Morning fog creeps down the hill just east of our home. The gentle slope creates a small valley through the backyards. Fog wafts into the neighborhood and settles in this the backyard valley. I suspect the seventy degree temperatures over the weekend followed by Monday's cool rainy day created conditions for a foggy morning. The house is cool so I wrapped a shawl around my neck and shoulders. When the world seems foggy, I often reach for a shawl. Whether I wear a bright hitchhiker or a humble garter stitch triangle I knit in 2012, a shawl is shelter and comfort. I am good company with my shawls. Women and shawls have a long history.
My sources of knitted shawl history: Cheryl Oberle of Folk Shawls, Mary Thomas's Knitting Book (first published in 1938, reprinted by Dover, 1972), Martha Waterman's Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls, and of course Wikipedia, have varying opinions about the location of the first shawls. If word origin is any indication, shawls originated in the Eastern world. The word shawl comes from the Persian word shaul which came from the Sanskrit (an Indian language), sati and sari, a piece of cloth.
Currently, I have two shawls on the needles. The off-white Soft Sunday Shawl above is for my daughter. This is the third time I have knit this pattern so the lace pattern feels familiar. I believe in muscle memory that comes from repetition. I couldn't have written about the specific stitch pattern but one row into the lace and my hands recognized and picked up the rhythm. This is comfort knitting at its best.
On Sunday, International Women's Day, I cast on another Wool Peddlers Shawl. Way back when, I bought red yarn to make this shawl as pictured in the Folk Shawls book. For awhile, the garter stitch body will be a carry around project. Knitting from a book I own and with deep stash yarn feels like a win. The cherry red is a nice contrast to the cream colored shawl and the gray and white mitts I recently finished. I unraveled the pink stitches and reknit the mitts in gray and white. The yarn bases didn't go well together so they are not Neapolitan colored (original design name) in the least. They were fun to knit so I may use this pattern again for leftover yarns.
I am listening to The Ten Thousand Doors of January and surprised by how much I enjoy it. I don't usually read fantasy. Perhaps this isn't a true fantasy but more magical realism and definitely an allegory. At any rate, I am enjoying the writing, literary references, strong characters, and an action filled plot. The audio narration is a trifle too dramatic (in my opinion) but not enough to quit listening. Last weekend, I opened Toni Morrison's last published book, The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays and Meditations. Morrison's work is extraordinary and this nonfiction is no exception. The first few essays are dense with her thoughtful opinions and ideas. She is another woman whose strong voice will be missed.
The fog has given way to a bright gray day. After I link with Kat and the Unravelers, I am off for a walk. I hope to see the wings of a cardinal folded over her back like a triangular shawl. I'm putting hand sanitizer and toilet paper out of my mind for the time being. I'd rather think about shawls and Spring. I may even slip out and buy some flowers. Stay well my friends.