On Moon Walks

I don’t think anyone who was old enough to be aware of what was going on will ever forget the famous “giant leap for mankind” that occurred on July 20, 1969. I was home for the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at UCSB. Worse yet, I was helping Mom take care of Foofoo, my paternal grandmother, who was suffering from dementia and had come to live with us. It wasn’t an easy summer; someone had to be with her almost all the time.

So when Neil Armstrong took that “one small step,” it was not only exciting and suspenseful and amazing, but it lifted my whole family out of a rather dismal place. More importantly, it felt like a moment of joy and relief; the Kennedy and King assassinations had only happened the year before, the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggle were still in full swing, and, then as now, the country seemed to be in retrograde.

And, since it was after all on TV, I was probably knitting. I seem to remember going back to school that year with a bulky turtleneck made with three roughly sport-weight strands of some kind of shiny brown, orange and gold yarn, no doubt synthetic, held together. What? It was still the 60’s, after all.

Fast forward forty-nine years. It’s mid-July, and I found myself closing in on the end of a shawl pattern called, of all things, Walk on the Moon. It was simply begging to have its write-up posted today. (Yes, the fiftieth would be more dramatic, but I’d never remember to do it a year from now.)

So anyway, the shawl:


Every other year during the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta, Redfish Dyeworks comes to town, and it’s a high point for my knitting and spinning friends and me. Last year they had kits for this pattern. It was an impulse buy; I had already bought some of their glorious merino/silk spinning fiber…


…and some of their exquisite merino/silk sock yarn…


…when I turned around and saw this kit, and–well, I don’t really have to explain, do I?

One or two of the people who had knit this shawl from this kit reported on Ravelry that they had run out of yarn, or come quite close. Since I tend to knit loosely, I went down to a US size 2 needle as a bit of insurance, and had yarn to spare in all three of the colors.

The pattern, from Arlene’s World of Lace, is well-written and a pleasure to knit. I particularly enjoyed the slip-stitch polka dots. I like to think of them as representing those footsteps on the cold, silent moon, waiting for those peculiar creatures on that Pale Blue Dot to come to their senses and do great things again.


4 comments on “On Moon Walks

  1. Absolutely gorgeous – and thanks for sharing the back story.
    I remember being taken to watch the landing on the tv in the hall at school which was very exciting. I think we need to be reminded occasionally what an amazing feat that was 😃


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