I can probably talk about shawls for the rest of November. The weather is perfect for them. I seem to knit them compulsively. I have enough yarn to make them for my whole family (my sister is going to get ideas, but I just don't see her in a shawl). I believe that they're timeless. I like that. Never having been much of a fashion maven (or victim for that matter), there's something appealing about an article of clothing that transcends the centuries. Okay, I know that there are people who'd say I'm a little bit out of touch with ... style (I bet you thought I was going to say reality. Admit it). That's all right.
I've always loved them. I have a collection of ... gulp ... non-knitted shawls too. Two wool shawls from India. A black Amish wool shawl that I bought in Holmes County, Ohio; I don't think they make them, they just wear them. Two pashmina shawls that were given to me as gifts, one brought all the way from Nepal by my sister - in red of course.
Another shawl is a Stansborough_Gotland shawl that was my birthday gift from Jon this year. (If you search through my posts I've used it as a backdrop for several pictures.) Stansborough provided the wool and wove the shawls that were used for the Elven cloaks in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy by Peter Jackson. We're LOTR geeks around here, having traveled to Boston to see the exhibit at the Museum of Science in September, gone to the movies on opening day for three years, and more geeky things than I'd care to mention here.
Mary's posts on November 5th and 8th got me to thinking what it is I like about shawls. Go read Mary's_shawl_posts, they're funny as well as interesting.
I like Tasha_Tudor. This is kind of irrational, because I suspect she's been overmarketed, and I've never met her. I like her anyway. She's written some wonderful children's books, she has Corgis, and she wears shawls. (She also sews historic costumes by hand, weaves, paints, and does any number of things I'd love to do.) The Truly_Tasha shawl is a free pattern on the Wooly West/Nancy Bush's website, and is based on one of Tasha Tudor's handmade shawls. Simple, practical and elegant, its also on the list of things I want to do. You can see a picture of it HERE (there isn't a photo on the pattern page).
If you're interested in trying a Faroese shawl but don't know where to start, I highly recommend the free pattern available for a doll-sized shawl from Heartstrings. It takes about 100 yards of fingering or sport weight yarn, and is a fun way to play around with the concept of a shaped shawl in a small, non-threatening project.
There are also several free shawl patterns at Heirloom_Knitting. Sharon Miller has written the book, literally, on Shetland lace knitting. These are probably the fanciest of the free patterns, but they'll give you a taste of the designer's talent.
No more excuses Norma! Go knit a shawl.