» » » A Shawl for a Shepherd Friend

A Shawl for a Shepherd Friend

Joining Ginny this week  for Yarn Along to share a story about a shawl for a shepherd friend.

The traditional way of shepherding
Learning the Traditional Way of Shepherding

It seems fitting that as I have been knitting the past two weeks, I have also been reading a book titled The Art and Science of Shepherding, as I have been knitting a gift for a shepherding friend. (The book deserves its own future blog post, as it is a fascinating study of shepherds in France who rely on the traditional form of shepherding to care for their flocks.)

Farmhouse Shawl by Cabinfour
Farmhouse Shawl by Cabinfour

I have been knitting the Farmhouse Shawl by Cabinfour for my friend, Kat, who has been my shepherding mentor since the day I purchased my first two sheep from her farm years ago. She raises a flock of lovely sheep whose fleeces are sought after by handspinners. Kat is one of those solid people, honest, caring, and ever so generous. While visiting her booth at the New Hampshire Sheep Festival, I learned that her best friend, Susanne, had died in January due to a sudden illness. Susanne was always in Kat’s booth at festivals. Through the years, she and Kat formed a close friendship. She had purchased sheep from Kat and would bring her fleeces along to sell at the festivals, and to help Kat with her booth. Susanne always remembered me and my family. Though I only saw her once a year, she would ask about each of my children, calling them by name. She was always interested in what we were doing and would encourage me in my endeavors.

Farmhouse Shawl
Wrapped in the Warmth of a Friend’s Love

Last year, I had purchased a fleece from Susanne. It was a lovely Cormo/Romney cross fleece, silver gray with the softness of Cormo and the luster of Romney. I had it spun into yarn, blending it with a black mohair fleece from another Vermont farm. The yarn was beautiful. As soon as Kat told me about Susanne’s death, I knew what I wanted to do. Two weeks and five hundred yards later, I have knit a shawl for Kat out of her friend’s wool yarn. Now, when Kat misses Susanne, she can wrap the shawl around her shoulders, and feel the warmth of Susanne’s love and friendship.



13 Responses

  1. dorinalouise

    The yarn and shawl are just beautiful! What a heartfelt gift . . it really will be much loved 🙂 xo

  2. mamas mercantile

    That is wonderful, a truly amazing gift made with love.

  3. Keren Duchan

    What a heartbreaking and touching story. My condolences to Kat for the loss of her dear friend. How thoughtful and meaningful a gift. Thank you for sharing. <3

  4. Holly

    What a beautiful gift – and how lovely that it has such a warm sentiment behind it too x

  5. Donna

    What a thoughtful thing to do. I can’t think of a better way of feeling close to a loved one who has passed on than to be hugged by yarn that has special meaning. I put that book on my list. It sounds like a good read.

  6. Andee

    Oh that is so nice!

  7. Heather

    That shawl is gorgeous! I have been thinking about starting a new shawl, but first to buy some yarn!

  8. Angela

    Such a lovely gift! The shawl is beautiful.

  9. Jennifer

    What a wonderful, thoughtful gift. I’m sure she will treasure it. It’s just beautiful.

  10. thecrazysheeplady


  11. Susan

    What a lovely gift. I know your friend will be touched by your thoughtfulness.

  12. tonya

    What an amazing gift – just beautiful.

  13. Elaine

    An absolutely beautiful story and gorgeous work and love put into a gift for a friend, something I’m sure she’ll treasure for a long time.