This month, my inspiration is coming from transitions. The transition from winter wardrobe to spring wardrobe and the transition from one yoga pose to the next.
It’s the perfect time to talk about transitions in wardrobe, since the weather can’t quite decide what season it is. I haven’t quite put away my winter coats, though they are getting moved further back in the closet, and my shorts have not yet made it out from the depths of my drawers. Mornings are often in the freezing range, and afternoons can vary from 50s-70s, so the best way I've found to relish this transitional weather is with layering. My new favorite layering piece: the knit shawl.
It just so happens that I knit three shawls in March (synchronous timing!). Two were test knits and one was already on my needles when all the test knits popped up. Here’re a couple of reasons why I'm so inspired by shawls this month, and why I think I need to knit up some more, stat:
- Shawls can be knit in different weights, so not only are they a layering piece that you can take on and off depending on the temperature, but they are also heavier/warmer for the colder transition days and lighter/cooler for the warmer of the bunch. In my three shawls, I’ve got a heavy (dense) one in bulky weight; a medium (middle of the road) in worsted weight and a light (airy) in fingering weight yarn.
- Shawls come in many shapes, sizes, colors, techniques and stitch patterns. Again, among the three I just finished knitting - one was crescent shaped, two were triangle shaped. All had different cast on methods and all had different stitches including cables (Big Braid Shawl), eyelets (Free Your Fade), and linen stitch color transitions (as yet unnamed shawl).
- You can accessorize shawls. Want to add a tassel (or three?) Do it! A pom? Why the heck not? How about a shawl pin to keep the shawl in place, or just add a little bling. I’m all about it. In fact, one of my favorite ways to wear my Big Braid Shawl is with the cable trailing down one arm and a shawl pin to keep everything in place.
- You can wear a shawl in different ways, such as: wrapped around your neck like a scarf; wrapped around your neck like a bandana; around your shoulders symmetrically; around your shoulders asymmetrically; criss cross around the front and tied in the back. (All you 90s children - the criss cross, or should I say ‘kriss kross’ method is daddy mac, just sayin’) And on and on - it's very versatile piece we’ve got here.
Are you with me? Is this short list convincing that you could *literally* (I’ve been knitflixing to Parks and Rec a lot, all you fans out there will get the reference!) knit a shawl in every color, weight, shape, stitch, to help your wardrobe make the sometimes awkward transition from winter to spring? Do you want to don a shawl as much as I do right now?
Easy Does It
While we’re embracing the transitional weather with our wardrobe full of beautiful knit shawls, why not also relish some yoga transitions that often get rushed through or avoided altogether (speaking completely about my own tendencies here!)
I’ve wanted to be able to swoosh from a seated position to low plank and from downdog to a seated position ever since I saw someone perform the transitions with grace, lightness and ease. But I’m here to tell you, friends, it is no easy task!
Alongside wearing my shawls this month to celebrate the wring days, (winter + spring = wring?) I am going to salute the yoga transitions that do not feel graceful or ‘light’ as yet, but help keep my sight on what's possible. (Kind of how the first spring buds on trees give hope of nature's bounty.) Below is a little clip of me attempting to do said transitions with the help of blocks to make my arms longer. I scuffle my feet on the jump back, and land a little low - needs work, and hopefully one day I'll be able to do both transitions without the assistance of blocks. We’ll see if by the end of the month I’ve progressed! I can tell you right now that I definitely feel muscles I never knew I had.
(Totally fun side note: when I can’t do these transition poses with/without blocks, I complain that my arms just aren’t long enough for me to get my legs underneath. However, when I attempt to stick a handstand, I gripe about my arms being too long that my center of gravity is further from the ground making it impossible to stay up without the assistance of the wall. In both instances, the main culprit is likely lack of core strength, so that's really where my focus should be.)
What are your favorite transitional wardrobe pieces and poses-in-between-poses?
Featured Shawl Patterns:
1. Big Braid Shawl by PremKnits (just released!): Knit in Lion Brand WoolSpun, Peacock and Moss (Bulky Weight) *My shawl pin is called the Moon Pin, and can also be worn in your hair. Locally made in Asheville by Studio Weyh also available in Echoview's Shop.