This scarf has not (yet) saved any damsels and dashing men in distress. No, it hasn’t been lowered dramatically from a window ablaze with gusty flames, to help distraught human beings escape a fiery death. No ardent lover has used this scarf to climb up-to the balcony of his/her beloved and it is yet to become a beacon of hope and promise for a marooned soul on a tiny island. The inference, therefore, is that there is a lot of potential in our savior scarf.
It was born with potential in every fiber. So what if each fiber was culled from different leftover heaps in my craft cupboard/at the local yarn shop clearance sale/after unraveling pieces of indeterminate knitting /in packets donated by arthritis-ridden-but-determined-knitter aunts?!!
At one stage in my life, 5 years or more, I was in danger of being submerged under piles of yarn at home, while piles of excel sheets would threaten to submerge me at the Health Ministry. I was working on proposals for funding grants and it was a tough climb for someone who wasn’t sure how many zeroes made a million. To this crevice of ignorance, add the challenge of diving into Excel sheets, making sense out of output, process and everything-else indicators…and you will infer that Mala Srikanth was living some tough days of her life.
It was wool which kept me afloat. Through the long winter Delhi months, I would drop into the local yarn shop, pick up a skein of wool with an interesting shade, enjoy the walk home with my booty and then, after gazing and planning unusual projects , stuff it into a corner of the bookshelf/cupboard/trunk/ledge/pillow/anything hollow. When all the corners were stuffed, this pattern just popped up and asked to be knit.
The first scarf was knit in trains, planes, buses, boring meetings, family dinners and TV viewing. To mystified viewers, it looked like a frilly, frilly skirt with impossible colors. To me, it was just a way to make a few un-stuffed corners. It took 5 months to get a decent breadth and I was so, so glad to cast off those 800 odd stitches. (this is the cue for experienced knitters to pause, raise eyebrows and exclaim “800 stitches!!?!!..What is she knitting?!!). when the scarf came off the needles, its length was just 13 FEET. I could have swathed myself into a mummy with that thing and there would still be some leftover.
The Net and Elizabeth Zimmermann came to my rescue. I picked up my big scissors, took a deep breath and cut that hapless scarf into two. Viola, behold—two lovely scarves waiting to be presented to two lucky friends!!
The wows and the wah-wahs got me thinking…why shouldn’t we knit some more of these colorful scarves..and why shouldn’t I teach Hema to knit them, while walking to and fro from her village? I got her long circular needles, taught her the tricks of the trade and there she goes—knitting steadily through the seasons, past monkeys and cars and trucks, while walking and talking and collecting firewood in the jungle and running behind goats and kids ( human as well as animal). In the past two years, she has knitted countless scarves and made a significant nest-egg for herself.
Each scarf is completed, fringed, washed and blocked and sent off to a buyer. Magically, a buyer appears just before the scarf is done! Friends, neighbors, colleagues and some more friends have been lining up to pick them up and so, my dear reader, right now, we are birthing “The Waiting List”!
So now, why do I name this colorful piece of craft as a “Savior Scarf”?! Read on, my friend!
- These scarves have saved me from sure suffocation under my yarn stash. Add to that, the wonderful opportunity of grabbing any yarn which calls out to me at the wool shop, the pleasure of mixing and matching different colors and getting a new look every time—Creative savior.
- When forays into creative and financially viable projects flop, the scarves continue to emerge and remind me that I am capable of mixing colors, imagining textures and therefore, I should keep going on—Reassuring savior.
- From being a tired, hungry, unhappy and worried mother to knitting herself into a confident, happy and excited craft person, Hema has come a long, long way. She now has some money of her own and it has opened up doors like nothing else could have—Economic savior.
- For special occasions, for special friends, for special gifts—the right scarf has been created and presented. It has been admired and then, it has been worn with joy and pride and comfort—Gifting savior.
- And finally, this scarf can be a Future savior for you too, my dear reader. I am now throwing open the gates. You can order any of these scarves, or tell me the color shades which appeal to you, give me some time and then, you can have your own Savior Scarf, to wear yourself or to gift someone else. In that process, you will support the Creative, Reassuring, Economic and Gifting aspects of this magical piece of knitting!