Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yokohama Mama Shawl

I Finally took a sick day yesterday, after running a fever all night Tuesday.  It was a giant relief to be able to stay on the couch all day. In fact, I was able to finish one of the multitudes of yarn projects that I am working on.  Not a minute too soon for holiday snug wear, it's the Yokohama Mama crochet shawl designed by Doris Chan.  It's based on a patterned that Doris'  mother used to crochet a spectacular doily for her post-war trousseau.

Doris wrote, in Piecework, My/June 2011:
...Everyone knows about Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the war, but few remember the Great Yokohama Air Raid that occurred a few months before. On May 29, 1945, American B-29s firebombed Yokohama and in just over an hour killed an estimated 8,000 people and destroyed nearly half the city. It was like rain, she (Doris' mother) remembers, like terrible rain that burned everything. Her parents had sent her away from the city before the bombing to stay with Older Sister and her husband, to shelter underground at the foot of the mountain. To keep busy during those long weeks, she had learned to crochet by watching and listening to Older Sister.  ....She's copied the lacy table doily in her hands from pictures in one of Older sister's books. She can't know that half a century later this doily, the only piece of her crochet that survives, will be cherished lovingly by the baby she expecting (Doris).

Doris goes on to say that her mother married a US serviceman who, like many other US servicemen was sent to Japan after the end of the war.  She soon moved to the United States, leaving home and family. 
Here's a link to what Doris said about the original doily in her own blog post: backstory.
Photo courtesy of Ashby

Photo courtesy of Ashby

Photo: Ashby

So my unveiling for the faculty party was just perfect. Cathy, bless her heart, called me Joyce Carol Oates when I walked in with my glasses and big flowy red shawl.  Nan and Ashby were oohing and aching all over the place.  According to Ashby, I need to make her a shawl...probably true, but it's quite medicating for me to be able to create almost exclusively for myself.

1 comment:

  1. Karen: Your shawl is even more awesome in person. It was great seeing you and your family--and your amazing shawl!--tonight at the Buzz. Love, xoxo