Monday, 23 April 2018

Swallowtail Shawl

It was particularly hot on Friday, and in the small amount of shade by the house, we were sitting having our lunch.  Answering the door,  Mr S returned to the garden with a parcel.  I was intrigued..nothing had been ordered or was outstanding.  On opening the jiffy bag this is what I found.

A note with the one word 'ENJOY' and two skeins of hand dyed lace weight Pure Kid Mohair yarn in the most delicate mixture of lime green and blue.

As I continued my painting of skirting boards and door architraves during the afternoon, with peace and quiet I mused on several aspects concerning this parcel.  There was no postage stamp or cancellation mark to indicate where the parcel was posted...the printed postage paid label issued by the Post Office gave no clue. There were only neat capital letters on the envelope and a one word entry on illustrated notepaper.

Before the advent of emails, easy phone calls etc, keeping in touch with friends by post meant  recognising handwriting, pens and ink, as well as the telltale cancellation mark on the stamp showing the origin of posting areas, time, date etc.  All these would let you know which friend had written to you.  Indeed when I first wrote letters, it was customary to write one's own name and address on the back of the envelope.  Times have certainly changed.

Following on from this, I started to think of who would understand me and my passion for knitting, and my love of fine yarns.  Who might guess that a thoughful present may just be the thing to light a little spark of enthusiasm.  It suddenly came to me....and the handwriting then seemed familiar.  When Kay gave us instructions and directions at our WI craft meetings, or would slip some note through my front door, the short and to the point details were in this script.

A phone call during the evening confirmed my thoughts, and had I checked my emails I would have known, but also I would not have spent such a lovely few hours painting and thinking about the sender.

This is the gist of what Kay had written to me:

Our speaker last night talked about wool, spinning and knitting.  It was a real fun evening.  Lots of noise and laughter as we all tried different methods of spinning. Ancient and modern.  Lots of information and knowledge about different types of sheep wool and lots of samples to touch and feel.  The speaker  takes the wool from fleece to garment all natural processes and materials including the dyes.  After the talk I was looking at her samples and she had some beautiful little triangular scarves, not as beautiful or intricate as yours, but how they reminded me of you.  I am sending you a little gift, as I could not resist it, to knit yourself a little bit of spring.

The Kenilworth WI was a lifeline for me when I moved to that area and particularly the craft group, where over the years I learnt many new skills.  As a parting present Kay made me this beautiful sampler which is now hanging on the wall.

Following our phone conversation I mused on what I would knit.  I looked through my Ravelry wishlists, through my lace knitting books, and notes.  I dug deep, and still could not decided, so slept on it.  It came to me in the middle of the night.....It would be The Swallowtail Lace Shawl

I lost my shawl many years ago...and I miss it. I used to call it my tucker.  And each time I wear it, another opportunity to think of my dear friend.

1 comment: