Icarus Shawl Unveiled

As the sun showed signs of peeking its head up over the mountain this morning I was anxious to see how the Icarus Shawl I finished yesterday looked off the blocking board.

After weaving in yarn ends yesterday morning I gave Icarus a wet block by soaking her in a Eucalan bath for 20 minutes.  When she was thoroughly saturated I rolled her gently in a towel and then pinned her to my blocking mats using blocking wires.  These wires are so worth their initial investment!  They are so much speedier than pinning every individual point and keep the points a uniform size.

As I unpinned the blocked shawl I admired how the design flowed downward into the softly pointed edging.  I recalled that the designer, Miriam Felton, had thought the edging looked like feathers spilling out – just as in Greek mythology when Icarus’s feathers fell away when he flew too close to the sun.  Do you guys know that story?

As I draped Icarus over my ancient rocking chair I remembered more details of the mythological tale and decided I would  ‘Google’ some art museums after the photo shoot to see if this story had been depicted in any paintings. I enjoy art history!

I love the simplicity of this shaw, not too plain nor  too fancy.  I believe Miriam Felton stated on her website that it continues to be her ‘favorite child.’

Pattern: Icarus Shawl by Miriam Felton

Source: Interweave Knits Summer 2006 (but also available at MimDesigns)

Yarn: Jaegarspun Zephyr in Vanilla

Needles: Size 3 (3.25 mm) 24″ KnitPicks Circular

So………….the story is told of Daedalus, a talented craftsman imprisoned in exile on Crete by King Minos. Wishing to escape from the island with his son, Icarus, he fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers. Before they took off from the island and doing what fathers so often do,  Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. But being a young man excited at the prospect of flying, Icarus soared through the sky curiously and before he knew it he came too close to the sun.  The sun, of course,  melted the wax and as Icarus kept flapping his wings he soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms. And so, Icarus fell into the sea in the area which bears his name, the Icarian Sea near Icaria, an island southwest of Samos.

Here he is falling….falling….I guess that is his Dad next to him who is flying at an appropriate distance from the sun.


And here is a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called The Fall of Icarus (c. 1558) depicting his unfortunate landing in the sea … with no wings …….can you spot him?

And in this last painting by Herbert James Draper our dear Icarus is being lamented by the lovely mermaids.  I do believe he is laying on my Icarus Shawl!  What do you think?  Is there any resemblance between his wings and my shawl?

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7 thoughts on “Icarus Shawl Unveiled

  1. lovely. I have that shawl on the needles, somewhere. Started in back in 2006 when it first came out. Never did finish it.

    I love blocking wires, they are the only way to go!

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