Second star to the right and straight on till morning! – JM Barrie
The directions to Neverland seem etched in our hearts. As young children we look to the stars daydreaming and wondering of what lies beyond. If only we could fly…… if only we could hold onto belief, which gives us wings… The struggle to have a child-like heart in a cold, grownup world is at the heart of Peter Pan. It’s a neverending conflict (pardon the pun) for each generation to wrestle with. The Disney version of Peter Pan opens with this beautiful phrase: “All this has happened before and it will all happen again, but this time it happened in London, to the Darling family.” And with that one sentence, I fell in love with the story. Because of course it does happen, over and over again in each person. I loved the acknowledgement that the story of Peter Pan was not an isolated adventure that occurred to one family, but a continual invitation to those who will respond. The story of Peter Pan, and especially the beautiful animation of the film, continues to fill my heart with inutterable longing, desire, and hope. C.S. Lewis would describe my emotion as “joy” – the piercing longing..the siren call of beauty… the understanding that my heart knows a reality far beyond what can be perceived with the senses. Nowhere is that feeling more acute than at the end of the movie when Wendy watches Peter Pan’s pirate ship fly across the full moon, ghostly sails at full mast, and then dissipate into clouds. It is so beautiful, so fragile, so fleeting – from the window of her nursery. Of course, from the perspective of Neverland, it is Wendy’s reality that is the shadow-world. Wendy’s adventure is just about to begin – how to hold Neverland in her heart while fully engaging in the life she is meant to live in London.
All of these emotions and thoughts I wanted to capture when I started work on my Peter Pan shawl way back in January. It was my first knit-a-long (hosted by Unique Sheep) and I’m thrilled that my first was based on a story so intimately entwined in my heart. I’ve mentioned before that I love knitting for the ability to tell story with yarn and then that item becomes a physical symbol of all that the story means to me. For my Peter Pan shawl, I chose a colorway that reminded me of Neverland – a deep emerald forest sparkling in the starlight as if it was on fire. The orange and reds mingle beautifully with greens and browns to achieve this effect. Appropriately enough the colorway is called “Buccaneer”. In the intricate design of the lace pattern, you can find hints of leaves, arrow points, waves, and stars. I finished it about week ago and finally got it all blocked and ready to wear. I couldn’t get good pictures of the details of the lace, perhaps I’ll try again. But in the meantime I hope you enjoy the pictures of the entire shawl (it’s 76″ long, so it’s hard to get it all in frame). In the meantime, I’m off to look for the second star to the right.
Blessings to you,