Monday, 3 October 2011

How to wear your shawl stylishly

If you want to knit lace, sooner or later you are going to have to knit a shawl. I mean, you don’t have to in the sense that no-one is actually going to take out an injunction (because if they were, believe me, I would have met them!), but, it’s just one of those things. Sooner or later the sheer number of shawl patterns is going to wear you down emotionally and have you thinking, hmm, perhaps one tiny little laceweight shawl will be ok. I never have to do another. I can stop whenever I want.
Attractive spread-out-on-ironing-board shot
Then, there you are, halfway through your first triangular shawl, and you think, but, where am I going to wear this bloody thing. I never wear triangular shawls. I will look like Mrs Pepperpot. I will have ends dangling in my gin. I will be losing my shawl as I dash about performing open heart surgery/ anticipating what the cat is going to do and stopping it/ sitting on the Board of News International. I do not know how to wear a shawl, you think, and now I am irritated at myself that I have succumbed to peer pressure. I shall go onto knitting message boards and start discussions about Wool vs Acrylic and Crochet vs Knitting to get my own back.

Well, gentle reader, for when you succumb to the shawl bug which you shawly will (that is a pun), I have been thinking of situations you can wear your shawl in. Never let it be said that shawls are not easy to integrate into our carefully-thought-out wardrobes (I know. Mine neither). Let us wear them with pride!
Please always remember to match your toes to your current knitting project, it is a basic of personal grooming
Scenario 1. You are in a pub garden in summer. Dusk falls and so does the temperature. ‘Gosh isn’t it chilly’ you trill, putting your pork scratchings to one side and reaching inside your bag for your shawl. Remember to hold it up in a faux casual manner, so everyone can admire it properly, before wrapping it around your shoulders with Panache. ‘Why’ say all your companions, ‘what a stunning garment, did you buy that perchance at M&S’. No, you reply, in an amused and tolerant tone, for if an M&S buyer ever came near anything of this quality they would have to kill her to prevent her blabbing. I handknitted this myself in a mix of virgin alpaca and silk where the silkworms were not killed but were only mildly inconvenienced. I do it before I go to bed when I have just put down my Kirkegaard and finished watching a bit of Fellini.

Then, you must smile smugly as if to imply that you also have better sex, deeper and more meaningful relationships, and are able to make a Victoria Sponge without weighing the ingredients.

Scenario 2. You are at a party involving canapés. You are wearing vertiginous heels, therefore, do not move too quickly especially when you have started on the Cava. Your shawl is wrapped in a complicated yet ironically knowing manner around your torso, in the manner of this one. This will keep you warm enough that you can wear a shorter skirt, while also subtly and subliminally implying that you are a delicate creature who needs the protection of something lightly woolly which has been produced with great skill, ha, not like that hulking and uncomplicated person over there who is wearing a mass produced cardigan. Toss down that cava, and give the eye to that chap in the corner who is dissecting a blini thoughtfully, but remember, no shawl removal until the third date. Keep it wrapped tightly.

Scenario 3. You are in an art gallery, standing looking at one of the more challenging works, with a shawl wrapped kerchief-style around your neck. Thoughfully and yet alluringly, you bite your lip and flick a single lock of hair over your shoulder to draw attention to your shawl. I am making a knowing comment on Craft vs Art, you convey mutely, by wearing this skillfully self-produced Kerchief. Yet it is, amazingly, not as prestigious, in the eyes of the Intelligentsia, as this Installation I am looking at, which the artist has had produced by people paid minimum wage in Bromley. I stand, your ensemble says, as an example of the value of Craftsmanship in the age of the Meta.

Also, because you are wearing it as a kerchief, it will not dangle in your tea when you go and have a bun in the coffee shop afterwards.

You know what we need? Action shots. I’ll finish that Jaali quick and start wearing it out and about ;-). Paris tomorrow. Send me not-getting-lost-or-losing-mum vibes?


Vivianne said...

I can akshully make a victoria sponge without measuring the ingredients. I'll be polite and keep stumm on the other elements of your list ;-)
I suggest you & your Mum tie yourselves together with one of those things mums use to keep hold of their toddler ...or else some crazy Frenchman may run off with one of you ....

Anonymous said...

This is a test comment. Blogger now eats my comments and I don't even have a blog. All my comments disappear unless I change my privacy settings to allow ALL cookies. I don't want to do that, I never used to do that - not 5 days ago which is when it started to happen or thereabouts. I would never use blogger if I had a blog. They are a very bad advert for themselves. Everyone always gets annoyed with blogger. Me included. Apologies for rant if you get this but you see you probably won't.

p.s. you didn't get it but I copied and pasted it and now I am going to have to change my cookies and then change them back. It is BAD SECURITY and blogger (it is not people who use it) needs to sort it out.

I am annoyed now so I can't tell you that your shawl is lovely as I would have done.

Denise said...

Have fun in Paris. I'll be thinking about how one of us will be having fun while I'm at work tomorrow.

Marushka C. said...

"I can stop whenever I want, I can stop whenever I want..."

Do not believe it.

It is a good thing you are planning ways to wear them. They will multiply.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

Your shawl is looking great, it is a lovely colour, ad you might just be a little evil for putting that shawl link, because now I want one, and I don't like laceweight. I think I should try your shawl wearing methods, wonder if I can magically whip up an entire laceweight shawl in three days

A Peppermint Penguin said...


henny designs said...

Hahaha ... love it! x

Delusional Knitter said...

LOL!! I always wondered what to do with the results of my lace shawl knitting addiction!!

GirlAnachronismE said...

That is so true, I'm so close to sucomming to shawl knitting, but would have ABSOLUTELY no idea when/where/how to wear a shawl. I might have to ponder your ideas for wearing one =)