Beautiful & Magical Shawls from On Slender Threads
Kay Moates’ On Slender Threads shop in 1000 Markets was one of the very first that I bookmarked. At first, I was attracted by the beauty of Kay’s shawls, wraps and mantles. It was a fashion focus reflex. It’s only upon delving a little deeper that it became clear that Kay’s mantles were more, much more than just pretty things to keep your shoulders warm and stylishly adorned.
Indeed, the spiritual expression of the mantles may be just as compelling as their physical beauty. Kay refers to her one-of-a-kind handknit shawls and wraps as “tools for conscious artful living”. The thoughtful creation process begins with the intuitive selection of natural fibers and stones or gems that will make up a particular piece. Then, Kay knits in quiet and solitude to imbue each mantle with a gentle energy. Her goal in creating and finding a home for each mantle, is to have the wearer make a connection with themselves and their lives. The evident use for a mantle is to wear it during meditation. Quieting the mind through meditation is the definite recognized practice to build that connection to self. But a protective, embracing mantle is also a perfect symbolic shell to provide courage, quiet and focus in preparation for all sorts of life events like weddings, rites of passage, care giving and surmounting illness. What a great gift idea for anyone going through such momentous occasions.
For almost 30 years, Kay directed (and also founded) Imagination in Motion, in Birmingham, AL, a creative movement dance company for young children. When retiring from the dance studio, Kay was looking for another expressive tool to enable people – this time, of all ages - to reconnect with themselves: “From moving children through time and space to moving fibers and stones into Mantles, my work continues to focus on calling forth awareness to deepen life’s connections. Into the new I dance…” She had always loved the embrace of shawls for their comfort and for their ancient symbolic representation of quiet and protection. The creation of protective mantles and shawls were a perfect transition.
The beautiful natural fibers that are knit into shawls and mantles by Kay include silk, cashmere, angora, bamboo, linen, alpaca, pima cotton, merino, mohair and various other wools. She uses only the most basic knit stitch because it’s the one that allows her designs to better contour, envelop and embrace. The earth gems and other adornments are added as soothing touchstones.
I’ve just received my very own On Slender Threads mantle. It is indeed magical. Receiving this mantle was an experience for all senses from the moment I opened the package. A beautifully wrapped mantle was enfolded in a keepsake organza bag. The whole was scented with fragrant dried herbs and flowers from Kay’s own garden. Wearing the shawl brought tears and encouraged much needed moments of quiet and meditation. This mantle will follow me everywhere. It will be my secret, to wear fashionably when I have a particular need to feel grounded, or to wear quietly for sitting practice. It’s precious. I bought one for my mother who will receive it for mother’s day. I can’t wait to hear what she think and feels as she opens the package. Magic. Pure, gentle, magical delight, I think…
Find the enchanting On Slender Threads Mindfulness Mantles here.