Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This is for Mortal

In Greek mythology, the Persephone myth was the explanation for the changing of the seasons.  Persephone was the daughter of Demeter and the wife of Hades.  The common version is that she is kidnapped by Hades and taken to the underworld.  While in the underworld, she eats a few (number varies) of pomegranate seeds.  Because Demeter is so busy mourning and searching for her lost daughter, she is neglecting her regular duties and nothing is growing.  Zeus has to finally step in and makes Hades let Persephone go before all the people die.  Because Persephone ate some of the food of the underworld, she must spend some time each year there.  While she is with Hades, Demeter mourns, creating fall and winter.  Upon Persephone's return, Demeter rejoices and the world is fruitful again, with the coming of spring and summer.

For NaNoWriMo, Mortal wrote a novel about the Persephone myth.  She told the story from the viewpoint that Persephone and Hades were in love with each other and not only did Persephone go with Hades of her own free will, but she would have STAYED in the underworld if Demeter had not cursed the earth so nothing would grow until Persephone was returned to her.

Mortal is a good writer, and I really enjoyed her take on it.  I hope she gets it published.  I'm not going to go into details, you'll just have to read it yourself. 

Then I got an idea in my head about a Hades & Persephone shawl.  After all, it is chilly in the underworld.  The original idea was for more of a shawlette, but somewhere along the way it became just a Persephone shawl.  I may still do the original idea though.

Seasons of Persephone is a circular (or half circle) shawl that starts with a ploughed ground for spring, then summer's wildflowers, autumn leaves and then the snowflakes of winter.  It's finished off with a pomegranate border.  The arrangement of the seasons in the version is based on Mortal's version of the myth.

I did my prototype as the half circle version and did nupps for both summer and for the border -- I was checking yardage. 

I had about 5 stitches per inch (unblocked) with 6 repeats of the winter chart (but only 2 1/2 repeats of the fall chart due to math issues), with a final yardage of 790, wingspan ~ 6 feet.  Mortal did a version with beads, gauge of 7 stitches per inch (unblocked), 7 1/2 repeats of winter chart, correct repeats for fall chart, final yardage of about 600, wingspan ~ 5 feet. 

This shawl is the April 2011 pattern for the Greek Mythology Lace club offered by Holiday Yarns.  It will be available to the public around August/September of 2011.

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