by Sylvia Olsen
Illustrated by Joan Larson
Our Choice Award
Chocolate Lily Award (Nominee)
Shining Willow Award (Nominee)
BC Booksellers' Choice Award (Nominee)
Silver Birch Express (Nominee)
"What are you knitting into this sweater, Grandma?" Yetsa asks.
Grandma smiles. "Flowers. Fish and waves. Woolly clouds, and blackberries."
From the author of Working With Wool and Knitting Stories comes a tender and joyful picture book, perfect for sharing. In Yetsa's Sweater, Sylvia Olsen takes a workaday chore and illuminates it with meaning, while Joan Larson takes Olsen's simple and loving words and fills them with radiant light.
On a fresh spring day, young Yetsa, her mother and her grandmother gather to prepare the sheep fleeces piled in Grandma's yard. As they clean, wash and dry the fleece, laughter and hard work connect the three generations. Through Yetsa's sensual experience of each task, the reader joins this family in an old but vibrant tradition: the creation of Cowichan sweaters. Each sweater is unique, and its design tells a story. In Yetsa's Sweater, that story is one of love, welcome and pride in a job well done.
Love wool and all things woollen? Looking for a way to share your passion with the children in your life? Yetsa's Sweater celebrates the process of making wool—from washing the fleece to teasing, carding, spinning, and knitting. Olsen’s simple, delightful story about a grandmother and grandchild who, together, prepare the wool needed to knit a new sweater, captures the exquisite tactile experience familiar to anyone who works with wool. The rich pastel illustrations by Joan Larson add lots of fine detail sure to delight readers of all generations.
For those who enjoy learning about particular knitting traditions, the sweater featured in the book is a Cowichan sweater, made famous by the Coast Salish knitters of British Columbia. An author’s note at the back of the book provides more information about this wonderful tradition.
As much as anything, though, this is a book that celebrates the way craft traditions are passed along from one generation to the next. Yes, there is plenty here to satisfy wool-workers, but at its heart, this is a story about families and the special connections forged when the young and the old work together on a beautiful project.
ILLUSTRATED PICTURE BOOK, 40 pp, 8 x 10
ISBN 1-55039-202-9, softcover, $9.95