We talk a lot about the weather here in the Berkshires, because, I believe, it's somewhat unique. There's a saying about how predictable the weather is here in it's unpredictability and whatever you have at the moment, it will be different in 10 minutes. So far this has proven to be true. Big picture, the seasons change, and dramatically and fast, but in a single day you can have any range of combos.. Whatever the weather, or the season I'm still in awe of the never ending beauty of the Berkshires, and surprise myself that I don't miss the West Coast in the slightest. My extended family descended upon my house for the Thanksgiving holiday which was truly a joy. My stepbrother kept a fire going in the fireplace the entire length of his stay. It was nice to be able to share a sliver of my new life with those I'm closest to. It seems it went well as everyone swore that Thanksgiving in the Berkshires was to be the tradition going forward.
Since my move I've been plagued with a series of never ending minor injuries, but I think I've worked mostly through the pinched nerve in my elbow that prevented me from knitting more than a few stitches at a time for near on 8 months. The broken toe is healed, trigger thumb is dormant, and the list goes on. So since I"m the picture of (almost) health, and snow is on the ground it's time to go skiing! I have a lifetime of downhill skiing in my background but I packed it in when I first adopted Freia as the cost of putting her into daycare, the lift ticket and the time away from my rapidly growing business put a damper on the whole thing. To add to that we don't have the best luck when it comes to skiing injuries in my family (from broken bones, back and knee injuries to TBI) it seemed maybe best to play it safe for a while. So now I"m in the land of cross country skiing and that's way more my speed I think at this point. First time in perhaps 40 years on cross country skis yesterday and it was good. I'm a bit bruised (what did I say about ski injuries?) but hooked. That changeable weather just needs to do it's thing and dump more snow.
Now that I'm finally able to knit again I've been able to finish up and publish a pattern that holds great personal meaning for me. I've called it Forever Together as it truly is an homage to Freia and Cody. I never understood how people could find knitting to be healing or cathartic. When my father died last year I put my needles down entirely for months. After a bit I dabbled here and there, making a sample or two. Then Freia got sick, and Cody got sick and everything went pear shaped, and this time the design poured out of me. When she died, after the initial shock, it was all I could do, just narrow my focus and make one stitch at a time, one step at a time, finding a way through the heartbreak and loss. The world could have crumbled around me and I never would have noticed as my own world had been shattered to its very core. It was only when I was well into the design that I saw that it was an allegory of Freia and Cody's lives. Freia was complex, challenging, dominant and beautiful, Cody was perhaps simple, suffering deep anxiety, though completely normal with me, entirely dysfunctional with anyone else. Freia accepted him unconditionally and took care of him, kept him safe until he learned to feel safe. She protected him, taught him all her good and bad habits, and he tormented her with his pranks. They were inseparable. So this shawl tells their story; over time Freia grew older, less forceful and Cody filled in that space, keeping the two of them as a complete whole and in balance. Now it's almost a year since Freia died and as I write this my eyes well with tears. After she passed Cody had 3 months of being the bravest scared dog the world has known, until the time the cancer took him too. Rosie came to me a few days later, also from Chessie Rescue and promptly rescued me as I rescued her. A portion of the sale of each copy of the Forever Together pattern will be donated to American Chesapeake Bay Retriever Club so they can continue rescuing these great crazy, stubborn, difficult and smart American dogs.
ABout Tina Whitmore
Yarn Dyer, Designer, Dog Lover, in no particular order.. Founded Knitwhits in 2003, and Freia Fine Handpaints in 2010, introducing gradient yarn to knitting stores worldwide. Creating a life of Hygge: warmth, comfort, color, texture, design, nature.