Sunday, February 26, 2006

Navy Blue Shawl

My blue shawl is one of my most satisfying projects. It happened by mistake.
About 10 years ago, I bought yarn for a sweater, navy blue Woolease with sprinkles. With only the front bands left to knit, I tried the sweater on. It was terrible. The boxy shape I thought was so attractive turned into an awkward and uncomfortable beast hugging my shoulders. I threw the sweater, yarn and needles into the back of my closet and promptly forgot about it. I was working, going to college and raising 2 teenagers. Knitting was on the back burner.
Fast forward 10 years. My teenagers had graduated from high school, and I was finished with my own college degree. I had time enough to knit, and I happened to find the sweater in the closet.
I decided I didn't have to carry the burden of this ill fitting and unloved sweater any more. I would let my mistake go, and reshape my project into something new.
I unravelled the sweater and made this shawl. I chose a Faroese type pattern, and since I wasn't sure how much yarn I needed, I started at the top instead of the bottom. I wanted to try a bit of lacey knitting, so I started with an easy motif down the center back. By the time I reached the end, I was confident enough to expand the lace across the bottom.
I love this shawl. It is going on 2 years old, and I have used it almost every day. If I'm going out to the mailbox, I throw it around my shoulders. When I'm a bit chilly in the evening, I wrap up as I knit on the couch. I have taken it camping in the summer, it's just the right weight to fend off a chill as the sun goes down.
My DH laughs at me, he says I look like Grandma Smurf in my blue shawl. I wear it anyway. The sprinkles hide a lot of the lace pattern. I wear it anyway. The Woolease is mostly acrylic, and the shawl stretches and sags. I wear it anyway.
I've thought about making another shawl, but keep working on other projects.
This shawl suits me, and I really don't need another. When this one gets too raggedy I'll splurge and get real wool. For now, nothing can take away the satisfaction I get when I wrap this shawl around my shoulders. Instead of hiding my mistake in the closet, I created something I use and enjoy every day.


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