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Shawl Survival
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Shawl Survival

I did not knit as much as I intended to in South America. My knitting was relegated to the long plane, boat, and train rides; incidentally, the plane and train are also where I had to catch some “shut-eye” in order to function properly. So… the knitting progress was slow.

I wound the Morehouse Merino laceweight yarn into four little balls before I left. Tucking them into my backpack, I figured I would come home with a finished Verona Shawl. Instead, I reached the halfway point – two hanks used and two more to go.

Verona Shawl

The simple stockinette was just what I desired. I did not want to carry around patterns and stitch markers that could go missing or be damaged. (Dropping them in the Amazon River was a very real possibility! and what kind of excuse is “a monkey ate my stitch holder”?) :) Yet, the rhythm and ease of the stockinette allowed me to focus on meaningful and educational conversations, building friendships, and on observing the wonderful world around me. The laceweight merino is so textural – softly spun, and sometimes overspun in areas. I love the “rawness” of the yarn.

Verona Shawl

In fact, it was this shawl that Kris saved in the hurried moments surrounding the earthquake. I had left the knit project on the table as I went down the hall to call my mother. A few moments later, the quake happened. As stated before, I was perfectly prepared to never see this project again, as well as our suitcases. During the panic, Kris had spotted my knitting on the table, quickly shoved the shawl into his jacket pocket, grabbed our two suitcases and two backpacks (it was a moment of superhuman strength, no doubt.) All of those bags were quite heavy and he managed to evacuate the airport, go down flights of stairs, and run out onto the tarmac with them in hand. All of this while ceiling tiles were falling around him, and hundreds of people were panicking.

I am so grateful that he grabbed the knitting – when we were reunited hours later, I cried when I saw that he had actually remembered it. No dropped stitches and not one tangle in the yarn. A perfectly in tact, half-finished shawl…


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49 Responses

  1. Ühltje

    I think, that this shawl will be something special for always. Just the story behind it.

  2. bellamoden

    It was meant to be, wasn’t it? And so it shall be. It’s beautiful!

  3. Elemmaciltur

    I’m sure that now the shawl will hold many memories for you.

  4. Joanna Kostrzewa

    What a horrifying but romantic story, at the same time… I’m glad everything turned out fine in the end (both with you and your knitting! *^v^*)

  5. turtlegirl76

    Amazing! The memories in that simple stockinette are much better than a complicated stitch pattern.

  6. Kiko

    I bet this shawl is going to be very special to you. I find it very touching, that he remembered to take your knitting with him in such situation.

  7. Mom

    What memories this little shawl will hold! It should be a pleasure to surround yourself with. It is a lovely color, m’dear! You OWN pastels! XXOO

  8. stacey

    You may have to rename it the Superman Shawl…. :) It will hold so many memories!

  9. Sarah HB

    That is love on Chris’ part! Get all the luggage AND your knitting too.

    A very pretty color.

  10. Liz K.

    A good husband knows to save his wife’s knitting in an earthquake! Now, with his super-human strength thrown in, he is truly a keeper!

  11. Jessica

    There is something very soothing about stockinette sometimes. This will definitely be a project that will hold many memories for you.

  12. sprite

    How lovely to have a shawl that will remind you of your husband’s love for you…

  13. Amy Artisan

    A beautiful shawl & indeed an amazing example of “if these stitches could talk” – I’m sure you will treasure it for many years! :)

  14. Lynn

    As if you didn’t know this about him before..

    But that man’s a ‘keeper’. :)

  15. margene

    The shawl is filled with life long memories!

  16. courtney

    One never knits as much on vacation as they plan…but your progress is beautiful. How lovely that Kris grabbed it for you, I am not sure my husband would have remembered…

  17. Tracey

    I am still in awe over the earthquake business…he needs a Super Hubby award!

  18. Heather

    What a tremendous momento to have. I agree that a low-cognitive stockinette project is such an essential wip to have on hand for such times. Your shawl is gorgeous!

  19. elizabeth

    At the yarn shop, we would call Kris “well trained”

  20. Wanett

    The first thing I said when I heard about the earthquake was “someone I know is in Peru” nevermind that we have never even met. I know you. I’m glad you both are okay, and tell Kris he is making it harder for all the husbands of knitters doing things like remembering your knitting in a scary earthquake. You will have this memory revisit you everytime you wear it.

  21. Sarah

    I think Kris has really set the bar for kniiting husbands everywhere. Here’s an example of how we might use this as leverage: “What do you mean you forgot my knitting bag when you were packing the car? Lolly’s husband remembered to grab her project during an EARTHQUAKE. You owe me cashmere.”

  22. lomester

    What a great guy! Superhuman indeed!

  23. Carla

    Your Chris is very special! How touching that he saved your knitting as well as the bags! Sweet, sweet.

  24. Diana

    What a wonderful husband you have! He obviously knows how important that was to you. Very impressive! Definitely make him some more socks and sweaters!

  25. connie

    It’ll be a beautiful shawl and doubly special now given the circumstances. Yay for Kris for remembering something important to you in a stressful moment.

  26. Dorothy B

    Now that my friend, is a man who loves you. Even on automatic pilot during a moment of extreme duress, the things that are important to you, were important to him.

  27. Claudia

    You know, I think I’d finish it and frame it with photos and souvernirs from the trip – something like of a collage/scrapwall art/memento – in honour of a good trip, a great love and the best of humankind!

  28. Bliss

    Wow! What a hero – all those bags in an emergency situation and he remembers the knitting. Yes, he’s a keeper.

  29. lucy

    WOW is all I can say. The shawl will be a treasure.

  30. gray la gran

    wow. kris is a serious “keeper”. seriously.

  31. Nubiancraftster

    I definitely thing that Chris qualifies for the Yarnival hunk for next year for knitting heroics. The yarn is also such a wonderful color.

  32. tiennie

    Awwww…..! What a guy! Now I think I have a crush on Kris! You two are so sweet together. Pretty shawl that will be cherished forever.

  33. Debi

    Kris is so totally my hero! Yours too, lucky Lolly :)

  34. *karen

    You married a keeper alright. That shawl is going to become some kind of family heirloom.

  35. hpny knits

    thanks for sharing the story. what a guy! this shawl will have a wonderful place in your hearts!

  36. DeeDee

    No wonder you love him so! Glad that your shawl is intact; ecstatic that you and Mr. Wonderful are safe and sound.

  37. Tracy J

    Glad you survived. You’ve got a good guy there. Not everyone whould realize that the knitting was important.

  38. Anna

    What a thoughtful hubby! That shawl will certainly hold memories forever.

  39. Mr Puffy

    What an amazing trip, how fortunte you are to have gone to such a remote place. So many places are getting too dangerous to visit now or have been infiltrated with cell phones, etc. I’m glad to see you like the morehouse merino lacweight yarn. I’ve thought about using that a number of times. The color is very beautiful.

  40. Debby

    I agree with the others — this shawl may not be the fanciest you will ever knit, but it will be one of the most special because of the story surrounding it. Thank you again for sharing your amazing trip with us.

  41. karen

    Verona is looking wonderful and I am sure it always will be special to you, having read your dramatic experience. I am so glad you’re safe, both of you. What a man you have!!

  42. Moni

    The color is simply gorgeous! yay for Kris for saving it! I’m still so glad you two are okay after that experience.

  43. Laura

    Damn, you’re making me cry again!

    I’m really wanting to try some Morehouse yarn, so love to see the project you’re knitting in it.

  44. amisha

    kris is amazing. i am still in awe of how composed he was and how he managed all of your gear!
    and your saved shawl will be such a beautiful memento of your trip… i love wearing something i’ve knit (or partially knit, more often!) on a trip… always brings back lovely memories.

  45. Jan

    Sounds like Kris is a keeper! ;-)
    Doesn’t the Morehouse laceweight knit up into a nice fabric?

  46. Amy Artisan » Face to Face

    [...] & chatting. Lolly was working on the beautiful Malabrigo sweater and I also got to see the beautiful purple shawl that accompanied her on her recent Peru adventures. It was a lovely evening of conversation and [...]

  47. Wanda

    You never get as much done on vacation as you might hope. It’s amazing that the shawl was remembered by Kris and still intact. I believe this shawl will always be a reminder of your Peru trip and all that you went through.

  48. Lolly Knitting Around » Blog Archive » Fair Verona

    [...] It was the simplicity that drew me to this knit: I often need a good stockinette fix, and this one definitely provided it. At 6.5 feet (just under 2 meters) of alternating knit and purl rows, I got just what I wanted. Little did I know that this shawl would have so many stories knit into it… [...]

  49. Lolly Knitting Around » Winter Whites

    [...] Like Verona, this shawl also has a story.  I started this shawl last summer, just a week or two after I contracted Lyme disease.  It had not hit me full force yet, but as I got sicker and sicker in late July and early August, this shawl was one of the only things that I could work on… the simple stockinette was comfort when my mind and my heart couldn’t handle anything else, and when I was scared about what the next day would bring with it.   My knitting was slow, but I pressed on with the shawl.  When I got healthier, I set the shawl aside – and it sat in my knitting basket for many months untouched.  In January, I picked it up again.  And now, it has a new purpose. [...]

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