Over the years I've made a few and while I wouldn't say they've been mistakes, there are some I would never make again. The baby shawl, for instance. So beautiful, so white, so fine, so easily covered in muck. Then a moment's inattention due to new baby exhaustion and someone has put the masterpiece in the washing machine and produced a matted, felted, misshaped miniature.
Then there are the Shetland shawls in cobweb yarn. They languish in a cupboard because they can't be worn. That would mean the chance of snagging a thread, of maybe having to wash it and pin it all out again. Something like that simply attracts accidents. They would not be the warmest of shawls, either, although they are certainly the most beautiful. I did wear one of mine once, when I had to play God Save the Queen for an historic celebration in the village. I couldn't believe how beautiful it looked and that I had made it. It's back in the cupboard now with the others because imagine the horror if anything happened to it.
|Madeira Shawl actually in use|
|centre panel of Madeira|
I'm thinking that a practical shawl design would be in a dark colour so that if the ends trail around the marks won't show. It should be fine but not too fine because warmth without a lot of bulk is very important. It should be large enough to cover the shoulders and of a shape that sits comfortably and doesn't keep wanting to fall off. The constantly slipping shawl can be very tiring for the shawl wearer. It should be beautiful to look at and it should be able to be worn with the majority of clothes.
Of course, it should be fun to make and not blind you in the process, like the black Shetland shawl which took me two years of evenings to knit by the light of a 40 watt bulb that was the strongest lighting permitted in the house then. What a marathon!
|Midnight Shawl detail with crowns, Spanish lace and more|
|Midnight centre panel|
Here is the 2-ply Rose Shawl which I made from some very soft merino my mother gave me at some point. by the time I got round to using it the moths had got to it and made the knitting very annoying because the thread kept coming to a sudden unexpected end:
|Rose Shawl centre panel|
The moon rising over the sea two nights ago. A cold night and a frosty morning. Just the weather for the perfect shawl.