Friday, August 27, 2010

Old ladies and a knitted shawl

The annoying part about blogging is that, as another blogger recently pointed out, the times when I am too 'busy' to write a blog are the times when I have stuff I want to share.  I have had much I've wanted to share, but it seems like I'll always be playing catch-up if I take that too seriously.  So I'll just jump in with something from this week.

I finished my Boneyard Shawl over the weekend.  It's made with Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy, which is comprised of cotton, hemp, and modal.  It's not the loveliest knitting experience, but I knew it would soften up upon washing--and besides, a little 'grit' can be a great thing.  It helps me feel more butch.  That said, it's really a far cry from gritty.

Just yesterday, I brought the shawl into work with me, where one of my daily activities is to run a sensory program with a group of lower-functioning elderly women.  Recently we played "what's in my bag?" and found that I was carrying a knitting project, a pattern page, a fork, toothbrush and toothpaste, wallet, keys, and ... drumroll please ... Taco Bell sauce.  One lady's observation was that I must be staying over.  Yup, I think I'm ready for anything.  I have my knitting, my toothbrush, and my condiment packets. She hit that nail on its head.

But I have digressed.  I was speaking of yesterday, in which I brought my Boneyard Shawl before each of the ladies and asked them to describe it to me.  After looking, feeling, and sometimes having it draped over their head or shoulders, they told me their impressions.  "Soft" and "beautiful" were common responses.  One I really thought a propos was the word "comforting."  As the shawl adorned each woman, I began to notice how versatile and elegant it had turned out to be.  And that's not to mention that it really is a lovely thing to handle and wear.  In the slightly air-conditioned room, the fabric had a distinctly cool touch that I enjoyed.  This shawl may have to become a gift.  Or maybe I can squeeze out another one with the remaining yarn.

I just watched the documentary entitled Young @ Heart, and loved it.  If you follow the link, you may see something fun and knitting-related.  There was absolutely no knitting in the movie, but it was included on the cover artwork because of the wonderful stereotypes that surround my hobby.

My thoughts are especially with the elderly this week, more than usual, perhaps.  Maybe that's partly because I got to play for the memorial service of one of my ladies on Monday, and it still lingers with me a bit.  There's something really beautiful about the elderly.  Endearing, perhaps.  And I think beautiful.  Maybe it's mushy, but I'll just put it out there...
for all you women (and men) who worry about growing old and wrinkled and hair thinning and teeth being lost and whatever you fear might happen to your figure, it's not worth the worry.   Perhaps growing old is not so much a thinning of the hair as a thinning of the exterior that masks what's inside a person.  Those things you fear might uglify you are quite often things that make you more endearing, even at times irresistible.  I know I probably sound a bit creepy, but that's just been my experience.  Those that don't see it are not really looking.


  1. The shawl looks wonderful!! Your colour choice beautifully shows the texture of the stitches.

  2. Phew! Now I can stop worrying about the big 2-3!

    The shawl looks wonderful and I want it. Thanks.

  3. I love the way you write, quirky and funny at the same time, makes me smile!

    Terrific shawl grit and all, another favorite of mine that is on the "to do" westknits list.

    As for getting older, agree 100% with what you say, I too think we all could learn from each other :)

  4. The finished project is indeed beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us as well as with those elderly ladies. I can only imagine how they felt and the memories it may have brought back to them as well.

    And as one of those that is growing older, I am glad that you see beauty in the elderly that people seem to forget. It took them a while to get there and we need to grow from their experiences and learn along the way.

    Thank you!

  5. Beautiful shawl, and a beautiful post. You managed to pack a giggle, an ogle, a tear and a truth all into one.

  6. Your shawl is beautiful as are your words and wisdom.