There is a specific beauty in the designing of shawls. I don't consider myself a shawl designer though I've produced a fair share of them, but when ever I'm feeling blocked I can pull out a notebook, yarn, needles, and cast on a tiny thing that will grow, and grow endless stitches and shapes. That beginning is therapeutic. On the flip side, I've cast on many shawls for this reason, gotten to about 200 stitches on the needles and put it down, never allowing it to see the light of day again. Like so many things in life, it's in the doing and not the finishing - the process and not the product - that calls me. Perhaps the destroyer me.
The arrow shawls came from the other me - the builder that wants to break across the finish line with feet pounding and chest guzzling air. The first arrow I released was the Quills Arrow Shawl - somehow released in February 2014 (!) I had fallen into Lisa Mutch's good graces and she contacted me with an offer of yarn support. I needed to make a shawl that was special with that precious, gifted yarn and it was sitting at the giant reclaimed wood table that stretches half the length of my dad's small abode on his ranch in Colorado that the feather stitch was born.
My arrows start at the wide end. This way I know that as I work, the tide will subside and before I know it, the stitches will be disappearing from my needles at an alarming rate. I need that sort of encouragement from time to time. Quills is still one of my favorite shawls to snuggle up in because 1) it's a beast 2) it's cozy as hell 3) the yarn is butter soft.
When I started working on my first book, I wanted to expand the audience that would see the arrow shawl concept and the simple Dart Shawl came to be. This giant golden beauty was knit in Madeline Tosh Vintage and is (again) a shawl I still use constantly. It's thick and heavy - perfect for wrapping up in during Autumn.
Recently, I've been seeing the arrow-shaped shawls pop up everywhere and I can't say I'm mad about it! When I released Quills, just about every email I received was the same question: how do you wear this thing? How things have changed! I'm glad the arrow has found it's time in the sun. I have recently cast on for another arrow shawl design - this time from the point - and it should be no surprise if you've gotten this far to hear that I'm already loosing interest.