Thursday, 31 December 2015

What size a shawl?

On a recent trip to New Zealand, with a travelling wardrobe constrained by the packing limitations of international air travel, my Swag Blanket was used most days. We were not camping, but even so it was usually more comfortable to replace or supplement the supplied bedding with my own, super lightweight, natural fibre blanket.  A couple of times it came out walking in the evening, tossed over my summer clothes, warding off the evening chill.

I was resigned to feeling a little eccentric  until I saw a C19th Paisley Shawl displayed in the excellent Toitu -Otago Settler Museum in Dunedin . The early Scottish settlers had shawls the size of bedspreads. I'm sure such a shawl would do double duty as garment and bedding. I have a couple of phone snaps through glass. I hope they are good enough to give you an idea.

There it is, folded double, with some furniture for scale.

Some detail of the pattern

I like this complex, subtly coloured design. Whether the subdued colour is original or the result of more than a century's worth of fading I am not sure.

I take away from this encouragement to turn my excessive quantity of fine, luxury yarns into very large shawls.

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