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Downton Abbey 2014 Mystery CAL

Crochet
January 2014
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in sc in back loop only
5.0 mm (H)
900 - 1220 yards (823 - 1116 m)
17" deep, 60" wide along bottom edge
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Well, My Dears, it has been far too long! Where HAS the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that I promised to provide you with instruction on shawl design, and I am SHOCKED at how the months have flown! My sincerest apologies for being remiss with my tutelage, and I will now attempt to remedy the situation. I shall explain to you all my Design Secrets so you may benefit from my Talent and Expertise! Now listen carefully, while I tell you all the steps in detail:

Firstly, you must ring for your maid. Then you must impress upon her the SERIOUSNESS of the task before her. Here is the dialogue I had with my maid just this very morning…

“Simmons! SIMMONS! PAY ATTENTION!!!”

“Oh, h’excuse me, Mum, I’m not Simmons – that was your previous maid wot up and quit like on you two years ago. My name is – “

“No matter, no matter! Whatever your name may be, it is of no importance. Now PAY ATTENTION and stop your rambling! I need you to make a shawl for me at once!”

“Wot, Mum? A SHAWL? Does you mean a nitted or a cro-shay shawl or wot?”

“Well a CROCHET shawl of course!” (Honestly, the woman must be simple-minded!)

“But Mum, wot shape like should it be, and wot color, and, and…”

“Now don’t bother me with your foolish questions! A shape to fit around my shoulders of course, and as to the color, it should be an ATTRACTIVE color, but nothing gaudy or common – you must restrain your natural impulses, Simmons!”

“Mum, I h’ain’t Simmons, like I tole yer afore, my name is –“

“Stop bothering me with your foolishness! Now off with you and make sure you write the directions down and bring them to a place called ‘Ravelry’ – there are many ladies of quality there waiting for these directions! So stop your sniveling and get to it IMMEDIATELY!”

The important thing, I find, is to be FIRM with these little people, and not allow them be distracted by inconsequentials. The rest, you see, becomes very easy…

Yours Sincerely
The Dowager Countess of Grantham

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, beggin’ yer pardon, Ladies, but I h’ain’t never learned none o’ that Cro-shay - or even worse, that NITTIN’, wot uses TWO or sometimes EVEN MORE THAN TWO needles, and I bin told is even MORE likely to drive yer to distraction! But I didn’t like ter tell her Ladyship that, not wantin’ to disappoint her, like…

But I got an idea that maybe there’s someone else who can make some kinder shawl fer her Ladyship. There’s bin this poor relation of the Crawleys lurkin’ ‘round Downton since she slunk over from America last year. They keep her hidden up in the attic like, when company’s over, so’s she don’t embarrass the Family with her common ways. But she knows summat about Cro-shayin’ or so’s I hear.

So, I bin thinkin’- mebbee I can get her ter make some kinder shawl, and if’n yer don’t mind, we’ll jest keep her part in this private-like, so’s as not to upset her Ladyship…

Signed Most Respecktfully
The Dowager Countess’ Nameless Lady’s Maid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi there – it’s me. They have locked me up in the attic, fearing my American accent and “common ways” might scare away the girls’ suitors. I’m starting to feel rather like Bertha Mason in the attic of Thornfield Hall, but I suppose it could be worse. Anna stops by occasionally with the mending, and Daisy sneaks up scraps from the kitchen leftovers. And I have a nice view out a garret window looking down on the Dower House garden.

But yesterday, as I was mending Mrs. Patmore’s bloomers, a strange package of yarn arrived alongside the kitchen scraps, with a scribbled note saying,

“Yer better Cro-shay a nice shawl fer the Dowager Countess, and keep mum about it, iffin’ yer wants the kitchen scraps ter keep comin’!”

I am somewhat confused, but since I don’t want the food to stop, I suppose I’d better get to work on a shawl! In the meanwhile, I hope you are all enjoying your freedom (sniff, sniff), and if you get a chance, send me a message on Ravelry occasionally – I managed to smuggle up my iPad (told them it was a cutting board and I was going to help Ivy chop vegetables) and it still has some charge left in the battery.

Regards from the Attic,
The MAD Woman of Downton

See MAD Cap Fans group for CAL!