I have to do this to channel my hopes and prayers for a successful recovery for my friend.
So I started focusing on her and the colors I see when I think of her.
She's a warm person, capable, efficient and composed. So I need a color scheme that's timeless, practical and comforting, not frivolous or trendy.
No pink-and-black. No bright primary colors. No pastels.
After combing through my stash and raiding my mother's supply, I still did not find what I was looking for. I must have gone through an entire department's worth of yarn and still couldn't find it.
During this whole process, it's like I see what I want to make but it's blurry, slowly coming into focus. Makes me frustrated and restless.
Mom and I splurge on a trip to a mega-craft store and I stalk the aisles, still searching. I started at the clearance aisle because you never can tell what treasures you'll find tucked away there. I found some divinely soft chenille-type yarn that would be lovely to envelope yourself in...but it was teal. I threw it in the cart anyway with some eggshell white for edging, but I wasn't satisfied. I kept thinking of that line from "The Wedding Planner" about bridesmaids' dresses. "She choose teal. Teal! The color of gangrene!" Yep, that was not going to work.
Then I thought of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and how an apothecary-mystic described Claire as a healer with an aura "blue, like the Virgin's cloak. Blue, like my own."
Then I saw it. "I Love This Yarn: High Sierra Stripe" with tan, brown, slate blue, hunter green, olive and plum. Perfect. My warm colors with some healer-blue mixed in.
Some tan yarn to edge it and then I pictured weaving dark blue ribbon through the tan and tying bows on either end of the shawl. I felt like I could take a deep sigh at last and get started.