"Casting Off" is a wonderful tale of knitting and life. This is the first novel by Nicole Dickson and she has done an outstanding job of keeping your interest while at the same time weaving a challenging, complex tale full of interesting characters intersecting one another's lives.
The story's main character, Rebecca Moray, and her daughter, Rowan, leave their lives and travel to a small island off the coast of Galway, Ireland so Rebecca can document the history behind ‘Gansey’ sweaters, also known as the fisherman knit or aran sweaters.
Here, on this tiny island, the sweaters have been used for generations by locals to combat the weather, but also to detail and define the history of the families that wear them. It is the feelings stitched into rows and the memories in each pattern that make this story so enchanting. Each sweater is a work of art and life.
Dickson's story, as well as those told in the sweaters, also show us that an ideal life is unobtainable and that we have to work through our hurts and abuses. She shows us that by letting people into our lives, maybe we will see a different side of our own story.
The story and the sweaters aren’t so much the single stitches but rather what they mean altogether.
Although I have knitted fisherman knit sweaters for 40 years, knitting narratively has never been a part of my...