What are the reasons I love the Fall and Winter seasons? For one thing, I loved the rhythm of the school year and wish I could have remained a perpetual student: get your syllabus, complete your papers, get a good grade and move on to the next term. I love the Fall because many of my favorite books begin with passages evocative of this time of year. Autumn is also the time when I like to walk in lonely places and imagine I’m in another time, perhaps a medieval wood or harvested field.
So in this post, I am sharing a few quotes from said books, as well as some favorite Autumn pictures I’ve taken, and the crochet projects I’ve completed with a Fall theme.
We’ll start with the crochet. First, I figured out a way to display my crocheted leaves: I made a wreath! This is a traditional idea, but in my 30 some odd years, I’ve never actually constructed one before, so this was a fun project to do. I wish I could say that these were real sticks and vines I twisted together myself, but we’ll just use our imaginations for that.
Secondly, I crocheted an amigurumi candle. “Amigurumi” is basically 3d crochet. It’s when you crochet small objects instead of flat pieces. I thought it would be neat to make a candle and I wanted to use more magical Harry Potter-like colors; not just black and orange. 3d Crochet may seem like an insurmountable task, but actually it’s just a matter of the kind of stitches you make. For me, the cool thing about making this is that I started to understand WHY I am doing certain stitches while crocheting; not just following the pattern. Once you understand why you are doing something, you can begin to see the finished product before it’s actually constructed. For instance, to go 3d, you are basically just crocheting the same amount of stitches on top of each other. If you want to make a flat circle, you have to keep adding stitches, otherwise it won’t lay flat. To make a circle, you would start with 12 stitches, and then in the next round you add 6 stitches to make 18 stitches around the circle, and so on and so forth. But if you keep stitching 12 and 12 and 12 on top of each other, the yarn builds up and begins to grow up instead of out flat, which creates this effect.
NEXT: Here are favorite photos I’ve taken, and Autumn/Wintry quotes from some favorite books. Every one of these passages enticed me to read these stories.
Leaf-fall, 1666 Apple-Picking time
I used to love this season. The wood stacked by the door, the tang of its sap still speaking of forest. The hay made, all golden in the low afternoon light. The rumble of the apples tumbling into the cellar bins. Smells and sights and sounds that said this year it would be all right; there’d be food and warmth for the babies by the time the snows came. I used to love to walk in the apple orchard at this time of the year, to feel the soft give underfoot when I trod on a fallen fruit. Thick, sweet scents of rotting apple and wet wood. This year, the hay stooks are few and the woodpile scant, and neither matters much to me.
– “Year of Wonders” by Geraldine Brooks
Almost the first thing Mr. Dunworthy had said to her that first time she had told him she wanted to go to the Middle Ages was, “They were filthy and disease-ridden, the muck hole of history, and the sooner you get rid of any fairy-tale notions you have about them, the better.” And he was right…But here she was, in a fairy wood. She was lying under an oak tree. She could see a few scalloped leaves in the bare branches high above…The underbrush was thick, a mat of dead leaves and dry weeds that should have been soft but wasn’t…Everything else in the little glade – the tree trunks, the wagon, the ivy – glittered with the frosty condensation of the halo. …Kivrin cried, “Holpen me, for I haf been y-robbed by fel thefes!”…There were trees far to the east…following a river that she could catch occasional silver-blue glimpses of – the Thames? the Cherwell? – and little clumps and lines and blobs of trees dotting all the country between, more trees than she could imagine ever having been in England…And the bells began to ring. The Carfax bell first, and then, before the first stroke had died away, the others, as if they had been waiting for a signal from Oxford. They were ringing vespers, of course, calling the people in from the fields, beckoning them to stop work and come to prayers. And telling her where the villages were. The bells were chiming almost in unison, yet she could hear each one separately, some so distant only the final, deeper echo reached her…The village the cows were heading to was there, behind that low ridge…The bells died away slowly…the sky turned violet-blue, and a star came out in the southeast. Kivrin’s hands were still folded in prayer. “It’s beautiful here.”
The wheels were solid disks as high as Hob himself, and the wood was warped a little and wet with the snow now coming down hard and clinging in patchy lumps to the rims. The main wagon had the aft right wheel fast in a drift, and as Hob added his slight frame to the stamping, cursing struggle to free it, his foot plunged to the ankle in a depression filled with a freezing gruel of snow and mud…A smell of sweat and woodsmoke and rosemary came to him from his left: Molly, her ample well-turned arms, white as mare’s milk, glimmering at the edge of his sight…At his right Jack Brown suddenly found purchase underfoot, scrabbling in ash and ice and pebbles, and Jack’s grunting heave freed the wheel’s lip just enough. The ox trod forward again, steaming like a dragon, and Hob staggered as the wagon sailed away from him…The road wound through the winter woods, upslope and down, the land rumpled and complex, with frequent outcrops of naked rock..Yews, pale slim birch, massive oaks formed a close horizon; the wagons moved between wooden walls. Hob began to feel an unease of spirit, an oppression. He looked left at the slowly passing forest, rightward across the rippling, smoking haunches to the trackside brush and more trees, climbing away to the west. He felt breathless and ill. He felt like a coney in a snare, and he could not tell why.
– “Something Red” by Douglas Nicolas
There is a regular rasp of a blade on a stone as he sharpens the knives. The blade makes a shuddery, tight noise that I feel in my teeth. It’s November, and today is the day that we kill the pig. I am inside the house, bending over the hearth. I lay pieces of dry elm and bark over the embers and they begin to kindle as the fire takes. A warm fungus smell rises up and the logs bubble juices and resin. The fed flames spit and crackle, colored jets hissing out wet. A column of thick smoke pours rapidly up the chimney and out into the sky like a gray liquid into milk. I hang the bellow from the strap and straighten up. Fire makes me feel good. Burning things into ash and nothingness makes my purpose seem clearer.
– The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale