99 names, made of several hundred beads, are knit into the shawl.
99 names, made of several hundred beads, are knit into the shawl.
I’m on the third circle of names. Beading each bit is slow going, but it’s amazing to see how such an abstract concept is turning into a real item.
The Omnicient/All-knowing, Al-Alim (العليم)
This is name #19 on my list, and I’ll use it as an example of my process for creating my charts.
For the purposes of chart simplicity, I’ve removed the article from the word, instead choosing to wrap the numbers associated with it (1, 30) into my center mandala.
The name contains four written letters: ayn, lam, ya, mim, with corresponding numbers of 70, 30, 10, 40. That’s 8 digits: 7, 0, 3, 0, 1, 0, 4, 0
I created a grid, 10 stitches tall (for numbers 0-9) and 8 stitches wide (one column for each digit). Since knitting goes right to left, just like Arabic, I charted the bead placement right to left.
And there’s the process I’m using to chart each name.
Work on the shawl continues – actual knitting, now! In a different post, I’ll give a few examples of the charts I’ve made for each name, but right now, I have a ring of names:
This is a simple center increase with five names in the first ring. These names are ar-Rahman (The Compassionate), ar-Rahim (The Merciful), al-Malik (The King), al-Quddus (The Holy), as-Salam (The Peace). Ar-Rahman and ar-Rahim occur the most often in the Qu’ran of any of the other attributes. The names are drawn from the list compiled by al-Walid ibn Muslim. There are several similar lists and some of the later names vary by list; this list is by no means official.
The attributes or names all point to the unity of the Greatest Name, the name of God Himself. It will take all 99 names to make this shawl into something greater than the little beaded doily above.
I’ve always admired circular shawls, particularly the Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawls. The math, combined with the delicate lace, make for a gorgeous and geeky knit. I’ve always planned on knitting one, and I think it’s about time.
If I’m going to knit something this geeky, however… I’m going to do it EXTRA geeky. In that effort, I’m pulling out something I haven’t used in years. My Arabic.
In Islamic tradition, there are 99 names or attributes of God. Those used most in the Qu’ran are Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate) and Ar-Rahim (The Merciful), and there are certainly more than 99 attributes given to God throughout Islamic texts. One such list sits on my mantle.
I’ve decided to do something that might qualify as a bit insane. Using the methodology blogged by my friend (gannet on Ravelry), I’ve decided to chart out 99 names of God using Abjad numerals (assigning a numeric value to each Arabic letter), and bead the names of God into a shawl.
First I need to design a central mandala, though. Something including Allah in its Abjad form (1, 30, 30, 5), either beaded or in the number of stitches or rows in the pattern or or or…
This might be insane. It will definitely be geeky. And by golly, it will be FUN.
I’ve been working on an idea. Working hard. And that idea became something I’m quite proud of.
That idea became the Bull City Scarf.
This scarf has a secret, too. Hidden in the lace is a Durham “D”.
Can you see it? I love honoring my adopted home in yarn!
I’ve been working on a Waldorf-style doll, and I’ve been completely unable to find a pattern for a crochet cap for a 10 inch doll. I’ve worked one out and offer it here for free, in case someone else needs one. The hat requires less than 20 yards of worsted weight yarn for the base and should fit snugly to the doll’s head.
I’ll admit it. I watch Glee. There’s plenty I don’t like about the show, but I appreciate musicals making it to the small screen, and the first season was truly a joy to watch. Last night was the season finale, the graduation episode, and I watched my favorite characters make stupid decisions as they headed off to become adults and leave school behind.
I could say plenty about my opinions on how the writers handled their transitions in the show, but that’s not what this blog is about.
So how does Glee have anything to do with knitting? It’s actually just a coincidence. While I’ve been watching the seniors at McKinley get ready to graduate, I’ve also been thinking a lot about my high school friends. My two best friends are getting married this summer, and I can’t make it to either wedding. It’s incredibly disappointing that I can’t be there. I’ve got two kids, now, and flights are expensive. One of the weddings is happening when my husband is at a trade show, and there’s just no way I can drag a 2-year-old and a then 7-month-old to Boston alone. No chance.
These were my two best friends, though. I need to do something VERY special for them.
And so I’m knitting.
Not just anything, however. I’m knitting complicated, cabled things. Things that will take hours of work to make into reality, with my hopes and memories knit into every stitch. I only hope they will appreciate the love I’m putting into their afghans as much as I appreciate their continued friendship, no matter where they end up in the world.
In Bubbo’s Pants on Ravelry (a group of awesome women and a couple of men who are truly excellent to each other), February is for finishing projects. I’m proud to say that I finally finished my large sized Clara Shawl.
Why is it that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking of knitting? Seriously, when did I turn into someone this obsessed with yarn, to be designing knitwear in my SLEEP?
It’s amazing how busy life gets with a small child. For example, this is the first day in oh… 10 weeks that I’ve had the time to make my hair look nice. I hadn’t realized how LONG it had gotten until I left it out of a ponytail today.
All the busy time with the baby means less time for the things that make me sane. I’ve yet to finish a single skein of yarn from the fibers I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool (though I’ve gotten halfway finished with one). I’ve finished small projects, but I haven’t finished writing up patterns for things that should have patterns, like the incredibly simple and cute neckwarmer that’s just waiting to have a picture taken. No, everything revolves around my baby boy.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a HUGE change. As a consequence, I have oodles of lovely yarn hanging around that hasn’t been knit, far more than I normally allow in my stash. As such… an official yarn buying hiatus. Until I finish 8 more projects, no yarn. And until I finish spinning at least 5 hanks of fiber, no more fiber buying. I have plenty on my plate!