Knitted Shrug for Lauren

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
                                                                                      ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I moved to the Charlotte, North Carolina area to take a teaching job over a little over two decades ago and shortly afterward met my friend Lauren, a woman who possesses seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm for life. She sings in the Opera Carolina chorus as well as in a church choir, travels extensively with her husband, is up on the latest shows and music and happenings about town, has a flair for decorating, works full time at a very demanding job, is a doting aunt and young grandmother, and makes time to comfort and support others. Lauren’s compassionate nature and listening ear have seen me through years of life’s trials, while her genuine praise and glowing compliments have celebrated my triumphs as well.  

Whenever Lauren and I can get together, she always presents me with a goody bag, filled with magazines and brochures related to my interests and thoughtful souvenirs from her trips (items such as scented soaps and stationery that appeal to my penchant for the frilly and Victorian).  Lauren and I have also gone away on a few girls’ weekends together, times when she’s always been good-natured about indulging my desires for where to eat, where to site see, etc.  On one sojourn, she even graciously volunteered to sleep on a small narrow cot and give me the double bed.  On that particular trip, we shared a honeymoon suite, decorated with rose garlands, lots of doilies, and photos of brides and grooms, in a quirky bed and breakfast near Asheville, North Carolina.  (I, of course, was responsible for finding this lodging at a bargain price, but Lauren was a trooper about agreeing to go along with my plans.   She didn’t even seem too fazed when I woke her up at 5:00 a.m. by shutting the door as I left the room to go do some early morning knitting.  And she refrained from making comments to me about the copious amounts of teddy bears and Disney memorabilia that literally covered every available surface in this bed and breakfast that seemed more like someone’s eccentric grandmother’s house.)

Rowan Tweed is a beautiful yarn.  The pattern
calls for Louisa Harding Grace and Grace
beaded, though.  Next time I'll try those.  

The pattern for the "Beauty Shrug" is found in
Louisa Harding's  The
Three Graces. 

A year or two ago I made Lauren a lacy black mohair scarf, but knew I needed to knit something special for her.  I didn’t get much Christmas knitting done this year, but last week I completed this shrug and dropped it off at Lauren’s house.  The yarn is Rowan Tweed, in a DK weight.  The port wine color is rich and beautiful, speckled with bits of black.  The garment design is simple—the item is worked in one piece and then the sleeves are seamed together.  I’m trying to refrain from buying any yarn until Easter, but I know that some beautiful DK weight is first on my shopping list, as I’d like to make a couple more of these shrugs.   


  1. She sings in the chorus at the opera? So cool, she must get to wear those fantastic hoop skirts sometimes. I really wanted to see their production of The Magic Flute this year, but things just got too busy (I love opera!). The shrug is gorgeous, it should suit her very well! You are such a wonderful friend, I consider myself very lucky to have your friendship. I cannot wait to see what you finish next!

  2. You write beautifully about the history of your friendship with Lauren. If I were her I would treasure what you've written here as much as the beautiful shrug you've made her. And actually of course both words and shrug are, if you will forgive the pun, indissolubly knitted together, in a metaphorical sense. You write from the heart, as you've knitted. So of course one belongs with the other. Time spent in that sort of integrated creativity is a glimpse of Paradise, I think. E x

  3. When you make something for somebody else you constantly have them in mind; you stitch all of your care and memories into the object you are making.

    The shrug looks great - I've got that booklet too and, like you, am waiting for the backlog of WIPs to subside before buying some of her gorgeous beaded yarn.



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