Am back in states at parents house. Desperate to get sewing room set up. I miss sewing.
This is my first magazine publication, and I am very proud of it.
It is also connected to many very special moments in my life; the story of this stole will always be important for me.
This was my first submission to any kind of knit publication. I had an idea of what to do from seeing a sample posted on Petite Purls, and from Eunny’s comments on Ravelry. I had the storyboard, and the plaid story was my least favorite – I couldn’t think of anything that wouldn’t be heavy and unwearable. It bothered me that I had no good ideas. One night, when dozing in and out of sleep (I was 9 months pregnant and so not sleeping all that well), it popped into my head. Lace Plaid. It was sheer, and flowing.
Now, I am sure this is not all that “original” and that others have done renditions of it before. But to me it was a revelation. I could see how to make the vertical stripes with double yarnovers, but how to get those horizontals? The answer came when I was thinking about using a sideways stitch, which are traditional in ganseys and some mittens, in a totally different (and now defunct) design. I realized I could work those into lace and have real stripes.
Of course, now I only had about 2 days to knit a swatch. My family was in town and I was going to go into labor any minute. I finished and blocked the swatch before heading to the hospital. My husband made sure I finished the rest of the submission and mailed if off for me in time. The result is that this shawl brings me back to the day my second daughter was born.
I took these are pictures before I mailed it off, back in February (before I had lost all the baby weight-heh). I ended up knitting this two weeks faster then the deadline, because I was unexpectedly traveling with my parents for three weeks. I knit constantly, over drinks, after dinner with friends who were moving away while I was gone, so this shawl is also a part of goodbyes.
I planned to finish the pattern writing on my mother’s computer. While we were abroad, my aunt became very ill, and my mother left early, with the computer, to go be with her. I spent several very hot hours in a hotel business center with a sleeping or nursing infant strapped to me, but got it in. So this pattern is also associated with my aunt’s illness and death, and my mother’s sadness.
Why do I share all this? There is something about the way that creating this stole, from idea, to object, to instructions, with the whole process compressed and intense, that mirrored the life cycle that was playing out in miniture in the events of my life. Birth, friendship, goodbyes, family, and loss. It is not a simple, one-to-one, analogy, but it colored the whole experience. It was one of the rare moments in my life when I really felt like I was creating, and creating something beautiful.
That is my goal in designing, to give people beautiful and useful things to make with their own hands. I hope many people knit it, modify it, wear it, gift it, and love it.