Creating Talismans

I haven’t knit a scarf for myself in years. I knit so many when I was a new knitter that I didn’t feel a need for any new ones — until I saw this picot edge scarf on the Morris and Sons blog. I just loved the way it was knit lengthwise and how it worked with a variegated yarn colorway. I’m also a sucker for little do-dads, frills, and such. Those little picots looked so fun to knit! I had some merino yarn in fall colors in my stash that seemed perfect for the project. I whipped it up, oh gosh, in September? I’ve been meaning to show you all since then. It was the perfect thing to knit as the weather cooled and the colors in the scarf showed up in the trees around town.




Love the tapered picot edges!

I am determined to catch you all up on the things I’ve made over the past few months. These things I make, like scarves and hair sticks and such, on a practical level add pizzazz to my same old same old small wardrobe without spending coupons. In the big, important picture, I love having a little something handmade on every day that I can. It makes me feel … self-sufficient. Powerful, even. Almost like I am wearing a talisman against the vagaries of the modern world. No, not almost like — Am. I’m convinced that objects we make with our own two hands are imbued with integrity, magic, and soul, and isn’t that the stuff I want resting on my shoulders, and intertwined in my hair each and every day?


  1. That’s a lovely scarf (and a little like the one my Middle Child knitted for me!) I wish I could knit… πŸ™‚

  2. Talismans against the vagaries of the modern world… how well you put it! That really sums up much of how I move through life.

    You know, I don’t celebrate vintage or nostalgia for the sake of it. I don’t believe that something is good just because it is old. And heaven knows, there is enough to criticise about the past, especially prejudices to anybody different. (I think if I had lived in the past, I would probably have been burnt as a witch for my appreciation of the power of herbs!). I do however like the rootedness of it, that simple handmade objects are rooted in a practical utilitarianism that doesn’t ignore the need for jollity, belonging and beauty but doesn’t wrap it into some self-conscious validation of the self.

    PS – I’m rather partial to picot too πŸ˜‰ It’s a form of restrained frivolity, like a Victoria sandwich sponge cake.

    1. Yes — I feel that I have very little in common with people who are part of the “vintage revival” set. I like old things that make more sense to me than new things (but new things when THEY make more sense — like modern anesthesia and being able to vote and own property as a woman πŸ˜‰

      I also think I might have been on a pyre next to you — for so many reasons!

      Love this Anne Sexton poem —

      Her Kind
      By Anne Sexton
      I have gone out, a possessed witch,
      haunting the black air, braver at night;
      dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
      over the plain houses, light by light:
      lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
      A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
      I have been her kind.

      I have found the warm caves in the woods,
      filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
      closets, silks, innumerable goods;
      fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
      whining, rearranging the disaligned.
      A woman like that is misunderstood.
      I have been her kind.

      I have ridden in your cart, driver,
      waved my nude arms at villages going by,
      learning the last bright routes, survivor
      where your flames still bite my thigh
      and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
      A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
      I have been her kind.

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