I’m so excited to release my new shawl pattern today! Gathering Rosebuds is a shallow crescent, one of my favorite shawl shapes. I love the long tails that can wrap around my shoulders when worn as a traditional shawl, and when I wrap it around my neck like a scarf, the center isn’t so deep that it feels like I’m wearing a lobster bib. The increases are worked all the way through the border in order to maintain the elegant curve of the crescent. This means that the tails cascade gracefully rather than being lopped off at the ends.
I designed Gathering Rosebuds to be knit with just one skein of fingering weight yarn. I chose a gorgeous skein of MCN (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon 80/10/10) dyed by Jeanette of Sun Valley Fibers. (Mine used about 92 g in the Moody colorway.) She has some of the most beautiful semi-solid colorways. If you have extra yarn, I’ve included additional instructions for knitting two more rows of rosebuds. Charts and written instructions are provided in the pattern.
What’s in a name?
When I found the stitch pattern for the rosebud border, I thought of the first line of a poem, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,” and was instantly taken back to an English literature class I took as a senior in college. I had a fantastic professor who renewed my interest in poetry. One of my favorite poems from that class was “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time,” by Robert Herrick, published in 1648. At first, it drew giggles and blushes from the class, but once we got over our immaturity, I think most of us in the class learned to appreciate the poem, at least on some level.
On the surface, it sounds like a man’s ploy for young girls to abandon chastity, and it very well might have been, but I think there’s more to it. He’s warning that our time on earth is short, so should start living full lives before it’s too late to enjoy ourselves. Even though life was very different three-and-a-half centuries ago, I think this poem is still relevant. The underlying theme is “carpe diem.” (Remember that great line in Dead Poets Society? Robin Williams’ character says, “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”) It’s not just about getting your act together and doing something, but also enjoying the journey; we should stop and smell those rosebuds we gather. “Carpe diem,” “live in the moment,” “make hay while the sun shines,” or “gather ye rosebuds while ye may”—whichever expression you prefer, embrace it and fill your knitting time with gratifying projects. After all, you only live once. YOLO, baby!