As I was writing my previous post, I realized I should explain myself.
I love shawls. I love knitting them, I love looking at them, and I love wearing them. If you look at my Ravelry favorites list, you know this to be true. Now, I know this may make me sound like a grandma, but I don't care. There are people out there who are sock knitters. I have long envied those people. It seemed so quaint and nice to have a little project that I could just whip out of my bag and work on anywhere. Plus there are all sorts of fun sock yarns available. But as we all know, I hate working with itty bitty yarn and needles. I have tried and failed to be a sock knitter.
But shawls? I am there. Many shawl patterns do require the itty bitty yarn- but guess what?! Many require bigger (i.e.: size 4 or larger) needles and that is a trade-off I am on board with.
The shawl obsession really took off during my senior year of college. I was taking a literature class called Victorian Gender and shawls were mentioned many times throughout the various novels we read. Plus there was Hey Porkchop. She has influenced my desire to knit shawls exponentially (and also my wish to be a sock knitter; also she has an amazing sense of color for everything but especially quilts). But those novels were full of images that stuck with me. A shawl waiting for the wearer, draped on the back of a chair. It was something she could grab quickly on her way out the door to throw on to ward off a chill. It was knitted by hand out of love and necessity, passed between mothers, sisters, and friends to warm. It was an experiment in making do and in trying your hand at a new stitch pattern. In a pinch they doubled as a little throw blanket and what is cozier than a blanket? And so I became a shawl knitter. They don't get a ton of use here in Texas, but looking at them reminds me of all the things I love about knitting them.
I love the ease of knitting a shawl- the way I know that there will always be increases or decreases to achieve the shape, the long, long rows of stitches repeated over and over again, the way that I excitedly knit trying to get to the next part. I also love the difficulty of knitting a shawl- the hundreds and hundreds of live stitches on the needles, the intricate lace details, the counting and the miscounting. And then the moment when you bind off and admire the work, try it on, and envision it accompanying you on all sorts of grand (or not so grand) adventures.