Telling Stories with the Santa Fe Scarf

Ever since I was little, I have been a storyteller. Words had long been my preferred medium, but my creativity never rests, and working at Interweave has expanded my means of telling and hearing stories. Mara Bishop Statnekov’s Santa Fe scarf shows us clearly that knitters have a very unique way of putting together narratives of their own.

When you look at the pattern for the Santa Fe scarf, you see much more than a means to make a beautiful scarf. You see the different pieces of Mara’s life coming together to make something new. After years of making shawls from the patterns of others, she decided it was time to tell her own story. She combined the Orenburg gossamer lace construction she learned from her first lace teacher, Galina Khmeleva, with elements of design from her home of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and other parts of the American Southwest. The pattern isn’t exactly derived from traditional Orenburg; Mara calls herself “a knitter who likes to break the rules and mix things up.” The result is a twist on traditional Orenburg that meets geometric designs inspired by American Southwest traditions of Anasazi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Mimbres—and, of course, Santa Fe, where Mara has lived for almost forty years.

Santa Fe Scarf

Detail of the Santa Fe Scarf from PieceWork March/April 2017. Photo by Joe Coca

PieceWork’s Santa Fe Scarf Kit allows others to experience Mara’s story themselves and to share it through creation and conversation. Her different design elements and the way they tell us of where she has been and what has influenced her in her art gives me inspiration to keep telling stories of my own, and to explore ways to do that with different media. Perhaps Mara’s pattern will help you to think about your own journey, and after you create a bright Santa Fe scarf yourself, you can find the drive to start creating a story of your own.

The kit includes the luscious merino/silk yarn needed to knit the scarf and a digital edition of the March/April 2017 issue of Piecework, which includes more about Mara’s inspirations for this scarf, along with other projects to knit, crochet, and embroider and articles exploring needlework’s rich history. There are so many needlework stories to tell.

Happy knitting!

Featured Image: Santa Fe Scarf from PieceWork March/April 2017. Photo by Joe Coca

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  1. Janet S at 11:25 am April 13, 2017

    Have issue with the Santa Fe scarf and have purchased yarn at LYS. Any suggestions on enlarging charts. Have already tried at Staples to make easier to read and followi. Such a beautiful scarf and would so love to attempt Please help

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