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Wild Thing

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My mother loves gardening. She can take any dying shrub or plant and stick it into soil and it will grow like nobody’s business! She grows her own vegetables, well most of it anyway, across my sister’s house which is actually my property so technically I own the garden. Anyway…she loves orchids. I remember this one variety of orchid which she bought when they moved to the new house in 1998, I think it was, and she had been waiting for it to bloom. It took a year or so, but when it bloomed it was beautiful! I took a photograph of it (last time I used a film camera!) and sent her the print to keep. I must remind her to dig it out and show it off.

One of the rarest and most renowned variety of orchids in the Philippines is the Waling-Waling. Scientific name vanda sanderana, it grows in natural abundance in Davao City particularly at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines’ highest peak.

The beauty of the Waling-Waling has found itself the object of poetry, film and art. I remember a lazy summer afternoon watching a black-and-white film made in the late 1940s. Even then the rarity of this orchid was common knowledge. Palanca Award1 winner Peter Solis Nery, wrote the poem “I apologise Waling-Waling” early in his career and, raw as the poem may be, it captures the deepest regret of one man who brought ruin to the virgin forest after he spread the word about the beauty of this rare orchid.


Needless to say, this month’s colourway is inspired by the Waling-Waling. While not an exact shade match, it is pale lilac with gentle streaks of pale pink and it is called Wild Orchid. The colours are not an exact match to the waling-waling but I think it’s passable as an orchid. There are streaks of pink among the pale lilac which I think works well with the shawl designed for it.

The club extra is a little trinket box with a screw-on lid. It’s nothing super special but I thought it would work well as a jewellery box or even a place to keep your stitchmarkers and other small knitting notions. Each club member received a different coloured trinket, hopefully to match their favourite colours.

Continuing with the Amiras theme, this month’s pattern is designed by Dieuwke van Mulligen.

Dieuwke lived for a while in Dubai and she joined our local knitting group every time we got together. It was a while ago now and too short a time but she has left such an impact in the group that we are still in touch. As we say in the group, once an Amira, always an Amira.

I am so happy that she agreed to design a shawlette for the club. Wings is knitted sideways in two pieces and grafted along the centre spine. You can knit one side at a time or, if you are feeling adventurous, you can knit it at the same time and be finished quicker!  I love the braided cable on the top of the shawlette, which is surprisingly very easy to do.

Can’t wait to start seeing finished Wings shawlettes soon!

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3 responses

  1. Yay! Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your club 🙂 It’s soooo exciting to see it up there!

  2. This month’s club colorway showcases the beauty of the orchid perfectly. I love the hints of pink and I’m sure that Wings is going to be an enjoyable and interesting project to knit. Love my little trinket box 🙂

  3. thank you for mentioning my poem! i think i wrote that poem when i was only 19. i’m 43 now, and was just recently inducted to the palanca hall of fame. haha!

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