Aphasia by Patti Waters


October 2010
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
US 4 - 3.5 mm
0.75 mm
437 - 875 yards (400 - 800 m)
scarf and shawl, easily adjustable
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $5.95.

I know many people are curious about this name. Here is the blogpost I wrote soon after designing this shawl:

Aphasia is the clinical term for those times when you can not find the word you are looking for, when it’s right on the tip of your tongue. You know what you want to say, you open your mouth but nothing comes out. For most of us this is a curiosity that only occurs once in a while, and soon passes. For far too many people this phenomenon is part of everyday life. Survivors of strokes and other forms of brain injuries can have aphasia for the rest of their lives, a tragedy being constantly frustrated when trying to communicate. The brain is an insanely complex system, one that is too often oversimplified in public. I would urge more people to educate themselves about the one organ that defines each of us more than any other.

You may ask what all this has to do with the lovely shawl you see pictured above. Well not many people are willing to listen to my diatribes as a general rule, so I dressed this one up with pretty pictures, that is one excuse. Every time I write a pattern I have to think about what to name it because I usually don’t know. I can show you what the garment is with pictures, but almost every time I can not tell you what that garment should be called. I could not help but think of aphasia when I go through this process, and so finally I ended here. I call this shawl aphasia because I can not think of the word I should call it. If it gets people to look at that name and find out what it means, maybe get a few people to think about the brain and one of the many neural afflictions that we have been so unsuccessful at treating when they otherwise would not have thought of these things I feel it is worth it. I hope only to begin discussion and get more people thinking about the brain.