Dame Nature Shawl by Karen Robinson
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Dame Nature Shawl

Knitting
March 2018
Lace ?
28 stitches and 48 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette, blocked
US 2 - 2.75 mm
750 yards (686 m)
one size: 48" wingspan and 18" tall
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD buy it now

In Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls, the birds have all gathered together in order to choose their mates for the coming year. Dame Nature presides over the gathering, which takes place in a lush garden full of spring blossoms. The flowers on this shawl symbolize Dame Nature’s power over the growth surrounding her.

Pattern includes both fully written out instructions as well as charts.

Yarn
Round Table Yarns Isolde (55% BFL, 45% silk, 875 yds/800 m per 100g skein); 1 skein. Sample uses colorway Cave of Lovers; or 750 yds (658 m) of another laceweight yarn

Materials
US 2 (2.75 mm) 32” (80 cm) or longer circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
2 stitch markers
320 size 8/0 (2.5 mm) beads
crochet hook or SuperFloss or other preferred tool for placing beads

Gauge
28 stitches and 48 rows over 4” (10 cm) in stockinette, blocked

Finished Measurements
Top edge wingspan: 48” (122 cm)
From top edge to widest point of half-circle: 18” (46 cm)

Thank You
Thank you to my test knitters (megknitsalot, AnnieatWebb, Manda-B, lonestarlady, and Maryorsini431) who provided valuable feedback. And thank you to my tech editor, Sarah Walworth (Tricot Edit), and my graphic designer for the layout (Elizabeth Green).

The Story Behind the Name
This pattern was inspired by The Parliament of Fowls, written in the late fourteenth century by Geoffrey Chaucer. This poem is known as a dream vision, in which a dreamer starts off narrating the poem and describes the dream he has. The narrator in this text refers to himself as a student of love, who is doing some reading to help him learn about love. He falls asleep and has a dream in which he is taken to the temple of Venus; the largest section of the dream takes place in the garden of Dame Nature, where she has gathered a number of birds so that they may choose their mates for the coming year.

During this part of the poem, three male eagles come forward to claim a female eagle as their mate. The multiple suitors causes a debate among all the other birds as to which one the female eagle should choose. Since it seems the birds will never come to a consensus, Dame Nature steps in and announces she has made a decision: she will allow the female eagle to make the choice herself, based solely on which one the female eagle loves best, even if he might not be seen as the worthiest by the other birds.

The female eagle declares she’s not ready to make a decision (or perhaps she doesn’t want to choose any of these three suitors) and asks for a year’s respite to make her choice. Nature advises the three suitors that a year isn’t too long to wait, and they should use that time to continue to prove their worth. After this, all the other birds choose their mates, and the birds (and poem) end by singing in praise of Nature.