Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Wishing Thread

It is October and the days are getting shorter - time to lit some candles, cuddle up on the couch with a blanket and read some more books. My ceramic Jack O'Lantern is lit up and reminds me that it is spooky month as Halloween is coming. A book with superstition and knitting, The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen was just what I needed, as my health keeps me at home more than usual at the moment.

There were so many words on every piece of paper, tiny words made of tiny little letters, one running into the other. If she could unwind all the words out into a long, single thread, they would reach arounf the building and back again.  She could knit them into a sweater.

Tarrytown, New York is not the ordinary city. Superstition or magic is afoot - albeit some called it a hoax and others a blessing - but minds are colored by the fact that Sleepy Hollow is the neighboring city and tales about the Headless Horseman are still being passed on to the young generations.

The Stitchery is a yarn shop especially known for the knitted creations that contains knitted wishes, all knitted by the generations of Van Rippers women. When Mariah Van Ripper dies, it is up to her three nieces Aubrey, Bitty and Meggie to continue years of traditions handed down from the family's matriarchs through times. It turns out to be quite a challenge, as they are all different and from the outside only the knitting skills and family name unites them: Aubrey being the shy one who has always stayed in Tarrytown, Bitty the mum of two who wants to away a normal life far away from magic and Meggie, the family's nomad that left the Stitchery in search for their long lost mum.

One can almost smell the autumn in the area along the Hudson River, see the Victorian style old houses - wishing one could find a bench in the city of Tarrytown, sit down with one's knitting and a hot cup of something pumpkin spiced and dressed in a nice, cozy thick knitted sweater.. The knitting magic reminds me a little bit of Sally Owens magic skin creams and the nomad sister of Gillian Owens in the movie Practical Magic - and then again very different from the movie. A good cozy read.

My little heart skipped some beats, when I eyed a reference to a H.C. Anderson fairy tale - I have always loved his fairy tales as they were not only meant for children but a short story with a morale for their parents too. It is not often one spot a reference to his works in non-Danish literature as many finds his tales a little to dark.

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