I first saw the Afternoon Tea shawl pattern when I first realized that Knitty existed. At the time, shawls seemed like crazy, complicated projects that only the most extreme of knitters could successfully complete. My skills barely encompassed knitting and purling, and any time I caught a glimpse of a chart I was sure it was something I could never learn to decode. The stitch pattern and design of the shawl didn’t capture my attention as much as the name did–I love tea in general and especially formal afternoon tea at hotels or tea houses. I imagined myself wearing such a shawl, graceful as the heroines of the novels I’d grown up reading, sipping my tea and chatting blithely with other frilly maidens. Then I returned to my slow study of simpler projects.
In late July I thought often of shawls, having seen some particularly lovely patterns come up in the “Most Popular” selections on Ravelry. When I stopped into a yarn shop and ambled through the yarn (as my patient friend and husband lounged in the seating area clicking away on their phones), I was thinking of some of those shawl patterns. I spotted a pretty pale pinkish brown flecked with paler creamish tones and knew it would come home with me. I wasn’t sure which shawl pattern it would work out for, but I knew that shawls made of fingering yarn were common enough that I must have at least a few in mind ready for this yarn.