As I was leaving for Cabarete earlier this month, I had a sudden crisis of faith in my yarn.  I’d packed a pair of socks and the yarn for anther swing at the Color Affection but at the very last minute I wasn’t feeling it or something.  I started to think that I didn’t have enough yarn with me – what if I run out?  I get those same feelings anytime that I’m going to be somewhere with limited access to yarn (like the bathroom) and usually I can talk myself down. Remind myself that I’m not going to knit faster than I ever have before, that I can almost always get yarn where I’m going if I do knit faster than I ever heard before…. but Cabarete, I felt, was a yarn wasteland. (This turned out to be true. Not only did I not see a yarn shop, the Domincans are mostly shocked by knitting as an activity. You can see why – I mean, it’s the Caribbean and a third world country. There are priorities, and keeping warm isn’t one of them.)

Five minutes away from leaving, I ran upstairs, grabbed two skeins of something pretty and ran to the ball winder. Joe was loading my luggage while I wound the yarn and jammed a few circulars into my bag. 

When I got there, I tried to get behind the Color Affection My colourway this time was supposed to be these pretty skeins from The Plucky Knitter, but it wouldn’t take hold.

Something about the autumn colours seemed out of place in Cabarete, and I went back to the suitcase and fetched out the emergency yarn. Two skeins of Tosh Merino light, in Bluebonnet. 

It was perfect. It was the colours I was seeing all around me, and a spent a happy morning cruising through patterns, trying to choose what I would make.

I looked at lace, at cabled things – all sorts of things really, and that afternoon as the wind came up and the kiters came out, it hit me. What better pattern for a Cabarete beach vacation, than the missing part? I had the colours… the only thing missing was the wind. 

Enter Windward, a very clever pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier.

A scarf that heads off in all directions while still going in one direction, really, something that reminded her of the maneouvers you needed to sail into the wind, and that reminded me of what the kiters were doing on the sea in front of me. 

I’ve puttered through it over the last few weeks, as I stomp through the snow and fly to places that are not warm at all, a happy reminder of the time in Cabarete.  It’s a pretty cool pattern, simple enough to be fun, but clever enough to be entertaining. 

Until I washed it last night, it smelled a little like the beach, and left the tiniest  heartbreaking drift of sand in the bottom of the basin. 

We took it down to the waters edge today, trying to get it’s photoshoot  done ahead of the big snowstorm that’s headed our way, and this time Windward was all about a different sort of wind and water. (Three cheers for Sam. Mercy it was cold. We quit taking pictures when I couldn’t feel my hands anymore. Sam wants you to know she’s not sad in this picture. She’s freezing.)

Windward. All the best things about Cabarete. Pretty, and warm – and now resigned to having a very Canadian life.