The skein in the middle. That’s the one. That’s the blend I’m spinning. 100 of us are knitting together. The Cape. We’ll be doing this for the next year. It’s a hell of a project. Meggie Ryan has designed a Celtic Cape, with symbols in the stitches, stories in the knotwork, a history in the cables. Each of us has a reason for doing this. Even me.
My grandmother, Rosie Quinn, wasn’t 5 feet tall. She wore size 4 shoes. She married an Englishman. She raised 6 kids. Only ever wanted one kid to become a priest or a nun, and even with daily masses at the crack of dawn, she didn’t get her wish. An altar boy. Nice family. The famine never left her. A more frugal woman never lived. She moved from Ireland to Massachusetts right around the turn of the century. When she left Ireland, she left. There were no romantic stories of green fields, of cliffs, of a pastoral life. Just the occasional reference to making soup with an onion and a potato.
Last year, my husband was encouraged to claim his Irish citizenship. His grandmother had been born in County Clare, had changed her name when she arrived in the states in order to become “American,” but the family is still there. Living in Galway now, even though the old land is still in the family.
This year long project wasn’t something I sought out. After hearing of it, I let the thoughts and feelings percolate. Rosie Quinn and Bridget aka Agnes Collins…this cape is for you.