Our little Delhi flat could have been mistaken for a weekend girls hostel. College going daughters with friends, schoolgirls from neighbouring apartments with knitting needles and goodies for the popular Biskit-Peppu duo, family and friends with jokes, delicious dishes and juicy gossip for me. The apartment was airy, had minimal furniture ( according to me), and visitors would sprawl on the floor rugs or curl up on the soft futon. There was no dining table, just a tiny round rickety contraption which moved where it was needed.
The floor rugs were hardy and vibrant. The girls had pointed me in the right direction when we had been shopping in Dilli Haat, so that I could take the credit for the blues, oranges, browns and greens on the floor. Depending on the mood of the maid, they were shifted around regularly…an earthy living room could become blue, or it could turn the visitors green with envy.
Nine years ago, while the girls were unwinding in the earthy living room, there was an excited call from their mother. She was in Ranchi and had found…..of all things, a HUGE wool shop!! A large, well laid out shop covered with knitting yarn of all types and tints….pure wool, sock wool, good wool, wool on sale. You could have knocked me down with a feather. Ranchi, of all places in India, had this Wool Emporium, and it was wonderland for me!! I just had to buy wool for everyone in the family..
Selecting wool for me was easy…a brownish yarn ( I was into cream and brown those days, I am into blues and magenta these days) which went through a tough time and is now back to its original set of hanks. There were so many colours vying attention, and there were so many past episodes of the girls retching over my choice of colour…hence, that excited call to the girls from their mother.
They heard me out patiently…the ooohs and aahs, the sheer novelty of Ranchi etc…and then, when I asked them what colour wool should i get for each one of them, there was this deep, long silence. ” Can you get that shade of orange which is scattered over that squares wala rug?! not the maroon or the brown squares, just the orange shade will do very well!”. I closed my eyes, thought long and hard, and picked up ….the right shade!!
Two years down the road, every bit of that yarn was knitted into this shawl.
..alas, the pattern was for bamboo silk ( a thin, luminous, edgy yarn) and I made it in this thick acrylic bright wool. It turned out to be a peculiar square which could neither be a muffler or a shawl. The girls kept it quietly at the back of their cupboard, without a single comment. But when they saw the name of the pattern , “Bamboo Wedding Shawl”, the jokes and the comments just wouldn’t stop! ” Ah ha!! so you want to see us married?! is this is a voodoo shawl?” etc etc.
And so, like so many other projects, the shawl sat quietly in the trunk and watched 6 long years go past. Last year, as part of that stash reality check, the quiet orange shawl was ripped back to its original state.
This year, with Brooklyn Tweed publishing some delectable patterns for hand-knits, the quiet orange yarn has been made into this wrap.
I love it. I love the colour, I love the combination of lace and bobbles, I love the warm feeling of having some spectacular lace around my shoulders. I love the way it perks up my grey and dark-blue wardrobe.
Most of all, I love the irony of me wearing and savouring that special shade which I had picked up for the girls. That “squares wala” rug has disintegrated and has been discarded, but every time I wear this wrap, I remember, fondly, that lovely little flat which could have been mistaken for a weekend girls hostel.