Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Lumberjack Shawl

I call this my Lumberjack Shawl because that's the name of the colorway and because it suits the personality of this shawl so well. Something I would know because I have a history with lumber jacks having come from a family of manly men who know something about felling trees and living off the land.


My dad grew up in Raymond, Washington a place described by Wikipedia as "a wild and wooly lumber mill  town" where the lumber industry was part of everyone's life.  My dad's family lived next door to a logging company; my grandfather worked as a lumberjack (for about a week); my dad's brother Keith spent his Summer working as a Whistle Punk (the person who signals when the logs are ready to be hauled); and I was almost killed by a logging truck when I was a child.  If you ask my dad to tell you about lumberjacks he'll be able to tell you everything you ever wanted to know, and then some.


Which is a long way of saying that I have an appreciation and understanding of what makes a lumberjack and to give context as to why I chose this yarn and how knitting is a very personal journey for me.  The yarn itself is also special because it was handspun by my very dear friend, Monika who writes the blog Smoking Hot Needles.  Monika is an incredibly talented fiber artist and besides spinning yarn she also writes patterns and you may recall that I knit her Kyla mittens a few years back which I still wear and enjoy most mornings.


When Monika spun this yarn she knew it would make a fabulous shawl so she divided the roving so that when the skeins were joined they would blend seamlessly into a continuous fabric.  Skillful and thoughtful she's a pro in every sense of the word.


Particulars:  Pamuya Shawl designed by Alexandra Wiedmayer who blogs as Karigan's Husky World; 698 yards(8 oz) Falkland wool; 2ply; colorway Lumber Jack; dyed by FatCatKnits and handspun by Monika Smoking Hot Needles (shop link).  I loved knitting this shawl as it's very easy to knit but still creates a complex looking fabric.  Mods:  I used US 5 needles as I used a slightly heavier weight yarn I also used more yarn than the pattern calls for.  The heart necklace I'm wearing was made by the very sweet Tracy of Pink Purl who has an etsy shop called Prana Light where she sells spiritual and inspirational items.  There is a better picture of this necklace in a post years ago called Romantic Beaded Scarf.






Until next time, be well and love well and I encourage you to think about where you came from and how you can make that history part of your life.  I'll leave you with a glimpse of my Dad as a young man who I admire more than I can say.

37 comments:

jillian said...

Beautiful shawl and beautiful provenance! I come from a "railroad family" on my dad's side...similar understanding of the hard work and lifestyle of a long-standing, blue-collar-type industry.

Monika said...

Oh Claudia, you made something so special out of this yarn! You give me too much credit though, because I'm always surprised myself, when I see my hand spun yarn knit up, and it turns out well, or not so well.
Steve once again took lovely photos!

Miriam said...

Be-yoo-tiful! The yarn and pattern combination is a real winner! I'm always amazed when yarn stripes in such a way that it looks like it *knew* what the pattern wanted :)

gMarie said...

Love the history behind the name of the shawl. I know Raymond - drove through. I'm sure it's very different now from when your Dad grew up there.

The shawl is very impressive. Great work - as always. g

Anonymous said...

That picture of your dad looks like it came out of a magazine.

Ursula

Anonymous said...

Further to my previous comment: Somehow I'm not surprised.

Ursula

Allie said...

That is just stunning, Claudia, and I love the name of it! You wear it very well! Wish I could go outside with that little bit of clothing, lol....we're in a blizzard!

My grandfather was a lumberjack. His axe slipped one time, and got him in the stomach - he walked several miles back to camp, holding his abdomen closed and trying not to pass out. There might have been a bit of whiskey consumed on the walk back.

Prairie Rose said...

I love your shawl!
Its such a lovely color and design.
I grew up in a logging community and are familer of the hardships that are involved.
Your Dad was a handsome young man, and obviously was a wonderful father.

Renee said...

You are so skilled to match yarn to pattern. Love this shawl, your story and history, and especially men who tend to lumber jack tendancies... as you well know. lol

Wonderful photo of your dad, very handsome and talented indeed.

Bridget said...

LOVE the shawl - the yarn is perfect with the pattern!

I always enjoy hearing about people's families. My only problem now is that the Lumberjack Song from Monty Python is stuck in my head ...

kessainstitches said...

Another beautiful project with a wonderful story. Love the colors of that shawl!

Sue said...

Oh it looks so pretty. What a great heritage you have in your memories too. Love your dad's photos, dont they always look so casual and relaxed in those photos!

r said...

What thought you put into your knitting! Its very pretty and gorgeous colors.

Rebekah said...

Oops I somehow hit enter without putting my information. I was the last comment.

Willow said...

I am intrigued with how you managed to make all the colors match up with the designs! It's beautiful!

Some of my Pacific Northwest farming ancestors moved into the logging industry. One great uncle was worked for Georgia Pacific and spent his days walking on logs in ponds. Then in my father's generation, the men moved into the bus/transportation business which is where my brother still works. Somehow I missed out on both and became a teacher.

I know you're very proud of your dad and his history!

Hege said...

Beautiful shawl!
Love the colours.

Channon said...

Another stunning knit! Love the colors too. Monika is one of my spinning inspirations. Thanks for the glimpse of family history too.

a view from a brown dog said...

Hi Found you through Hespers blog.
Your shawl is beautiful and i enjoyed a glimps into how and why you chose the name. Fantastic and the colors are gorgeous. Enjoy

Gail said...

Love it Claudia! Sooo pretty. Best looking Lumber Jill I've ever seen!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

Thank you all for your nice comments and sharing some of your family and experiences with me. Allie's story of her grandfather is a reminder of how very dangerous and hard this life was particularly when they used axes and hand saws before they had electric saws.

And, Ursula, my Dad will be tickled to hear that!

subliminalrabbit said...

oh, what a lovely shawl!

Tracy said...

The shawl is WONDERFUL, Claudia...And these photos of you are terrific! I just love that color way! I looks like wine mixed with a woodland carpet! :o) More and more I like variegated yarns. Such fun hearing about your father, where he comes from. And love photo of your Dad. It actually reminds me of a photo of my Dad taken in the very early 70's, before I was born, when he & Mom first met--he was standing next to his shining new, cherry red Chevy--very happy. Lovely post, my friend... Happy Days ((HUGS))

A South Park Republican said...

As always, you've created something gorgeous … both the shawl and what it means to you. ♥

Larissa said...

Love how the name of the wool spoke to you and inspired you to produce this gorgeous shawl. I know that you will enjoy wearing it for years to come and that it will always remind you of your dad. This is precisely why I love making so - it connects me to where i come from.

You look beautiful, as always - and you look just like your dad. Have a wonderful weekend, C!

t does wool said...

perfect knit
perfect color
perfect words with it Claudia

betty said...

Lovely colors on that shawl.

Your dad was a handsome dude back in the day, and he's probably still a handsome dude today, but in a different way.

Rachel said...

Beautiful shawl and I love the connection you made to your roots and your family. Have you ever read Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey? One of my favorite books...thought you may appreciate it.

Hilary said...

What a gorgeous shawl, with a touching backstory! I try to incorporate personal history into my knitting, too, and especially love reading about how others have with theirs. I don't think you've talked about your family lumberjack history before...it was really interesting to read! Scary about the incident with the truck, though. :(

raining sheep said...

The shawl is so wonderful. I love the bit of intricate design that is so visible in one of the stripes. The color does reminds of some of the brown, rusty red, black lumberjack shirts :) I am supposed to be making socks for my mom....needless to say I have no time for crafts right now, at all. I am lucky if I snap like two photos a week. Luckily, but also very sadly, my mom will forget she asked me.

Ally Johnston said...

The shawl is so very pretty, the colours work so well. Parents are very important in our lives. Your dad looks amazing

Catherine said...

Not knowing a lot about lumber jacks I can't comment on the appropriateness of the yarn name but the colours are wonderful. They make a very beautiful shawl.

Murielle Creative Knitting said...

Awesome, Missy!! Love the colors and beautiful yarn. :))

At Home Mommy Knits said...

I always love your stories that you share with your knits and this one is no exception. It was funny as I opened this post because the picture that popped in my head upon reading the title was of course no where near what you actually knit :). Love the shawl it is beautiful in color and style.

Lap Dog Knits said...

Love the pics of the shawl, love your writing and the photo of your Dad - he looks like a nice soul.
Have a great day...

knittingdragonflies said...

What a beautiful scarf and story to match.
Take care
Vicki

Knitting Out Loud said...

Love this shawl!!!
And your wonderful post. Great photo of your dad. In Maine, lumberjacks had to be knitters, too. They were often isolated in the wilderness for months at a time and had to knit their own socks and mittens.

Robin said...

This turned out so beautifully, I love your combination of pattern and yarn! :)