A Little History
At the start of last month, Gilbert Baker died. He was just 65 years of age. The name may not mean anything to you but his legacy certainly will. Gilbert was the creator of the rainbow flag; a vibrant symbol for the LGBTQ community and one that is globally recognised. He said he wanted to use something from nature to represent that our sexuality is a human right and to convey the concepts of diversity and inclusion. Originally the flag consisted of eight colours and was only later reduced to the six we’re familiar with now.
- Red – life
- Orange – healing
- Yellow – sunlight
- Green – nature
- Turquoise – art
- Violet – human spirit
The creation of the flag was a challenge from Gilbert’s friend, Harvey Milk, who wanted a symbol of pride and hope for the gay community. Milk was the first openly gay person to hold high public office in a major American city in 1977 having campaigned on a platform of positive hope for young gay people. That city was of course San Francisco.
The reason I’m sharing this sad news and wonderful snippet of history with you is to explain my latest choice of shawl knitting. The Pride Delta, available on Ravelry, is a colourful and eminently wearable shawl.
My friend and fellow Scot, Aileen D-A aka littlebushbaby, is the designer. As this talented lady put it, the shawl is for those times in our lives “when we need to show our different stripes.” Given the state of the world right now, this is clearly one of those times. The crafting community, in my experience, is also all about welcoming people of all stripes which means this project is a match made in heaven. There’s a triangular shaped version available too.
The Shawl Knitting Materials
I call my shawl “Diversity + Inclusion = Beauty + Strength”. A nod from me to the ever wise Maya Angelou whom I greatly admire. The direct quote is “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” This will be a British wool project. I’m using J.C. Rennie’s lambswool for five of the rainbow stripes. It’s available in 10g miniballs from Clare at Wee County Yarns in Clackmannanshire.
The final stripe is going to be Jamieson & Smith jumper weight as I have some in stash. Not quite turquoise but I like it!
These yarns will bloom wonderfully when the shawl is complete and blocked. The only decision left is what to use for the main colour. I want an undyed yarn and a slightly darker grey than Aileen used. If anyone has favourites to recommend, do leave me a comment. I’ll be sure to check out your suggestions.