The story of my Grandma Ring Shawl
I remember being 5 years old back in Europe spending lots of time with my grandma. Up in the closet in a little bag made of silky material. Like any kid, my curiosity took control of me and I just had to open the bag. I put my hand inside, trying to keep my balance while reaching up high, and finally pulled out the most beautiful, soft, lacy scarf I have ever seen. It was long enough to wrap myself three or four times. My grandma said, "Keep it in the bag until you get older and then you can have it." After that day I would look at that bag over and over again and ask my grandma if I could touch it. She said I could only if she was there with me. It was a rainy day years later when grandma finally decided to tell me the story behind the scarf.
My grandmother told me it was a RING SHAWL, knitted from very thin wool, mohair, silk with a lacy design and made with very small needles. This shawl tested the perfection of the craft. Only very skillful and talented knitters could make one. This shawl picked up from one corner would go through the hole of a wedding band without getting stuck. I actually tried it. I couldn't believe my eyes that this long , generous knitted shawl will slide trough my grandma's wedding band like was a magician's scarf. It was so beautiful to look at it and to touch it.
As an adult long after my grandma passed away, I look back and wonder whatever happened to the ring shawl? My mother doesn't remember seeing it. I felt lucky to get a glimpse of that piece of art and I wish I had it. The last I saw it, was when my grandmother had explained, "this shawl has been in our family for 3 generations." Making it at least 200 years old.
Now I am a professional knitter myself and I have been knitting since I was 10 years old. I pick up my knitting almost every day of my life, getting better and better as the years pass. Yet, I have never had the chance to knit the ring shawl. Maybe it is because nobody has asked me to make one...yet. I design many types of shawls for brides with the most wonderful yarns, playing with different patterns and textures. I consider shawls mysterious accessories making the simplest bridal gown sophisticated and almost breath-taking. The mystery mixed with practicality and necessity is making the shawls popular once again.
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