24 October 2014


I listened to a programme on the radio this week.  I was driving at the time so only half listening distracted by the road and a car full of chattering children.  The programme was discussing the impact of telephone exchanges on the lives of young working women, there were interviews with women who had worked as operators, many of these operators went on to marry engineers who worked in the same buildings at this point I tuned in and turned the volume up!  One of my grandmothers was an operator the man she married, my grandfather, was an engineer.*

A while ago I read about Prayer Shawls.  I had seen them mentioned on many a blog post and had mistakenly assumed they were made to be worn in church to keep you warm, many churches in my country are cool/cold all year round.  A prayer shawl is usually made as a gift to be given to a friend or person in need. Knitted and interwoven with your thoughts for the recipient in mind

Last year a friend of mine had a tough year, she struggled to keep it together and at the beginning of the year I felt a strong desire to make her a special gift.  I don't  manage to see her that often but wanted her to know that she was in my thoughts.  I cast on a shawl in January and slowly knitting the rows often in between other projects with deadlines.  The pattern was chosen specifically for her, not one I would have ordinarily have knitted, there was lots of lace which is not my favourite.  As I knit each stitch, each row it was woven with my thoughts for her and her future.  It is not very big as I expected it to be, despite blocking, I do hope she likes it.

My grandmother was a knitter, she wanted to teach me as a teenage but I wasn't interested, if I could turn back the clock............. She made me many things including a jumper for my eighteenth birthday.  I still have it.  A traditional aran jumper which I wear every autumn/winter.  I got it out of the back of my wardrobe last weekend to air it, in anticipation of the colder weather this week.

I always have a small light knitting project on the go, something portable which I can take anywhere. It's a great conversation starter!  I was knitting at a recent home ed meet up and some members of the group came over to watch and ask about what I was doing.  I was using dpn's which not everyone has seen or come across.  Somehow myself and another mum ended up setting up a monthly knitting group in our local independent bookshop, a knit and natter with a difference.

The web of life is intricate.  It takes you on a journey that is sometimes unexpected, but usually exciting.  Linking the past with the present and the future. It is keeping my memories of my wonderful grandparents alive.


*They didn't meet like this, but through their shared loved of dancing.


Project notes here, sharing with Nicole.


  1. What a beautiful gesture and I am sure it will be much appreciated. Your monthly knit and batter group sounds good too.

    San x

  2. Oh no predictive texting!!!! Natter not batter!!!! :-)

  3. Like the new banner - very seasonal. Nice post - interesting about your grandmother, lovely prayer shawl.

  4. Beautiful shawl - what a wonderfully thoughtful gift.
    Wish we had a knitting group here, maybe I should knit in public a bit more and see what happens....

  5. You made a very beautiful shawl with such a thoughtful and caring sentiment to go with it. I'm sure your friend will be thrilled to have it. Your story about your grandparents gave me goosebumps - how fascinating! Yes, if only we could turn back the clock, there are so many questions I would want to ask my grandmother now. :)

  6. Beautiful shawl and your knitting group sounds wonderful.

  7. It is a very pretty and more importantly thoughtful gift!! I am sure your friend will love it!

  8. your prayer shawl is lovely, what a special gift. <3

  9. i'm sure your friend is going to love the shawl... it is so lovely !!!

  10. Beautiful shawl. I'll have to check out thenotes. I made the same mistake with the concept of a prayer shawl. It is such a lovely idea. I keep meaning to make one.

    My uncle met his wife through the telephone exchange, in the 50s/60s. He was an engineer and she was an operator. They are still together. He does tell some wonderful stories about his time as an engineer. Must listen to the radio programme


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