This post popped up in my feed today and I immediately sent it to my pal Laura, “Can you believe it’s been six years?”

It’s been six years since we went to Rhinebeck, the grande dame of Sheep & Wool festivals. We had taken the bus down from Web’s yarn store in Northampton. It was great to be able to eat, gab, and knit for hours on the bus and not have to worry about driving or parking in Rhinebeck, New York.

Seeing these photos reminded me of how I came to knit my first (and only) shawl. I no longer call it a shawl since mine is as large as a blanket. My pal Ellen always laughs at the name “Shlanket” but that’s what it is.

At Rhinebeck, Laura had already pointed out the designer Stephen West to me, who was wearing an entirely knitted outfit, including colorful leggings.

Later I saw the gal in the photo above left wearing a shawl she had made out of metallic yarns that glittered in the sunlight. She was elegant and fashionable. I had to know what pattern it was, or if she had designed it herself, so I proceeded to go up to her and ask. That’s what’s nice about knitters. If you are talking about something they made, they are 100% approachable.

Well it turns out she was wearing a Stephen West pattern, The Dotted Rays Shawl.

I had to make one.

It took me a little less than a year. I used a combination of yarns I already had, and I mixed superwash and regular wool. So far, since I wash it by hand, that has not been a problem. I didn’t know the difference between types of yarn that well at the time.

Here’s a close up of my Dotted Rays “Shlanket.”

Sadly, I almost never wear it. It makes quite a fashion statement and I guess I don’t dress up very much.

Are you a shawl knitter? If so, let me know your favorite patterns, maybe I will try one again sometime!


  1. Just wear it! It’s gorgeous. If we all wear our beautiful stuff that we think no one else is wearing, we’ll all come out in our beautiful stuff!

  2. Love it, Marje! It’s gorgeous. I’d wear it all the time. Wear it to the grocery store, while watching tv or sitting outside in the sun on a cool, autumn day. Things that bring you joy should be used ❤️

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