I started a version of The Mourning Cloak Butterfly Shawl back in 2015. You can find a link to my earlier version, and the story that goes with it, if you just google my name and “Mourning Cloak” or by going here, to my author site.

Entomological Society of Canada (Wikipedia)

After a recent visit to Shenandoah National Park with my sweetheart for our 27th wedding anniversary, I was inspired to pick up the pattern again and make some more sophisticated changes. The pattern will be available on Ravelry soon.

Shenandoah National Park (Tiffani Velez 2022)

I’ve been to Europe (West and East), Asia, and all over the United States. I was born and raised out West. I grew up hiking the mountains and canyons of Southern California, Mt. McLoughlin in Medford, Oregon and a place I remember as “Table Rock” with my dad. I’ve hiked the AT in five states. I’ve been to something, like, 25 national parks, and the Grand Canyon three times. But it was my first trip to the Smokey Mountains that made me fall in love with the Appalachians. They’re also the mountains my American Scot-Irish ancestors have lived in since the late 1700s and a sliver of my Jewish ancestors as well. They’ve lived in the Mid-Atlantic since the 1600s. I feel like John Muir, in that, there are times when the mountains are calling me and I must go. I feel like butterflies and dragonflies and the many songbirds of the pines draw me there, too. I live in the foothills and on the edge of the great valley of these ancient mountains now. They feed my soul like nothing else can.

My Neighborhood in the Northern Appalachian foothills of Eastern PA. (Photo by Tiffani Velez, 2022)

Sometimes, we forget to nurture what makes our hearts stir in exchange for what serves others or pays the bills. Creating fulfills me, while most other life activities drain me, even if I love them and the people involved. It’s the way of the introvert.

It is in creating that I actually feel that I’m made in God’s image, in my ability to make something from the Earth that sustains me, to reflect Her beauty in my own hands. That’s my inspiration for finally completing the pattern for The Mourning Cloak Butterfly Shawl. Read the history about it on my blog. Look for the pattern to come very soon. This is the best (non-studio) picture of it I could quickly take to share with you. It’s my interpretation, and the colors look enhanced due to the brightness of today’s intense heat. It’s an antebellum style sontag, but bigger, in order to really keep one warm. The autumn is coming, after all, no matter what the thermometer on the back porch of the Old Farmhouse reads.

I had to dodge the hornets and shoo the butterflies away in order to snap a quick amateurish photo. Professional ones to come when this Eastern seaboard heat relaxes a bit. Give me 48 hours. Shabbat Shalom, my dear readers. What are you making?

The Mourning Cloak Butterfly Shawl (Copyright 2015, 2022 Tiffani Velez)

  One thought on “Works-In-Progress

  1. July 23, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    Very cool. A great job mimicking the inspiration.

    • July 23, 2022 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you! I’ve got a bit more to go. It’s more geometric than I had envisioned, but I like it so far.

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