Behind the Design: Gratitude Shawl



If you know me very well, you know that I have a very difficult time justifying "splurges" on anything unnecessary -- for myself or anyone else. So, when I bought some Plymouth Yarn Company yarn from a local (at the time) yarn shop, it was no small deal. I originally walked into Cowgirl Yarn because I'd received a gift card (maybe $15 or $20) for my birthday the previous year and still hadn't used it. When I went into the shop, I was determined I would just spend the gift card and not spend extra money on yarn. (Note: I'd also never made a purchase at a local yarn shop before!)


After walking around the shop a few times and looking at absolutely everything the store had in stock, I couldn't get my heart off of this Plymouth Yarn Company, specifically because of these colors (Fig and Grey Mix). However, my gift card wouldn't even cover one skein let alone two (because they clearly had to go together!), so I kept wandering around the store. At some point, I finally convinced myself that it was worth it to spend the money on nice yarn that I really liked, because I'd never love any other yarn that I purchased.



Why do I tell you this whole story? Because this sets the scene for how much this yarn meant to me. So much so that I was almost scared to use the yarn, because I wanted to make sure the project did the yarn justice! (Which then led me to think that I should probably use it to knit someone else's pattern rather than design something new with it. Clearly, I convinced myself otherwise as some point!)


After a couple of months, I decided that I really wanted to design a shawl to be released at Thanksgiving time. I don't have much for yarn stash, and I really wanted to work with this yarn, so this because my Thanksgiving shawl yarn by default! To "do the yarn justice," I wanted to create something beautiful, so although I'd never knit lace before, I picked out 3 simple lace motifs that aligned with my purpose for the shawl.



As I mentioned, I designed the Gratitude Shawl with Thanksgiving in mind, to evoke the feelings of peaceful, calming contentment that come when I think of the things I am grateful for. The pattern motifs remind me of experiences that I am thankful for: situations that open my mind; paths that don’t go as planned; heart-enlarging experiences; and simple, everyday life. I expect these are things we can all relate to and be thankful for, and I hope that, as you knit this shawl, you will take time to reflect on experiences you are grateful for in your life.


The Textures


Section 1: Openings

This pattern contains large, open areas that represent the experiences in life that open our minds, lives, and hearts, freeing us from a self-centered, close-minded lifestyle.


Section 2: Everyday Life

This section is simply garter stitch and represents the simple, everyday things in life that we can so easily take for granted – family, friends, a home, food, love, laughter, sunshine, fresh air, and safety, to name a few that come to mind for me.


Section 3: Meandering Paths

This pattern creates a zig-zag design, which resembles wandering paths. It represents the paths in life that wander from what I would choose for myself. Life is not a straight course – there are many obstacles and curves in the path, but these things teach us wonderful qualities such as patience, perseverance, and how to “go with the flow.”


Section 4: Overflowing Joy

This section creates a beautiful, flowy edge and represents simple experiences that add beauty to our life – such as heart-enlarging friendships and adventures.



I hope that, when you knit the Gratitude Shawl, you find that it is a simple but engaging knit that helps you to remember the simple, the unexpected, and the beautiful things in your life that you are thankful for.


The Gratitude Shawl is available for purchase on Ravelry, LoveCrafts, and PatternVine. Interested in some other color and yarn recommendations? Be sure to check out my Gratitude Shawl: Yarn & Color Inspiration blog post!


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