I named a sweater!

When Gudrun Johnston posted a project to her Ravelry page with the title “Not Named Yet”, I fired off a message, certain I had a good name for her.  Gudrun is one of my favourite designers. (You’ve probably knit her Crofter’s Cowl and poured over her work in both knitty.com and Twist Collective.)  She mixes classic designs with interesting details, turning traditional patterns into fashion-forward must-haves.

Her pattern names have a Scottish flair.  I just happen to know one good Scottish name: Kerrera, a tiny island off the west coast of Scotland.  Rainer and I spent 10 days hiking in Scotland early in our marriage, having a wee bit of free time in May before we settled into his parents’ house to earn money at our factory summer jobs in Germany.  We camped near the shore one night and watched the sun set over Kerrera.  The next morning we rode the ferry over and spent the day feeling alone and in love.  A long, narrow island with hardly any people to be seen.  A ruined tower overlooking the sea.  The texture of the hills. A month later we discovered I was pregnant, and it shouldn’t surprise you that we thought the melodic name of “Kerrera” would make an excellent middle name.

And now it is an excellent cardigan.

Kerrera Hoodie

I love the details on this one…the architectural lines, the mix of simplicity with interest, the slanted pockets.  It’s knitted in one piece and in that uber-versatile worsted weight. Clearly I’m knitting it for Sandra; to fail to knit it for its namesake would be egregious.  I like it enough to think that I’d want to choose to knit it a second time in a very different yarn for myself.

The connections between Gudrun’s family and mine extend beyond this, in that odd way the internet has of extending lines across geography in our imaginations: she also homeschools; her son also has fabulous, exuberant hair, and I’m reading the excellent novel written by her husband. Acacia is a good read, one I’d describe as mythic rather than as fantasy.

Knit on, friends.


11 thoughts on “I named a sweater!

  1. Kim says:

    What a beautiful sweater! Thank you for bringing it to my attention, as well as introducing me to “Acacia” which looks like a good read!

    I love Scotland. My husband and I walked the Great Glen Way, across the central highlands a few years back. It was a most magical time.

  2. Charity says:

    Beautiful story, and how very exciting!! My family is from the Isle of Skye, and I long to visit and walk there one day…

    Off to check out this fabulous hoodie pattern now!

  3. Gudrun says:

    Thanks again for the great story behind the name….wasn’t sure if I should post it in detail on my blog…..but now you have …so that’s fine!
    I’ll be trying to visit this island on my next trip to Scotland (don’t think I’ll fit in this time)!

    Oh…..Sage doesn’t have his long locks anymore…he requested a cut…I’m sure they’ll be back before long though!

  4. Ann says:

    I spent one of the wettest days of my life hiking on Kerrera. But it was fun nevertheless. The ‘ferry’ was a bit of an adventure too, we were practically stacked between the bread and postal bags.
    Your story is lovely!

  5. Julia says:

    Hey I know Gudrun too, and her fabulous cardigan! (no, I’m not that Julia–that’s my best friend all over Gudrun’s website)
    Now I’m so pleased to have found your blog. It’s lovely.

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