Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday is for shawls

Recently, on Knitlist, a poster asked why people love wearing shawls. In the post she mentioned that she loves knitting them, loves how they look, but doesn't love wearing them. She was wondering if she shouldn't donate them to an old folks' home.

The response was quick and plentiful, (and often suggested alternate uses, rather than answering her question!)and included:

Convert them (into table, chesterfield or window coverings)
Wear a shawl in the morning instead of a robe
Develop a shawl drawer, and just admire them
Start a fashion trend! Actually wear the shawl and see how many follow your lead

When suddenly actual shawl lovers (dare I say, wearers?) started to chime in:

Some states in the US are so warm that stores, theaters, etc., are often over-air conditioned, and a shawl is a light method of dealing with the chill
They are great extra layers, and colour accents
As a solution to fluctuating climate changes in offices
Shawls can be a bold fashion statement
They are easy to remove
They are less constricting than a coat
Shawls attract other knitters

I myself have become a shawl-wearer. My first shawl isn't knitted, it's a much cherished woven shawl which I won at a silent auction after a guild sheep to shawl competition. Most of the time it hangs over a long rail on the cabinet by my desk. I can admire it, it doesn't get lost in a pile of kids' jackets, and the cat can't sleep on it. However, I do wear it out often enough. I find myself wrapping it like a sarong around my hips, over jeans; that method started because I had a painful lower back injury and I found the warmth was helpful (my shawl is thick and cozy). Often I'll use it as a lap robe while I knit; I must be getting to an age, because I find that my knees are often cold.

At the moment I'm 25% through knitting a wool/silk (and beads!) version of the Mystic Waters shawl (detail shown above). It is breathtakingly beautiful, and I'm madly in love with it. My plan is to complete it over the Christmas break, when I have some time to really concentrate. Mystic Waters is a KAL (my first!) and the final clue was issued last Wednesday. Lots of knitters have completed their shawls will be wearing them over this holiday season, and I honestly wish I was one of them.

A few months ago, Make One Yarn Studio came up with an idea for a 'Year of Lace, 2008', and I have to say that I signed up before I drew another breath. I could not be more excited; especially since the lace objects will feature scarves, shawls and wraps. I WILL be wearing my shawls. I'm in love with them already, and I haven't a clue what they might be! If you'd like more information on a Year of Lace, just click on the button I've placed to the right.

If you just can't wait til spring, and you'd like to join a shawl KAL, there is one currently open for registration by going to the Yahoo group Spring Shawl Surprice. The KAL will be starting in January, and I am SO signed up, and making my yarn selection at this time (believe me, it's part of the fun!).

One more thing (have I become sanctimonious?)... while Christmas shopping the other day I saw an inexpensive commercial shawl in a store window. I actually felt a pang of sadness that someone would have to wear something so.. so.. lame. I need to knit shawls to wipe out the cheap commercial shawl over the shoulders of people I love. Ya. That's it.

So there you have it... many reasons why we love to knit and wear shawls. I'd love to hear your story, or post a picture of your favorite shawl!

And, me? I recently left Make One with a pair of 4.5mm Addi Turbo Lace needles for an interesting shawl I'm going to knit out of sock yarn. It's gonna be.. great.

1 comment:

aunty tink said...

While I love knitting lace shawls, I must confess that I don't wear them as often as I should. They are much more wearable in the summer when I don't have to fight trying to fit them under a heavy winter coat. I don't think I will stop knitting shawls either. Not only have I signed up for the Spring surprice, I have signed up for Mystery stole II, and the Secret of Bad Nauheim shawl. With luck and some help from German speaking friends, I'll be able to figure out the pattern.
Your Mystic Waters Shawl looks great. The Helen's lace is perfect for it.