The Shawl Society Chronicles

It’s been two years since the last Shawl Society collection: I took a year out to make room for our family’s move to Australia, and to “fill the well” of shawl inspiration again. Now we’re very, very close to the launch of Season 5 (presales will begin Friday May 7th!) and before we dive into the future, I wanted to revisit the past.

The first Shawl Society was a big creative risk for me and for all the brave knitters who signed up for this crazy adventure. It was a risk that paid off: every one of us was surprised and delighted by what we could accomplish, knitting together. And the joy of that community and that sense of anticipation and mystery just built, year after year.

I can’t wait to go back there with you and see what we can do this time.

If you’ve been down this secret path with us in years gone by, you might like to remember some of these favourite shawl projects. And if you’re new to the Curious Crew and are wondering what’s behind those Shawl Society 5 doors, you might want to have a peek at what’s come before…

So, as we begin to ponder yarn choices and start getting excited for another season of shawls, here are the Shawl Society Chronicles so far…

The Shawl Society Season 1

Where it began: The very first season of The Shawl Society

Free spirited. Mysterious. Romantic

Images clockwise from top left: Amulet Shawl, Asana Shawl, Aurorae Shawl,
Sonder Shawl, Talisman Shawl, Quill Shawl

The first season of The Shawl Society was so, so exciting. Because I’d never done this before, the element of surprise was everything, and everyone really got into the spirit of the mystery, having absolutely no idea what to expect when they signed up. That took some courage! The theme for this season sprang up directly from the very idea of a mysterious secret society built around creativity and skill. I was inspired by the thought of a shadowy, enchanted group of magicians, meeting under the moonlight, and delighted by imagining what their magic might look like today, in the real world

The Shawl Society Season 2

The plot thickens: The Shawl Society 2

Ethereal. Enchanting. Unexpected.

Images clockwise from top left: Familiar Shawl, Fairyhill Shawl, Rune Shawl,
Sprite’s Fen Shawl, Vila Wrap, Wishmaker Shawl

After such a successful first season, I couldn’t wait to create another collection for the Society Members. This year, the theme leaned even more into the magical, drawing from folktales and myths and finding inspiration in new ways to look at old stories. It was another season of deepening community and connection among the Society Members, and I still see many of these patterns popping up on social media as new knitters discover the collection.

The Shawl Society Season 3

Escape to the Secret Garden: The Shawl Society 3

The whole world is a garden

Images clockwise from top left: Planting Seeds Shawl, Learning to Cry Shawl,
Wick Shawl, Whole World is a Garden Shawl, Ivy Over the Door, Maytham Shawl

Every collection I design has a special place in my heart, but this one was particularly lovely. It was personal, because the theme was based on The Secret Garden, a favourite book from my childhood that I was sharing with my own girls at the time. We also watched the stunningly beautiful 1993 movie directed by Agnieszka Holland, which offered so much aesthetic inspiration.

As I said at the time, this is “a story about the magic of nature, the power of the imagination, and the gift of friendship. The act of bringing something to life with the work of your own hands is always transformative, whether it is a lost and sleeping garden, or a skein of yarn waiting to blossom into a wonderful shawl.” I think you can see that story in all of this season’s designs. 

The Shawl Society Season 4

Finding our happy place: The Shawl Society 4

One perfect day.

Images clockwise from top left: Sea Gleam Shawl, Floating Shawl, Sunset Skies Shawl, Gathering Driftwood Wrap, Rockpooling Shawl, In The Dunes Wrap

The most recent season of The Shawl Society was inspired by the idea of a perfect day spent in your happy place, whatever that means to you. At the time, I described it like this: “it’s a place where time stands still, where everyday cares disappear, and where you can be wholly and happily yourself. It could be a mountaintop. It might be a cottage in the woods. Maybe a meadow. For me, it has always been the beach.” All of the shawls this season were designed and named for specific moments during a dreamy day by the seaside.

If you’re signed up for the Curious Crew email list, you’ll know that this year’s mystery collection is all about the wide-open feeling you get from days spent almost entirely outdoors. 

No screens, no phones, no clocks, no deadlines, no demands. 

Just you, the wind, and the hum of small contented things going about their simple little lives among the grasses and the trees.

Freedom, inspiration, and wide open spaces await.

While we wait for this new adventure to begin, I thought you might like to warm up with some of our past designs, so all of my shawl patterns and collections are buy-one-get-one-free on Ravelry this week (The sale runs from today until midday (AEST) on Friday, May 9th, 2021)

I thought you might want something fun to knit while we wait for the first design of The Shawl Society 5 to be revealed. 

You can choose from any of the earlier Shawl Society designs above, Knivent shawls like Dust of Snow, standalone shawl patterns like Pebble Beach, or previous mystery knit along shawls like The Impressionists or Stillness Shawls.

No code is necessary, just put two or more of my shawl patterns or collections in your Ravelry cart and one will become free when you check out.

Happy knitting!

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