Kay and Ann suggested I take a spin through the internet in search of beautiful handknit patterns. I am supposed to be writing my book Making a Life now, as I have a big deadline coming up, so this seems like the perfect time for a bit of fantasy procrastination.
In May, while visiting the inspiring London yarn shop Loop, owner Susan Cropper told me that everyone there is knitting shawls. Ann and Kay concur that shawls are the project du jour here in the States as well, so shawls are where I started.
Earlier on the same day that I began my fantasy romp through new projects on Ravelry, I had spent some time online reviewing Nicole Kidman’s Cannes 2017 wardrobe. (More procrastination!) There I came across the peacock-inspired Dior Haute Couture dress Kidman wore to a press event for The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
From the bits and pieces of information I have been able to gather online, Kidman’s dress is made out of raffia and pink, navy, gold, and emerald green embroideries in naturalistic patterns. I love this dress. There is something romantic and fantastical about it. In this dress I could be swept off my feet into a magical dream world, a forest where writing is easy and where I wear beautiful fairy tale-style clothing as I write a wonderfully deep, enriching, inspiring book.
(Read more about this dress and the beautiful Dior collection it comes from here.)
I have a soft spot for feminine, sculptural scarves that frame the face rather than flop around it. I’d probably make it in a murkier color, not such a bright purple.
The woodsy color probably drew me in. But I also like what seems to be a large (aka easy) garter section with a varied, textured edging that reminds me of lichens or layers of bark growing in the forest. In February, I spent some time in the woods in the Pacific Northwest, and ever since then I have been feeling especially drawn to wet, woodsy colors and textures—perhaps another reason why the Dior dress caught my attention.
This is my smallest/most manageable choice, a short, leaf-shaped neck scarf in moss stitch. Rather than the pink of the sample, I’d choose a darker color, maybe a chocolatey, purpley, or rusty brown or even a khaki green.
The orderly geometry of the lace and the subtle beads feel both romantic and modern to me. I can easily see myself picking berries in the forest wearing this shawl, in between my productive periods of writing to the tune of birds chirping, of course.
Finally, on cooler days or perhaps when I need to chop some wood for the fire in my forest cabin, I would don Another Brick in the Shawl by Casapinka, composed of mosaics interspersed between knits and slipped stitches.
I remember when I was writing my first book, Knitting in America, back in the 1990s. My husband and I lived in a renovated hay barn in North Carolina that we heated with wood, and I actually did chop wood when I needed to clear my head while writing.
Maybe this is the shawl I will wear when I step out of my fantasy forest, hand in my manuscript, and head to the beach.