- Pattern name: Venezia Shawl
- Published in: Ravelry
- Designer: Joji Locatelli
- Yarn: Lilou Silky Fingering, colorway Masala
- Needles: 3,5mm wooden straight
- Finished: November 2020
Finding the perfect match
I purchased the gorgeous Lilou Silky Fingering yarn already in April 2020 when my LYS Snurre was clearing the discontinued yarn from their stock. My hands were just itching to start working on it right away, but I couldn’t find a perfect project for it. Not only did I want the project to compliment the beautiful yarn and vice versa, but I also only had one skein of it – so finding the perfect match was really a long shot. But then I stumbled across the lovely Venezia shawl (by the talented and amazing Joji Locatelli), and it was love at first sight!
To be honest, I had never made a shawl before. I’ve made one lace-pattern scarf (a Christmas gift for my grandmother) over 10 years ago, but otherwise I’ve simply not been interested in them. I don’t really wear (or even “cozily wrap myself in”) shawls. Still it seems that knitting them is hugely popular among knitters everywhere (seriously, what do people do with all their shawls?). Furthermore, I’ve always imagined that knitting a shawl would be quite boring, to be frank. But I stand corrected, since Venezia really was an enjoyable piece to knit!
Ups and downs
I finally started the project on a sunny October afternoon, when I had just managed to put my daughter to her nap. Unfortunately, the beginning was less than magical, since all my good needles were attached to some WIP’s, so I thought I’d just use some old plastic loop needles. What a mistake! I kept splitting the yarn, dropping stitches and the whole thing just felt off. But after changing to better needles I really started to enjoy the project: the shiny, bronze yarn that just flowed in my hands as I worked my way through the intriguing diamond pattern. And I felt so excited to start a bit more complicated project after working so long with my beautiful but simple BiRTHDAY sweater.
For me, Venezia Shawl represents the phase of settling in to Serbia, both in good and in bad. During the project, we were in the middle of establishing routines and finding the “new normal”, after living out of our suitcases in temporary apartments for over a month (and of course preparing for the move for almost a year). So there was definitely excitement and even relief in the air – and I finally had enough brain capacity to work on something other than a two-row repeat! We found a nanny for our daughter that she really liked, and I had time for myself and my MBA studies twice a week. The weather was mostly sunny and warm, and I could still knit on our beautiful terrace in October (which is never possible in Finland!). And not just once or twice but several times I’d stop to admire the beauty of everything – the pattern, the yarn, our home, our new home country, and our family.
On the other hand, Venezia also carries all the negative emotions one starts to have after the honeymoon phase with your new home country is over, and your eyes open to all the less admirable features. Some days, when everything starting from going to the grocery store and recycling your trash had just been hard, and the city had felt as if it was trying to reject me, Venezia gave me comfort and the sense of familiar – and also a sense of control. I may not speak the local language, I may buy wrong products, and our sink / dishwasher / laundry machine / whatever may not work, but I sure can make something beautiful with my hands!
I chose to take Venezia (and only Venezia!) with me to our wonderful trip to Western Serbia. Even though I didn’t really have much time to knit there, I nevertheless connect the excitement of the trip and the gorgeous scenery of Tara National Park with the shawl. That trip was where I really understood what a beautiful and versatile country Serbia is, and how much there is to see and explore! You can read more about the trip here!
Still not a shawl person
I don’t yet know what I want to do with the shawl. I didn’t find my inner shawl-person while working on the project, and even though the yarn is beautiful and silky smooth, the colour is not the best for me. But the piece did become very dear to me (and I also learned a new stitch: purl through back loop), and just looking at it makes me happy! So maybe I’ll give it as a gift to someone dear to me, with whom I want to share all the experiences and emotions stitched into it.