Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Traveling Woman

How many of you know of or watch the television series, Bones?  I do.  Out of the many tv shows I’d rather just pass on, Bones and Glee are two that I try to watch, almost religiously.   (If I miss episodes, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the end of the world…I just enjoy them enough to take the time and watch them.)

When I stumbled across the pattern, Traveling Woman, I knew I liked the design of the shawl.  But upon further reading, I realized I was drawn to it because part of the inspiration behind the design was linked to Bones. 

The designer, Liz Abinante, writes “Being an indecisive individual, t his shawl is named after two things.  First, the song ‘Travelling Woman’ by Bat for Lashes (she’s British, hence the extra “l”).  ‘Travelling Woman’ is a song about a brilliant woman with a promising future, who loses it all because she fell in love with a man who had too much potential, and not enough substance. She sings: ‘Hang on, travelling woman/Don’t sacrifice your plan/ Cause it will come back to you/Before you lose it on the man.’ The edge of the shawl represents the dangerous web of love, as well as its highs and lows.
“Second, the character Angela Montenegro on Bones.  If you’re familiar with Angela’s character, I think the song selection makes sense: she’s artistic, a believer in love, and just the type who might get in a little too deep before she can find her way out (she did get married in Fiji to a complete stranger, afterall). “ 
Since it was a free pattern at the time, I quickly downloaded the pattern and queued it up!  This shawl has traveled a little as well.  I originally cast on in March of 2010.  My parents, Mr. Man, Squishy and I all traveled to Colorado to visit my sister over spring break.  On the way home, during the over-13 hour drive, I started this labor of love. 

By the time we had gotten home, I had finished the stockinette portion.  Now, when I think back, it’s crazy to me that I only got that far after such a long trip.  But it was my first shawl and I had only been knitting since November of 2009. 
I hate to admit, now, that the shawl sat in my project pile for well over a year! I had picked it up a few times and done a row or two in the first lace chart, but never committed.  Then in May, I decided it was time to finish it up.  I pulled it out and started in on the charts.  Over and over again my stitch counts were off.  At this point, I had a couple shawls and several other projects under my belt so I RIPPPPPPED it all out and started over. 
I set lifelines after each chart and quickly flew through this project.  It seemed puny and small when all the knitting was finished…but that’s the beauty of blocking.  It grew and it grew and it’s wonderful.  (I need to take a moment here and say I REALLY need to purchase some blocking wires….pins just don’t cut it!) 

I was so in love with it that I wore it to church one Sunday before I had even taken pictures!  (Yes, this is unusual for me.) 

I made my Traveling Woman with Ella Rae Lace Merino in colorway 106.  As you can see it’s a beautiful variation of blues and greens and other colors.  I really enjoyed this yarn, it’s light and fluffy, but substantial.  I’ll be looking for more of this in the future.  I could have added at least one extra repeat of Chart A – I had enough yarn when I was finished.  But I like it just the way it is. 
This shawl has had a long journey, but it’s the first shawl for me and I’ll wear it proudly! 


  1. Oh boy, interesting facts I had NO idea about! Mahalo for the lesson.
    Glad it's done and you've got another WIP off of your list.

  2. It's gorgeous!! You did such an awesome job on it :D I have one of these on the go too, and I must admit, it's been sitting around for a year as well....I got off the chart somehow and haven't been able to get it going back in the right direction yet. I think I shall try again and then if not, I will rip and start over as you did. Now that I see how gorgeous yours turned out, I know it will be worth the extra effort!