Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Story of My Dream Shawl

Quite a few years ago, a lamb was born. She was a twin. She was all white with one small black spot on her ear. Her brother was all black with white teardrop markings under his eyes. She was named Sunshine and he was named Storm. There were other lambs born on the farm that year. There was another set of twins born, who were both black. One was Mercy and one was Grace.

Their sweet young Shepherdess told me that she wanted me to have Sunshine and Grace. Michael was not so sure about adding sheep to our farm. We prayed and I waited. One day, he said that we could get the lambs after we had their pasture ready. We had to cut a new door into our barn that led out into that pasture. This would give them shelter. Then Sunshine and Grace came to live on Amazing Graze Farm.

Sunshine was the most friendly of the two little lambs and made up with me fairly quickly. She was so cute and I loved my sheep.

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Sunshine became my herd matriarch and gave me many babies over the years. The first year she lambed, she gave me two white ewe lambs. I went around singing... "Two white ewes, two white ewes, Sunshine had her babies and they're two white ewes." This was sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice. I was thrilled.

The year this one was taken she gave me triplet ram lambs. One was white, one was black and one was spotted black and white. I named them Chocolate, Vanilla and Cookies and Cream.

She had beautiful wool. It was soft and there was always lots of it. Then one day when I was looking on the young Shepherdess's website, I saw this picture. A GINGHAM shawl along with the sheep whose wool it came from. I started dreaming that day of one day making a blue gingham shawl from Sunshine's wool. For those of you who do not know me well... I LOVE gingham, especially BLUE GINGHAM. I have been told that blue gingham is my favorite color. :)
I knew it would take a lot of carding and spinning to make it happen. I did not give up my dream though.

Then I was going to make a baby blanket... a very special one. That is another story for another day. I was afraid that I would not have time to card, spin and ply the yarn and then crochet it to have the baby blanket done in time. So, I sent off one of Sunshine's fleeces to the mill to be made into yarn. I went to work and got the blanket done.

There was still quite a bit of yarn left over. I started thinking of my dream shawl again. I started asking questions about how much a loom costs, etc. The young Shepherdess offered the use of her tri-loom.

I started figuring out how much yarn I would need. I needed more yarn and it would have to match the yarn I already had. So, I had more yarn made.

I decided that before I would make the dream shawl, I would make a small practice shawl. I had lots of acrylic yarn and set to work. I learned a lot in making that shawl. Most of what I learned was what I should NOT do. It still turned out pretty well.

Then I had Michael pray over the whole project for me. I was ready to start. I had dye part of the wool blue. The young Shepherdess, again offered her help. I took the beautiful white yarn to her house.
We put it in a boiling water dye. We had to keep checking for color.
I took it home and hung it up to dry.

I checked and re-checked my pattern and where I should start. Then I set to work.

Summer came with all of its busy-ness. We got a new puppy and that was a lot of work. Shawl weather was coming and I wanted my shawl. So, I went back to work and pretty soon all of the weaving part was done.

I started adding the fringe.

Finally, it was done all except the fulling process.

I asked if my sweet, beautiful daughter-in-love would come over and be a model for me to take pictures of my shawl on someone. She agreed.

I am thrilled with my shawl. It is very lightweight, but very warm. I was wearing it yesterday and plan on wearing it often.

I want to take the time in this public forum to thank the young Shepherdess. She is a very special friend of mine. She is very caring and giving. She has her own farm to care for as well as running a store and doing a CSA in the summer. She has 4 small children to love and take care of. She does a very graceful job of handling all that is on her plate. If I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like Marion. Thank you Marion. I love you!!!

By the way, she makes GREAT bagels to sell. :)
The Good Shepherd's Fold


Leah said...


Thank you so much for sharing the story behind your dream shawl. It's beautiful! I've been wanting to make a shawl for several years myself, a knitted one. You've inspired me to get started on it! :)

marion yoder said...

you are so welcome! I love you too :-)

Anonymous said...

Your shawl looks just lovely! You did a great job on it!!

LadySnow said...

It looks great Marci! So proud of you. It's beautiful and I bet you are just grinning from ear to ear when you wear it. ;-)

Sharri said...

I love your shawl--it's beautiful! And your model is too! :)

Congrats on a job well-done. I hope you have many happy hours wearing your "sunshine on your shoulders"! :)