What once was lost, can be found again, if sought

Lost and found shawls


We are just caretakers for lovely garments, until it is time for them to pass to another's shoulders, to be loved.

Christina Garton, the assistant editor of Handwoven, wrote a nice post for Weaving Today about the scarf she made for her husband, Shawn. It got me thinking about a lot of things. First was about how nice it is to be reminded of snow in the middle of summer. (Note to self: Hold on to how this very hot day feels to warm up in the middle of winter.)

I also found a scarf frozen in a snow bank years ago—but it was a gem (unlike the one Shawn found and wore, which had seen better days). And this reminded me of two favorite hats that I lost over the years—no doubt falling out of a pocket to be frozen into a snow bank somewhere. I hope that the people who dug them out treasure them still.

Maybe those hats are treasured in the way that I love a handspun shawl that was lost at SOAR years ago and placed in the lost and found box. After a number of attempts to reunite the scarf with its owner (holding it up at group gatherings and announcing that it was lost over the sound system), it was placed back in the lost and found box. It looked so sad there that I thought I should wear it, thinking that maybe if I wore it, the person who lost it would see it and claim it. Then, I found myself wearing it long after we left the event. It didn't take long before I was smitten with the shawl. Pretty soon, it had become a part of my wardrobe. In fact, I was a little afraid that the person who made it would come forward and then I'd have to hand it over. (I'm kind of afraid to write about it now, in fact.) I even made up a story in my head. It wasn't a lost shawl; it was abandoned, left by someone hoping it would find a better home. All she could see were the flaws…not the shawl's subtle beauty. All she saw was where things didn't go according to plan. When I look at it, I see unpretentious beauty. Recognizing that I've become very attached to this shawl and that I may have to give up, I've documented it well hoping that I can recreate it if necessary.

I've also become similarly attached to shawls that I've made or that have been given to me. This year, I received a lovely shawl for my birthday from Liz Good, who made it in secret. It is soft and deeply blue like the ocean. A few days later, I took it with me to Alaska on a whim. It was hard to think of needing a wool shawl when it was over 100 degrees at home, but when I got to chilly Alaska, I was grateful for the soft warmth around my neck. I became so attached to it, that I was soon afraid of losing it!

And then in my head I hear Alan Rickman reading from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen on a summery hill in the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

"For what so ever from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide into another brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought."

And I realize that I am just a caretaker for these lovely garments, until it is time for them to pass to another's shoulders, to be loved.

Happy spinning,

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