January 2, 2013

A Maiden in Her Own Mind

Goldenrod Shawlette, pattern by Marilyn Giselle Maupin. Embellished
by me.
Perhaps you have been saying, "Where have you been, Janelle?" or, " What the heck am I following this blog for, anyway?" Or perhaps you are in another camp, saying right now, "Has it been a while? Funny. I didn't notice." Or worse yet, "What is this line of discussion right now even about?"

Well, whether you care or care not that the blog has been so quiet through the holidays, I am back and ready to rumble. That is, if "rumbling" can mean prattling on about anything that momentarily strikes my fancy.

Let's begin with what I have been up to--knittily speaking--all this time. After all, that is a lot of the fun to be found in knitting blogs.

Let's begin with a shawl. My first real shawl. Not a rectangular shape calling itself a wrap or stole (thought perhaps to be fancy non-shawl words to triangle shawl lovers) but a shawl. It is a crescent in shape and derived from a pattern designed by Marilyn Giselle Maupin, called Goldenrod Shawlette.

One day while trying to figure out how to make a diagonal top for a felted hat (that's another story for another time), I became curious about the way half moons and crescents were formed in knitting. I happened upon Miss Maupin's blog, KnitKat, where she has a nice post on the mathmatical formula for knitted crescents.

Long story short, I decided to knit one of her shawls to really understand the crescent idea. And it was really fun--except that now I can commiserate with other knitters when I hear them complain about how irritating it is to be doing 300 stitches in a single row and taking forever! (I guess I really am saying that I am now proud of the fact.)

Lucky for me, I went to stay with my daughter in Seattle for a weekend (sans my 3-year-old daughter and distract-er extraordinaire) where we did some serious power knitting into the night. (With the help of several episodes of MST 3000, of course.)

I added some fair isle colorwork from one of my stitch dictionaries, The Knitting Stitch Bible by Maria Parry-Jones (The rose pattern I used is found on page 193).

It was a fun and relatively quick project, in spite of the 300something stitches at one point. I made my shawl a little deeper than the original pattern as I added the rows of fair isle, which I kept even--no increases there--and I love it.

Every time I wear this shawl, (which I usually do with my white cotton, very old-fashioned style, sleeveless nightgown, complete with battenburg lace) I imagine how the women in Jane Eyre's (fictional, I know...) or Jane Austen's time would have felt on cold winter mornings, waiting to have their fires built in their rooms for them by the housemaids. Many country women probably even tried to balance their shawls on their shoulders while starting morning fires on their own.

This particular shawl would function well for the latter as the shaping in the pattern causes it to sit well on the shoulders; in the morning, I can flip the gas fireplace switch, grind and make the coffee and cut myself a pastry to got with it, all the while just enjoying the sweetness of the shawl and not ever having to readjust it.

I love the earthy colors I chose, too, as they are rustic and somehow (maybe incorrectly) bring to my mind a country maiden, padding across her wide, wooden paneled floors in stocking feet to make her morning fire. I think of this every day as I go through my own modern morning routine. It takes me to a peaceful place with a serene feeling of connectedness to those people of old.

Too much imagination? I think not. My imagination is a fabulous place to visit. Someday I may just stay there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Janelle, Welcome Back! Did you take a picture of the beautiful blanket you can me for Christmas this year? It's quite spectalar and I think others would like to see it!