This is the time when everything drops into the earth. In spring there is an upward movement all around one, with a lift in plants and trees. Now it is the time of weight, when seed pod and berry, fruit and leaf fall and return to the earth. It is truly the Fall, a lovelier word for this season than autumn.
Clare Leighton, Four Hedges (Little Toller Books: Stamford, 2010), p107.
Seedpods decorate the wayside and gardens with an Orient of riches. They sit atop long stems and, weighing more than the leaves, rise to a certain architectural beauty. Dry brown purses, spindly candelabras, round pepper shakers and round-hipped cups; with one thwack they scatter seeds higgledy-piggledy, sprinkling a chaotic hoard on the ground beside each plant.
Don't you think the dried-up flowers and chattery pods of some plants look almost unworldly? Queen Anne's lace pods look like ethereal birds' nests when they are closed. Asters form fluffy pods and dandelion clocks full moons of silky parachutes. Autumn may be the season during which everything falls to the ground, transformed with time into decaying matter, but dandelion seeds, with one puff, become windborne, propelled into a floating trance which I almost envy; a far cry from the squashed damsons and decaying quinces I tread into the sodden pathway on my daily walks with Gaspard.
It was time to create something for the eldest daughter of the household (our feisty youngest is very well served in the knitted garment department) and the beautiful cowl pattern, Dandelion Days, won instant favour with Héloïse. Not in the lustrous yellow of the original pattern however but in the colour of dandelion clocks. It is a perfect pattern with four eighteen row repeats, once the eyelet edging is completed, each row divided into twelve clusters of sixteen stitches. A perfect balance between varied and meditative knitting.
My Ravelry notes for Dandelion Clocks may be found here.
On a fraught day of university application deadlines during those first cold-ridden days of half-term (I can truthfully say that the final year of Baccalauréat preparation in France is intensive and exhausting) we grabbed an hour to be outside in the waning sunshine. Both mother and daughter were pale and a little on edge - it was one of those days - but Héloïse graciously succeeded in shaking off a day's accumulation of tension infront of the eager camera.
Not all days are plain sailing, you will agree, but I choose to recall the glint of the October sunlight on my eldest daughter's hair instead of my unnecessarily sharp words: her pleasure whilst watching this cowl blocking on her bed instead of the nagging sadness that I am not in England with my parents on their respective birthdays this week. Surely, in retrospect, the good moments prevail over the not-so-good? I am mostly endeavouring, these days, to find the balance between the thrill and the inevitable wrench of my first-born daughter leaving our home in a few fleeting months.
So here's to those few months and savouring them to the full before this silken dandelion seed of a wonderful daughter floats off to take root somewhere else.
Before I leave I wish to share my huge admiration for the courage of this lady who has, through the past exceedingly difficult months, never ceased to capture and share her own unique and marvellous sense of beauty. And finally to express my gratitude for another inspiring woman who always makes me feel ridiculously happy after reading each and every one of her blog posts. Thank you, Lori, for the precious giveaway yarn and sea glass you sent from California to France. Be patient a little while I transform your sea-coloured yarn into something worthy of its beauty. Pictures to follow!