Enjoy a glimpse into How to Knit a Love Song, available for pre-order now.
Knit a sleeve as long as you want, not to the specifications of any silly pattern, even one of mine. If you always roll your sleeves, knit a sleeve four inches shorter. Remember, there are no sleeve police.
Abigail was getting good at acting like she was strong.
She wasn’t sure how her bravado held up under his gaze. Those clear, green eyes seemed to look inside her and see way too much. Maybe he wasn’t buying her strength act. But she was going to try to keep selling it to him. Besides, she was sick of being scared.
First things first. She told herself her temporary room was going to be fine. She could write for a while sitting in bed with her laptop, but to really think, she needed to spread out. The tiny desk would only work for so long.
It would be hard, leaving her fiber in their plastic bins, but she supposed she could just wait until she was in the cottage. Once her work space was organized, her yarn and fiber up on the shelves in plain view, she’d feel like herself.
The bedroom Cade had given her was small but sweet. A narrow twin bed was covered in a green knitted afghan. The sheets smelled a little musty, but looked clean. She’d wash them later today. Last night, she hadn’t felt like looking for the washer and dryer, hadn’t felt like putting herself again in Cade’s path.
She repositioned the furniture in the room, moving the bed so that it was under the window. She wanted to look up at the sky at night. She moved the small writing desk to the other window on the far wall, so when she was writing she’d be able to look out at the trees and sheep.
She tugged at the afghan, squaring it up on the bed. She recognized Eliza’s hand in the pattern of it. She felt silly for doing it, but she leaned down and sniffed. There it was, the slightest scent of the lavender-lanolin hand lotion that Eliza always wore, permanently imbued into the fibers. Abigail felt buoyed.
The house was too deep into the hills to have a view of the ocean, but she could feel the sea. While she unpacked her few belongings, moving clothes into the old dresser, she moved back and forth, to the window and away, taking it all in.
She also kept an eye out for Cade.
Oh, there were too many questions, and each one problematic. Each question would require a conversation with Cade, and she planned on avoiding him as much as possible.
She looked again out the window.
Abigail could barely believe that she wouldn’t see her ex-boyfriend Samuel’s black SUV idling on a nearby corner under a streetlight, that she wouldn’t see his face turned in the direction of her window. She was used to the fear, and had even become good at marshalling it, corralling the trepidation…
But there was nothing out there but the slow dust trailing down the main road where an old beat-up truck had just been. A squirrel raced out from under an oak tree and then did a U-turn and raced back the way it had come.
It wasn’t even lunchtime on her first real day, and she wanted, what? Not out, surely, but she didn’t want this, this familiar feeling of being cooped up. She was done being kept inside.
She walked resolutely to the door and outside, across the yard back to the cottage. She unlocked the door, hoping that she wouldn’t be interrupted this time. She wasn’t done with this cottage yet.
A new beginning.
She would start the clean-out today. The faster it was done, the faster she was out of Cade’s house, and away from that strange tension.
The box on top of the first pile. That’s where she would start. She pulled up a piece of the yellowed newspaper. Was there anything else in there?
Her hand hit a piece of wood. And then another one.
Abigail pulled one out.
It couldn’t be. It looked like….
Abigail held up the flyer for a spinning wheel. A gorgeous, dark, wooden flyer that looked antique, or was a very good replica.
She went in the box farther. More flyers.
She carried the box out onto the porch into the sun and brought out the next box.
Bobbins. Scads of them. Made of matching wood.
She opened boxes on the porch until she had found all the various pieces that she needed.
Then she ran to her truck and pulled out her small toolbox. Cade would mock it mercilessly, she was sure, for being small and useless, but she knew it held what she needed.
Less than thirty minutes later, she had a fully assembled spinning wheel in front of her.
It was like a strange, good dream.
And it was beautiful. The wheel itself was hand-carved and decorated with carved flowers and vines. The treadle had the same design, and Abigail could hardly imagine putting a foot on such an intricate thing.
All the pieces were there.
And she had a feeling.
Abigail went back in the house and went farther into the front room, over near the stairs. She lifted boxes and shook them, until she found the right heft, the weight she was looking for.
She carried this box out onto the porch, and opened it, not surprised to see the newspaper on top. Underneath, wrapped in muslin and smelling of cedar, was a carded batt of wool, a deep heathered green, beautifully prepared, ready for spinning.
“I knew it. You crafty thing, Eliza. You’re guaranteeing I don’t go anywhere, huh?” Abigail laughed out loud.
She pulled off a hank of the wool, attached a leader to the flyer, and sat on the dusty red chair on the porch. She started spinning. Oh, this was joy. This was right. This was what Eliza had taught her: this was what Eliza had found in Abigail’s fingers – this ability to draw the fiber out into just the right kind of yarn.
She stopped and went back into the house. It only took a few minutes of peering into the boxes to realize there were probably a hundred wheels, and hundreds of pounds of wool.
“It’s my store, my classroom, my tools,” she whispered. Tears came to her eyes. “My dream. Oh, Eliza.”