Wednesday, August 1, 2012

This Shawl Must Travel

Today's post is a victory for me. I completed my fist lace shawl.

Now, if that does not sound victorious to you, you don't knit. That is fine, I have nothing against non-knitters, it is just that for most knitters, a lace shawl is a project of accomplishment, a right of passage so to speak. 

My Maternal Grandmother modeling the
scarf for my paternal grandmother.
But for me this shawl means a whole lot more. Let me tell you a little bit about my family. My dad is from Beirut, Lebanon. It is a tiny and misunderstood little country with a huge heart and a ton of soul. My dad came to the US for college, met my mom at a huge party where they both went to school, Parks College of Engineering, where my mom was studying aerosace engineering, and they fell in love and got married (yes, it is a true story).

As a young child, the war in Lebanon made it hard on my grandparents and they decided to move to the US and live with us.  I adored having my Tata (Arabic for Grandma) amd Jiddo (arabic for grandpa) living with us. I loved watching my Tata cook and spent countless hours following my Jiddo around like a little lost puppy.

Every summer, while we were home from school, my Tata would work so hard to try to teach me how to be a proper lady and clean and cook and other things that ladies from good families did. She taught me a lot about tradition over those years, so much of it would take so long to settle in, but she planted the seeds in me then that are alive now (although I still am terrible at cleaning).

Fast forward and times got better and Lebanon began to rebuild. My grandparents moved back home. I missed them dearly. Soon we began to travel home every year or two to see them. I will never forget the first time I stepped foot in their home in Beirut, it had been too many years and I think I must have squeezed them so hard with my hugs it hurt. Those trips are worth more to me than gold.

War in Syria has made it hard for Americans to travel to the Middle East and it has been a few years since I have seen my Tata. But I have a shawl, and it will travel .  My very close cousin is going home to get married this August. With him, packed neatly away will be my shawl. It is for my Tata.

A bright white shawl, full of sparkle and life, just like her. I have knit thousands of stitches for countless hours, until my hands hurt,to compete this shawl for this voyage. This shawl carries in it my love for my Tata. It carries heart and soul. It is funny to think a simple garment can be all of that, but as I sat with my family and in the car and at the park and knitting meet-ups adding stitches, I gave some of me in each stitch and I hope that she will love all of me that is in it.



She loves the shawl!!!!  I am awaiting my cousin to send me some pictures of her in it where I will post here.


  1. The shawl is BEAUTIFUL! Your first lace project even has beading? You're a rockstar!

    I'm too chicken to start my first shawl yet. I've been looking into making one for my wedding though.

  2. Yes, this was my first time with both lace and beads. Thanks so much! Do not be afraid to knit lace, its really just patterns. I do have to say, I took a class to do this one, and it helped take away my fear!

    If you do make that shawl for your wedding, please do post a link here, I would love to see it!

  3. Oh my, your story brought tears to my eyes! It came out beautifully and I'm sure yourTata will cherish it!

    1. Thanks Laura! I could not have done it without you!

  4. Your shawl turned out wonderful. Skywalker was also my first lace and first shawl.

    What a beautiful story as well.

    Yours turned out large that I'm jealous. Mine was quite small but I gave it to my tiny elderly stepmother and it looks terrific on her.

    I see many more lace shawls in your future....

    1. Thanks so much. I altered the pattern to make it bigger. I loved making it and will do more lace for sure!

  5. Your shawl turned out beautiful. I was wondering if you could share how you altered it to make it larger. My sister wants one for her birthday and I'm going to need to make if larger.

  6. This is absolutely beautiful and very impressive! Great job!
    New TeamEcoEtsy Member

  7. We actually had a Buddhist monk who traveled with us and told us about how Buddhism is related to the environment.
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