The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows inspired my knitting this week. This book is entirely composed of letters between a writer named Juliet and the people of Guernsey, a small island off the coast of England that the Germans occupied during WWII. The book club they formed during the war gave them the strength to get through it.
This video of one of the authors, Annie Barrows, is a great introduction to the novel.
As for the knitting, I decided to begin a guernsey (or gansey) sweater for Pete. These sweaters originated in the very island the book describes. These garments were ideal for the fishermen of Guernsey because wool naturally repells the sea spray and keeps the wearer warm even when wet. Many have elaborate cable patterns that are passed down from generation to generation. I chose to make a plain stockinette sweater because of Pete's preference for simpler clothing.
My beginning here is an Elizabeth Zimmermann-esque swatch cap. I've always slogged through swatches, but knowing that this will be a functional piece has kept me going.