The Brave, Devoted Purple Thistle Cowl

W617bThe purple thistle has one big claim to fame. It’s the national symbol of Scotland.  In Celtic history the thistle represents bravery, devotion, durability, determination and strength. Just try to pick one and find out how much respect it demands.  This thistle is the bane of a farmer’s existence as it’s tough to kill and the aggressive roots of this plant go down deep.  But though it’s not well liked in a farm pasture, it still has the effect of reminding us that we can overcome the most stalwart enemy.

W617In Scottish history, during the Viking invasions, it is rumored a Viking stepped on a thistle and cried out, thus awakening the Scots and saving the day.  The other tale states when the English army advancing upon a Scottish castle at night they took a route through a stand of dried thistle. Upon the sound of  rattling dried thistle heads and leaves, the  castle lords awoke to the sound and saved the castle. Regardless of the folklore, the thistle is now given as the highest honor to brave Scotts.  This lowly weed has inspired songs and poems and is a favorite in wedding ceremonies.

I could do without the need to hunt this purple flower down and dig it up from around my pasture but when I do, it’s sort of fun to think about its meaning and origin. It makes the work just a little more interesting. And, it’s far less of a challenge than a cactus.  W617c

The cowl I designed reminds me of this plant. I picked 220 Superwash® Effects in a purple shade.  And, gave it a criss-cross effect using a dropped stitch technique I wanted to try.
The interesting color effect of the yarn is fun and reminds me of the little cottony seeds that spray forth from this plant. The superwash makes the garment an easy wash and dry piece and I like the durability of the yarn.  You can double the pattern if you want but I went for a 1 skein project.

It’s a quick knit.  If you want to find out more, go here: Purple Thistle Cowl Pattern

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