Friday, April 25, 2008

Wistful

Wistful. That is how I feel mostly. A feeling of wistfulness pervades much of my knitting in both choice of pattern and yarns. I wish for a time gone by that was simpler and passed more slowly. A time when sitting on a garden bench to simply enjoy the surrounding beauty was common place.



Some will say there never was such a time. But there was for me. As a child I could not have had a more idyllic start in life. Days were sunny and long and weekends and summer were a time to enjoy family outings and tasty food. They say a good childhood lasts a life time and indeed it does. The memories stay and become part of who you are and what you expect from life. I have been fortunate, I know.

Shawls capture for me a feeling of a slower and simpler time and provide me with a connection to an era that has passed away not only for me but for our society at large. I realize that I have romanticised times past. I have seen third world countries and know what living without modern conveniences is like. But there is something in the way we live now that has lost something important too. The hustle and bustle associated with much of how I live my daily life, and observe to be the same with others, lacks a contemplative element that enriches the soul.



And that is why I knit and wear anachronistic shawls. This shawl is designed by Evelyn Clark and, as with all of her designs, it is easy to knit and a good choice for a beginner. I used a beautiful wool and silk blend yarn hand dyed by Melinda at Tess' Designer Yarns. The yarn is slightly variegated and about as variegated as I would go with any shawl pattern. If the yarn is strongly variegated the pattern of the lace becomes obscured and neither the yarn nor the shawl is shown to it's best effect. Trust me on this. I've recently demonstrated this point to myself by swatching with a variegated silk yarn on a lace pattern which I wisely chose to frog.

Specs: Flower Basket Shawl; 1 skein silk & ivory (50% silk 50% wool) ~ seashell colorway~ Tess' Designer Yarns; US 8 needles; Dimensions: 26" x 56" unblocked.

13 comments:

Firefly Nights said...

Wistful is a good way to describe my thoughts also. I feel very much at home when I watch The Waltons. I sometimes think I should have lived as an adult in the 1930s - 1950s, with the addition of modern medicine and a couple more modern conveniences than they had then. Plus a slightly more liberal attitude than the folks in that era.

If not The Waltons, perhaps Tara, before the War.

Yes, a good childhood is important. I also had one. I wish all children could be so lucky.

Lovely shawl. How did Puff like it?

jillian said...

Beautiful FBS! It's just the right size.

You are right about the hustle and bustle. I try to fit in time to just sit in the backyard or somewhere and just be still, at least on the weekends, but it doesn't always happen. It's all about balance I guess.

Bridget said...

Your shawl is beautiful - I've been thinking about giving that one a try.

I too think certain things about earlier times would be nice. But then I realize that there are certain parts of the modern world I wouldn't want to give up.

I have been toying with the idea of having a day at least once a month (it would have to be on a weekend for me) where it will be designated as Simpler Times Day or something, just to make me remember to stop and breathe every so often ...

Denise said...

That is just gorgeous, and I love your description of how life should be. We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and should take more time to be still and enjoy the beauty around us.

chanknits said...

Lovely - you, the shawl, and your thoughts. I'm trying to slow down. Knitting has helped me do that on a daily basis, somewhat.

knitting dragonfly said...

Beautiful shawl. Lovely post.
Vicki

Hilary said...

Wow -- BEAUTIFUL! It's making me feel wistful, too...

Marie said...

The shawl is beautiful! I love Evelyn Clark's designs. She really has a great eye.
It sounds like you had such a happy childhood. I come from the opposite side. I am happier now than I have ever been in my entire life. I choose yarns and patterns for the sheer joy of knitting and letting the yarn slide through my fingers. Anything less is not worth knitting.

tiennie said...

What a beautiful post and beautiful shawl!

Monika said...

Reading this post made me even more nostalgic, than I have been the last days. From the photos, which are excellent, one can not see the variegation. I agree with you, I don't like it too variegated to obscure the pattern. I did not enjoy knitting the flower basket stitch pattern, but I certainly do enjoy looking at the finished FB shawls. :o)

amanda said...

Wistful, how true. I wish life would slow down . . . my husband and I were just saying how we don't even know how to relax anymore.

Beautiful shawl :)

Windyridge said...

I find myself thinking about my childhood frequently. Maybe that's a function of aging! In any case your shawl is beautiful. I love lacy things. And I certainly know what you mean about time flying by so fast that we don't have to contemplate much except what we are making for dinner.

A South Park Republican said...

Beautiful!