Some knitting projects are straightforward and satisfying. And some, like my recently finished Atmen shawl weren't always timely or simple, but are incredibly, maybe even-more-so satisfying.
This project is special and a long time coming. I wanted to knit this pattern when it first came out, in May 2017. But the timing was never right, we lived in Texas (rarely shawl weather), didn't have a clear idea of what yarn to use.
As some point, the designer had a sale, and I purchased the pattern, and set it aside.
And then, my brother, while traveling in Iceland, asked me if I wanted some yarn (of course!) and I chose these colors, thinking I could successfully use this sportweight yarn, rather than the specified DK-weight yarn, after a little planning.
I finally cast it on this March. I set is aside for some gift knitting and a time-sensitive test-knit, and then set it aside again for comfort knitting after we had our miscarriage. But now, it's done. And ever since, it's been wrapped around my shoulders, light-as-a-feather, but oh so warm. Woolen spun yarn is magical to me, lightweight and lofty. This shawl weighs next to nothing and it's still so cozy.
When I see it or wear it, I think of all the little pieces over the years that eventually led to a cozy shawl, newly finished in time for a season of Advent and anticipation. Keeping my shoulders warm while I make breakfast or while I run out to grab the mail, scoop up our toddler, or sit and knit in the evenings.
I know that knitting doesn't need to be a sentimental thing to be enjoyed, but I love that it's sentimental for me. Marking the passing of time, the changing of a life and of circumstances. I hope to wear it for years to come, warming my shoulders and making me smile, reminiscent of all the little pieces that make up the larger pieces of a life. Marked by calender changes and birthdays and seasons, yes, and also by the rhythm and flow of a set of knitting needles.
For more details, see my ravelry project page
Yarn: Navia Duo in two shades of grey and a red
Size: one size, but modified stitch count and striping sequence to add rows
Pattern: Atmen shawl by Shannon Cook
Needles: US 6, sized down to account for loose gauge and a slightly thinner yarn
Specifics/modifications: The pattern calls for DK-weight yarn, so I choose needles that were smaller, and knit the pattern as written until gradually adding rows to each color stripe to make it larger, overall. I also knit some rows in the final color before knitting the border—rather than switching colors and immediately beginning border stitches. I did not aggressively block the border on the shawl, and I'm fine with a more subtle scalloped edge.
This particular project has been on my needles since March of this year. At the very start, it felt like a mindless, but very uphill project. I knit it on size 2 needles, and at first, I had to look down a lot as I knit, and it just felt slow. But bit by bit, I picked it up and worked on it.
Each year, I enjoy glancing back and making note of what knitting projects I worked on and completed throughout the year, noticing trends or patterns in my making. I've noticed that my creativity or how my creative pursuits "serve" me in a given season can vary widely depending on life circumstances.
Over the last several months, I've been working on several Christmas crafts—both sewing and knitting. Some are for our own home as decor, and most are gifts. Since some were mailed off relatively early or opened at early Christmas celebrations, I can now share them here, just in time for Christmas. The links with the knitting projects are to project pages which then include pattern links.