Behold, my From Boston to St. John (USVI!) Morning Glory Wrap.
I cast on July 6, 2008. The day before I went in to labor with H. I hoped that if I started a new project, my baby would be born a few days early. And it worked!
This is worked in two halves and grafted in the center. During my maternity leave, I knit the first half. Then I picked up the second half during the spring of 2009. I finished the knitting a few days after my son’s first birthday!
The pattern is fun. And pretty. But the stitch pattern is worked on both sides. There is no purl back "break" row. Instead, you've got things like purl three together through the back loops. AND and a section where you end in mid repeat. But the first few times you do those rows, you aren't sure where you end. I mean, the pattern doesn't specify what stitches to end on. So if one messed up a row or two before, it wouldn't be apparent right away that one had the wrong number of stitches. And tinking (and swearing) would occur.
I did a lot of tinking and ripping, especially while I worked on this late at night as a new mom. Probably not the best pattern to try when your brain is fried from lack of sleep, but I needed something to challenge me at the same time. I needed to proove to myself that I could still knit with a baby.
It went smoother once H was a month or two old and napped alone more and and played on his activity mat, batting at the toys. There were mornings when I was able to knit for an hour or so. It was such a sweet time. We were on the back porch, with lovely breezes coming in and nothing more pressing to do than nurse him and then knit while I watched him play or sleep. I'll always remember those lovely, free months when I wear this shawl.
As I said, I finished the first half on my maternity leave and then put it down when I went back to work. At that time, I switched to more basic knitting that I could pick up and work on without a lot of thought not knowing if I would have 10 minutes or two hours of free time.
But I picked it up again this past spring when I had longer blocks of time again. H didn't need to nurse every two hours anymore. He took longer daytime naps. A few times G took him to the grocery store and let me have an hour or so alone at home. I think I even brought it to knit night once, but it's not great social knitting.
But I started calling it the From Boston to St. John (USVI) Morning Glory Wrap after a song on the "baby soothe" playlist on my podcast. Before H was born, G spent a lot of time making playlists for various situations. The baby soothe one has 100 or so songs and we put it on in the evenings while we all hung out in our bedroom. I listened to it many times while nursing H and one song stuck out to me. Boston and St. John's by Great Big Sea is a such a lovely, soft song. But one lyric in particular always confused me.
"There isn't that much ocean between Boston and St. John's."
Huh? I thought. There's the entire Atlantic coast and then the Caribbean between Boston and St John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. That seemed like a lot of ocean to me. So one night I mentioned this to G and he said, "um, it's the one in Canada?" Of course, the St. John in New Brunswick!
So back to the shawl. It is done in two colors of Briar Rose Fibers Wistful (gorgeous alpaca, merino and silk yarn) that I bought at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival in Sept. 2007. I bought both the yarn and pattern after I saw a sample in the Briar Rose booth. But they didn't have two skeins of the yarn in the same colorways (well, no they did, but in a mauve/magenta color that I wasn't me). So I picked out two skeins in blues, greens with a bit of tan. Only one was more navy and other more turqoise. The owner suggested I use one for the netting border and the other for the main pattern. So this is what I did. And while I worked on the shawl in the evenings in my room and listened to this song and thought of the colors of the ocean near Boston and near St. John, USVI, and thought the colors in this shawl captured those two waters nicely. And thus the name came into being (along with this long story).
I love this shawl! It is probably the most complicated thing that I've knit so far. And I love the memories that are knit up into it. I can't wait to wear it this fall when the temperature cools. In the meantime, I still have to block it!