you enjoyed our corner of the world (though I’m on the dry side!)…it’s just beautiful and you captured it well in these posts through your words and photography. And so funny you took a picture of the Forks sign…I worked on a project with the local Native American tribe there for a few years and spent a couple weeks a year catching elk. It’s nice to hear that the book (I haven’t read them so had no idea the setting) revived some of the economy of that town. As with many of the logging-based communities out here, it needed it!

  46. Anna

    Beautiful post. The memories knitted into some projects are what make them so, so special to wear for me.

  47. jana

    So I am not a totally odd duck! I listen to books on tape while I knit sometimes and tend to associate a sock with a particular story. Happens when I am painting walls also!

  48. Jodi

    Love your blog. My knitting memory: a Jr. High Home Economics class slipper with pom-pom, in which the teacher told me it was horrible and messy – how I so remember that day! So, I did not knit the second one and received an F. You really have inspired my daughter (Gabi) and I to be more than “knitter posers”! We can knit a basic stitch. Also, your coastal photos remind me we to drive out there with our kids. We haven’t seen the Washington ocean since we camped there, near the Hoh rainforest (almost 18 years ago!), just before I gave birth to our son. As Seattlites, we should be ashamed! Gabi would love to see Forks, too, as she has read all the Twilight books.

  49. Prairie Girl

    Oh this is so true – the when and the where.

    I enjoyed reading about your trip – lovely pictures! You have me yearning for a trip to the West Coast :)

  50. Péitseoga

    i haven’t read the books myself, but know several girls hooked on them! am contemplating the sookie stackhouse series myself, but at the moment it takes me weeks to finish a book, never mind a whole series!

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