Monday, May 19, 2014

Dreaming of shawls....

More and more I find myself thinking about shawls. There is a lovely moment in "Miss Potter" when she is leaving her cottage and deftly swings a shawl around her shoulders. It's such a natural movement, as though the shawl becomes a part of her the minute it touches her shoulders.

But do shawls fit in with modern life?  I must admit I would love to think that I could wear one whilst sitting on our verandah on chilly evenings drinking a glass of red wine or a cup of steaming coffee whilst listening to the sounds of an African night ....but I never do that. Like most people, once the kids are in bed I flop down in my favourite armchair in front of the tv and veg out until bed time. Would a shawl be needed then? I think not.

I also have visions of myself walking along a windy beach with a wonderful lacy creation draped around my shoulders but again, we only see the beach once a year and being in South Africa, even the wind is warm! I suppose I could make one just for our annual beach holiday, but it seems a little extreme.

So why do I hanker after a shawl? I have no real purpose for one and really don't know when I'd wear one. It would probably end up being shoved in the top of my wardrobe and would never see the light of day, but still I yearn .....

I guess I just want to be Miss Potter if only for one imaginative moment, so I will make a shawl one day. Perhaps I'll keep it for solitary moments when I can drape it around my shoulders and pretend I'm her, striding across the fells in sensible shoes with the wind in my hair.

Perhaps I'll just hold it in my hands and think back to a time when cell phones didn't exist and children played outside. When life was physically hard but oh so simple.

Perhaps then it's not the shawl I'm after but the world in which Miss Potter lived.
Never say never ....


  1. Make the shawl - you will be glad you did - there will be a time when even in Africa the air is cool enough to drape a soft and airy piece of knitting on your shoulders. I am exSouth African living in the UK and I have many shawls and I love them. They are cooler to wear on a summers evening than a full on sleeved jumper. You won't regret it, just probably won't wear it as often as you would like!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I think I'll definitely make one now - maybe in 4 ply to keep it thin and airy! Have you made all yours and if so, can you recommend a pattern. Get a bit overwhelmed with the choice on Ravelry and Patternfish! Thanks again.

    2. I have used a few patterns - both crochet and knit -I was inspired by Sachiko Uemura's Spring Kerchief ( I have made this in snuggly warm wool for winter and a light weight silk for summer evenings
      I have also made kerchief sized shawls, perfect for tucking around my neck to keep out a breeze - age of brass and steam is a good one(
      I am wearing a crocheted one now - very very easy and grows quickly (
      hope this helps!

  2. Hi Laura! You described the moment with shawl in such words that now even I want to do the same :) I live in India and sometimes such dreams come to me just because I am too annoyed with hot weather and miss Autumn&Winter a lot.. However I have an opportuinity to drape a shawl around my shoulders in December-January here, so I am kind of lucky...:)
    I think you could make one lacy summer type shawl and wear it whenever you feel like becoming Miss Potter :)

    1. Am already thinking of buying the wool this week!!! (Didn't take much to persuade me, did it!) I think you should make one too. Maybe I'll put a KAL (knit-a-long) on my blog.... xxx

    2. If you are going to knit then I am not companion :(... I know only basic stitches. And as any crocheter/knitter/crafter I have many projects going on. I'd love to see you and others shawls though if you do organize KAL :)

  3. Ai, Laura, I get that! I have hooked 2, almost done with the 3rd - still not for me - but then I really want one. When will I ever use it? Will find a reason.

  4. Go for it, Laura! just make it in the lightest gossamer yarn you can find and it will float ethereally about your shoulders without adding unwanted warmth. Go for the laciest pattern with lots of airy holes too and it will hover weightlessly over what you 're wearing and you will be the lady who swirls the shawl as light as thought around her and here in the UK we will all long so much to be like you and make wisps of lace that we want to float around in but find it's always too cold to wear without needing more! If I were you I'd make one just to sip my red wine to and listen to the African night in for a few minutes each evening! Perhaps we all romanticise a world other than our own but I think that sounds pretty unbeatable myself! Out Of Africa etc etc! E xx


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