Little Buddha, like his mother, tends towards extreme enthusiasm when speaking of things he loves. Fantastic. Wonderful. Weally Gweat. These are some of his favorite expressions. Last night, after having me read How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? for a third time, he apparently had come to the end of all the best words he knew to express his enjoyment. So he made up his own. “It’s lovelyful,” he whispered, stroking the cover reverently.

I think it is a perfect word, and have decided to use it myself. Today, I find myself thinking of several lovelyful things.

1. You, dear reader. I really loved all the great comments on my post about the public library on Thursday. Not only was it just cool that you share my enthusiasm for the public library, but I learned some things about my own library, too! I learned from Natalie that if the AADL doesn’t have something I want, I can request it, they will order it for me, and then I will be the first person to get it when it comes in! Then Jamie chimed in to let me know that one of the many fairy doors in Ann Arbor is located at the public library’s main branch. Cool! I have read about the fairy doors but have never been on a fairy door quest, and I think my boys would love going around town looking for them. Thanks, Jamie!

Cathy invited me to be her friend on goodreads – a site for seeing what your friends are reading, keeping track of what you’ve read and what you’d like to, and getting book recommendations from people who know your tastes. I had never heard of it before, and since I definitely need yet another net-based time-suck that caters to one of my hobby-related obsessive tendencies, I signed up right away!

Chris shared this video. I won’t call it lovelyful, exactly, but it is funny.

Cath delurked and in the process mentioned that she grew up on Prince Edward Island. Yes, PEI, home of a certain redhaired orphan girl I adore. Which brings me to the next lovelyful thing.

2. Anne of Green Gables. Cath’s mention of her was all it took to conjure up old and beloved memories of Anne, Diana, Gilbert, Marilla, and Matthew. I am betting that most of you share my love of her. Right before my 11th birthday, my mother gave me these:

Her own childhood copies of Anne of Green Gables and Anne’s House of Dreams

On the inside cover of Anne of Green Gables is her name (in my grandmother’s hand) with the date: Christmas the year my mother was 11
these books are two of my most treasured possessions

I began reading Anne of Green Gables on my 11th birthday, which also happened to be the last day of school when I was in fifth grade – I can still remember sitting at my desk with my nose in this old book, while others celebrated the end of the year. It had been a hard year for me, moving in the middle of the year and starting a new school in January, where everyone else had grown up together; our opposite ways of ending the year and starting our summers typified how alien I felt in this new place. All around the room, kids shrieked and laughed with each other, jumped up on tabletops and threw things, danced and sang. I sat alone in my desk, and cracked open a dusty 30 year-old book:

Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ eardrops and traversed by a brook that had it source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.

And with that first sentence, off I went, down the lane to Avonlea, not looking back till I’d finished the whole series (I remember closing the last book lying on the floor in front of a fire the next winter). I embraced redheaded 11 year-old Anne as a kindred spirit, and with her spunk and wit she showed me a way that no one else around me seemed to know. It is what the best books do – illuminate for us an alternate world, articulate another way of being in our own world, reveal paths other than we might have come by on our own. I know I had been invited into other worlds by other books before these, but Anne seemed to do so in a spectacular and unforgettable way, and I do not think I have been the same since.

It was that summer, as soon as I’d finished the first book, that I started to write the first of many unfinished novels, about a redheaded orphan named Amber and her best friend Diane. I can remember sitting on the screened-in porch with my dad, reading him the first chapter, which is when I learned that “gingerly” meant the exact opposite of what I thought (what disillusionment!). Later, I was thrilled to overhear my father compliment my writing to my mother (he gently overlooked the fact that my book was more than simply “inspired by” Anne). That summer, my dad decided to order me a subscription to Writer’s Digest. Yes, my dad is That Cool.

Anne of Green Gables, you are still lovelyful to me.

3. Finally, lest you think this is a book blog instead of a knitting blog (though I gather you, my fellow bibliophiles, would not protest if it were), one more bit of yummy this weekend.

the Lovelyful Lace Leaf Pullover

I can’t say enough about how much I’m enjoying this knit. I really should be working on the shawl I need to wear for a wedding in two months, but this pullover has me hooked (even though Monday’s fall weather turned quickly back to muggy summertime). The color enchants me, the yarn is luscious, and the pattern is quick and fun. Also, I’m getting to work the math part of my brain since I’m knitting with a different gauge.

You can possibly tell from the above shot that I did decide to go ahead and knit the body in two pieces, as per the pattern (I’m doing the arms before the upper body just to mix things up a bit). Though I could deal with reversing the lace leaf chart if I kept knitting bottom-to-top (thanks to Karma for pointing me in the right direction for that), I couldn’t quite get my mind around how to reverse the entire rest of the top of the sweater. Also, grafting in the middle will keep me from having to bind off the neck, which my gigantic head will appreciate (since I have a well-documented tendency to bind off ribbing too tightly).

lovelyful sleeve detail

I am glad there is still a bit of summer left, but this knit does make me look forward to fall. I think it is going to be such a cozy sweater.

Hope you’re having a lovelyful weekend too!

20 thoughts on “Lovelyful

  1. I love brown. I think most anything in that shade of brown is lovelyful.

    Have you heard of the Anne of Green Gables Read & Knit-a-Long? It’s here, if you’re interested. I love Anne, too.

  2. Anne is the most lovelyfullest of lovelyful things ever! Every couple of years I read the whole series again to myself. As I bonus my children are now getting old enough that I can read some of the stories to them as well! An actual excuse to sit down in the middle of the day and curl up with an Anne book?? Lovelyful indeed.

    Your beautiful chocolate sweater is reminding me of the chocolate colored sweater that I had every intention of knitting myself this year…it’s not looking like that’s going to happen, I guess I’ll just have to keep living vicariously through you!

  3. Your last few posts have been great. Since I’ve been away for a while, I had to save them up until I had a chance to sit and read without distraction or interruption. I’m glad I did!

    I love when kids make up words, or say words in their own cute way. Jerry used to say decalations instead of decorations, and that is my favorite by far.

    I use an online service called Library Elf that emails me a few days before I have library books due. It reminds me to head to the library soon, or go online to renew. It has been so helpful!

    One more thing (then this long comment will come to a close) – I found Loop-d-loop at the used book store for $10 and bought it, even though the leaf lace pullover is the only project to call to me yet! Yours in brown is so lovelyful, I might just have to make one!

  4. I certainly think “lovelyful” should be added to the dictionary!
    I loved Anne of Green Gables and can remember reading it and Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farm.
    And you make knitting look so …easy. I’m a beginner and I’m looking for a sweater pattern. Any suggestions? I love the brown that you’ve chose.

  5. I have been reading the Anne series to my boys after we read a couple of their books. At 4 and 2, they drift off to sleep hearing my voice. I am enjoying reading the books aloud. We are 1/3 of the way through Anne of Windy Poplars now.

  6. I can’t begin to tell you how much I admire those books of yours. There is something just so precious about a well loved book that has seen many years. I grew up in New Brunswick and vacationed many summers on the Island as a result fell in love with Anne myself.
    As far as I’m concerned (and I know that many agree with me) Lucy M-M did not get the credit she deserved during her lifetime.

  7. I was going to tell you about the Anne of Green Gables Read and Knit A-Long, but it looks like Amy beat me to it. I haven’t signed up for it yet, but I’ve been “re-reading” Anne by listening to Annie Coleman’s podcast of it. She does a great job.

  8. Another lovelful post!

    I loved the story of your Anne books — I so remember the first time I read them as well, down to the very feel of the cover — unfortunately, they’ve been lost over time so I can only imagine how special it is for you to be able to run your finger over their spines!

    So fun to hear of so many people who love the books as much as I do — they are so much a part of my childhood and my Island, even though Cavendish has changed a huge amount since I grew up (and actually worked at the Anne house one summer!)


  9. ohhh… love love love anne. i read those books till they practically fell apart in my hands and then read them some more. so wonderful to see all this anne-love here! 🙂
    (ps the color for your lace leaf pullover is gorgeous!)

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