Friday, February 4, 2011

Oh Mr. Darcy, can you fetch me my shawl?


I must admit that when I first noticed that shawls were becoming the thing in the knitting realm, I was a bit baffled.  I know something had to replace ponchos once those went out of favor, (which I was really dismayed about because I still love ponchos, but that's a whole other story) but shawls seemed a bit too... I don't know... Jane Austenish to carry over into our current modern times.  I mean shawls and texting?  It just didn't seem right.

Don't get me wrong.  I love all things Jane Austen, myself.  I've read every one of her books.  I've probably watched Sense and Sensibility at least 400 times (much to my husbands dismay.) That scene where Elinor's shawl falls off while she's taking one of those oh so English strolls and talking to Edward and he tenderly places it back over her shoulder... *sigh.*

But the point is, I just couldn't really see the need to spend hours knitting a shawl and then where would I wear it and with what?  I mean I'm pretty much a lounge pants/sweats and tee shirt kind of gal.  In the summer I might wear a dress or two, but there's rarely a need for a shawl in a Houston summer.

Then I saw a girl in Starbucks and she had a shawl wrapped around her neck in this certain way so that it was more like a scarf and she looked très soigné, and I thought, well OK, I could maybe pull that off.  And then I saw this pattern on Ravelry and I knew I had to make myself one. It kind of goes along with my whole granny craze that I've been on lately.

So I went for a little stash dive and found some sock yarn that I seriously don't even remember buying and before I knew it I had my first shawl.  Here's three things I finally understand about shawls and why people love them.
1.  They keep you so warm!
2.  You can wear them inside without feeling like you're dressed for outside.
3.  Shawls are like little blankets that are acceptable to carry around with you all day.

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I actually did a little research on the shawl (because that's the kind of thing I do when I get semi-obsessed with something new) and I found out that shawls first came into fashion around the Jane Austenish times (1780-1870) along with all things in any way Oriental.  Most everything else soon went out of style (turbans) but the shawl stuck around because it served an actual purpose which was mainly keeping women warm in drafty houses. And to think I used to feel sorry for poor Elizabeth Bennet and Elinor Dashwood freezing their arses off in the English winters with nothing but a shawl to keep them warm.  Ha!

Close up of shawl/scarf
(This is as close as I get to soigné.)

Ian in my shawl
Here's Mr. Boy in my shawl.  He always gets cold in the grocery store.

By the way, crocheting a shawl is so much less time consuming than knitting one.  I used sock yarn and an F hook and it still went fairly quickly.  I would have made it bigger, but I kept running out of yarn.
There are definitely more of these in my future.  I've just about worn this one out already during this crazy cold winter storm nonsense.  (I seriously have already had to mend it!)  


Lonestarcasie said...

Well, I think you are soigne because you said soigne. I have never used that word in a sentence so you are tres posh. What is my version of that word? Hmmmmm....I don't know. This is a challenge. I must think what I say in such instances. I would probably say she was shawl-tastic. As are you, my darling!

Gillian said...

Renee your shawl is just GORGEOUS!!! You and Mr Boy both look Wonderful in it :)

I must admit I have been baffled as well about the current shawl trend...all I know now after seeing yours is that I want one!!! LOL!!!

Apples and Pears said...

The shawl is gorgeous Renee, as is Ian! I also love the period picture you posted. I have never had a shawl but I have wraps of various weights and fabrics. I live in a very old house (300 years) and it can get a bit draughty in winter so a shawl would be good for me. Great idea to use sock yarn xxx

Unknown said...

Ohhhhhhh, your shawl is beautiful.

renee said...

Thank you everyone! I'm already planning another one. These shawls are addictive! Beware Gillian and Andrea if you decide to make one. But you should because they are so lovely and cozy!

Oiyi said...

I felt the same way a few years ago about shawls. Never thought I would like it or knit one and didn't see the point. But after knitting my first one, I see the allure. It's not boring to knit like a rectangular scarf and you can wrap it around your neck like a scarf. I use to love knitting scarves, but now find it boring. I rather knit a shawlette. Funny thing is that my first design was a shawl.

Btw, Interweave is coming out with a special issue called Jane Austen Knits! LOL! Your post was perfect timing.

Marjo said...

Lovely !!!!!!!!!
now I 'follow' you ......

renee said...

Thank you, Oiyi! I am so excited about the Jane Austen issue of IK! I saw an announcement on it on another blog and was going to mention it in this post, but forgot. Thanks for reminding me!
I have seen your lovely shawls on your blog! I would love to knit one, but right now I can only find the time and patience for crochet. One day!
Marjo- Thank you for following me!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Gorgeous shawl. I actually have a small crocheted blanket that a really nice blogger made as a gift for my sofa ... but I wear it all the time.

Kristen said...

Oooh, I love this! So pretty. I'm inspired! :)

gillyflower said...

Love the colours you've used! How you find the time with a young child i do not know - well done!!But i think when you really want to do something you find the time dont you?
I can remember making loads of dried flower arrangements when my daughter was a baby, cos i felt if i didnt make something i would go out of my head with the demanding baby routine thing!
If only id learn how to crochet then! Its portable and you can do a little in those precious spare moments - and its so therapeutic too!

Kellie said...

Oh I love your shawl. Looks especially cute on your little one.