Thursday, December 18, 2008
Join us for a Safe Return on January 10th!
On Saturday, January 10th (2pm), we will be discussing the novel Safe Return by Catherine Dexter. The story, based on historical events, takes place in 1824 on the tiny island of Gotland off the coast of Sweden.
Booklist review calls it "a spare drama of people waiting for a ship to come home. The story is told with simple beauty in the voice of 11-year-old orphan Ursula. Her beloved aunt is one of the women who sailed to Stockholm to sell the island's sweaters, which were knitted by everyone--men, women, and children--from the wool of the local sheep. There are storms at sea, and the ship is late returning. An outsider on the island, Ursula has never been able to learn to knit, but while she scans the horizon and hears the wind, she gets out her knotted mess of wool and painstakingly teaches herself to knit those rows in a pattern of waves. The knitting metaphor is rooted in a very real craft of needles, stitches, and yarn. As the days and weeks pass, readers will feel the dark dread of Ursula's waiting and her effort to knit a pattern and make a miracle."
Check out the official tourist website for Gotland for a quick overview of the history and culture of this interesting island.
Read this blogger's experiences in a Gotland knitting symposium here.
Knitting and wool crafts are still popular in Gotland. Beautiful photos here.