shawl

The story behind Hidden Canyon Shawl

Hidden Canyon Shawl was born a year ago. I was going through sort of an identity crisis at the time and I’ve been jokingly calling it my midlife crisis shawl but the name just didn’t feel right. 

My daughter was leaving the nest, I was noticing some little signs of burnout or compassion fatigue in my social work career and it felt like a big part of my life was over. I felt kind of lost. 

Then I got remarried after 15 years of being single, became a stepmom to 3 little ones, and moved an hour further south and deeper into this desert, into the blistering heat and red rock, getting better acquainted with lizards and road runners and prickly pear cactus.

I thought I was supposed to go all eat, pray, love (with everything that implies -the good, the bad, racist & ugly) to make some new meaning out of the changing shape of my life and body. But I’ve never made it very far when I’ve tried to run away. Never made it permanently out of this Utah desert where I was born. 

So this design was originally inspired by pretty pictures of tropical sunsets and mai tais on a beach far away, but as I’ve been finally finishing it, that didn’t feel right either. 

My home is this desert even if the culture I was born into isn’t one that I truly felt I belonged to. My biggest journeys haven’t been over oceans outward, but through rivers of veins, blood and bones inward, backward, deeper into my own hidden world and heritage. Leaving the dominant religion here, questioning many ideas and practices I was raised with. Looking for my own truth. Listening to so many stories on the way, trying to hear my own. 

In this last year again, it’s that inner journey I needed and began to take, staying right here where my taproot’s been embedded for 48 years, diving deeper into the choices I’ve made and the desires behind them, into my mistakes and strengths, privilege and ignorance, intuition, trauma and baggage, all the realities that have shaped who I’ve become. 

I’m realizing these colors & lines that I chose a year ago are really those of the palm trees and orange sand in my own yard, warm light on pink cliffs at dawn & dusk. The wavy stitch pattern of shed rattlesnake skins and aspen leaves against the ripple of a sandstone slot canyon. The golden moon of my own heart waxing and waning in a sky still dark enough to see all the stars.

There’s so much left to learn but I’m home, I’ve always been home. I don’t need to try to run away again. 

The Hidden Canyon is currently in test knitting and the pattern will be out soon! I’m excited to share it with you.