Thursday, February 7

The saga of the Syrian Shawl

In late January I found out about a surprise party that was being planned for a friend on February 6. That party happened last night and we were able to surprise her--a very difficult thing to pull off with this friend.

Brenda and I go back 25 years (unbelievable)! I've worked with her in the office and assisted her with a number of books she's written. She's also been a very good friend who has helped me through some tough times over the years. Her most memorable rescue came on my wedding day, when she stepped in and officiated at our wedding ceremony (as an appointed judge-for-a-day) . This after the person who was supposed to perform our wedding ceremony bowed out inexplicably two weeks before the wedding.

Last night, I and a number of other women friends gathered to honor her and tell her how much we value her as a friend. We shared stories of our personal histories with Brenda, shed a few tears, and laughed a lot. It was an enjoyable evening that we hated to see end.

I knew I wanted to give Brenda something special at this event, but I didn't have a lot time. Maybe a lace scarf? I searched through my yarn stash seeking inspiration. Several yarns looked promising though I kept coming back to some bright red sock yarn. It was a perfect choice for someone as vibrant and lively as Brenda. It said shawl not scarf. The perfect pattern popped into my mind--a graceful triangular shawl pattern from 1891 that would stand up to and compliment the bright yarn--the Syrian Shawl from Victorian Lace Today.

Now I had a problem because I only had 2 skeins of yarn. This wasn't enough for a shawl. The only shop in town who carried the yarn had a completely different dyelot that would not work with my original yarn. I went online and posted a plea on the knitting lists and Ravelry looking for more yarn that would match what I had. Meanwhile, I was working on a project for Brenda during the day and knitting the shawl in the evenings. A Ravelry member, Sara, from Illinois came through with two skeins of yarn that were a close match to my yarn. She was kind enough to mail it to me immediately. (Thank you, Sara!) With her help, I was able to finish the shawl and block it only 2 days before the party. Whew!

Brenda loved it! Here she is wearing it. Something special for someone special.


rabbitIng said...

beautiful - the thought, the execution, the gift. what a wonderful friend you are! :)

Turtle said...

Can't agree more, how beautiful..the whole story. And is the internet not fantastic with aiding the knit community??!! That never would have worked even a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

That's a lovely shawl, and a beautiful way to honour your friend. Brenda looks fab in it! =)

AlisonH said...

Very, very cool.