Friday, 27 April 2012

The London-Beads Shawl

I knitted this shawl on vacation in London last fall. I needed something to knit, and I had recently purchased six skeins of KidSilk Haze in the colour pearl. The only thing I was missing was a pattern. So I went through all my books and found three of my favourite diamond patterns, and put them together for this shawl.

I found the pattern for the centre of the shawl in Siiri Reimann's book "The Haapsalu Shawl". The pattern looks like two twigs which is intertwined, with nubs in a zigzag pattern in between. I love the simplicity and tree dimensionality of this pattern, and the symmetry of the nubs winding themselves in a slightly larger zigzags than the intertwined twigs.

For the inner border, I choose a pattern which I found in Sharon Miller's book "Heirloom Knitting". This pattern is called "The Shetland Bead Lace Pattern", hence the name of the shawl (since I knitted the shawl in London).

This pattern looks very easy to knit, but it is not. The problem is that, since the lace is knitted in gather stitches, with pattern on both sides, it is hard to see where in the pattern you are at the moment. I made many mistakes, and had to unravel my work more than once.
The outer border is also from Sharon Miller's book, and is knitted onto the shawl in a traditional Shetland manner: First you pick opp stitches along the edges of the shawl (if the inner boarder is not knitted in a circle). Then the outer  border is knitted crosswise onto the shawl, by casting on the number of stitches in the with of the border, and by knitting together the last stitch in the border to the next stitch in the shawl on the pearl side.

This is without a doubt my favourite way of attaching the outer border, as it gives rice to an almost endless amount of patterns. It is also easy to compose your own patterns with this way of attaching the outer border.

This was not the easiest of shawls to knit, in particular due to the pearl lace pattern in the inner border. If you have not knitted nobs before, they will also require some practise.

I am pretty pleased with how the shawl turned out in the end. It became a large, soft and warm shawl. As a bonus, I think of the lovely week we spent in London, and the trip to Stone henge, every time I look at this shawl.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Flower shawl

Here is a shawl I knitted last fall, which I have called "Flower shawl". The base of the pattern is taken from a design from Heirloom Knitting, called "Daisies shawl". However, I did not like the fringes on the edges of the shawl, so I added a rounded knitted lace edge which I found in Nancy Bushes' book "Knitted Laces of Estonia", which I liked much better.

The shawl is knitted on 4 mm. needles in KidSilk Haze from Rowan. I have used the colour named pearl, which has a beautiful off white tone. KidSilk is a lovely mixture of mohair and silk, which gives the shawl volume even when knitting with such thin yarn on large needles.

This shawl is relatively easy to knit, but it is fun to knit as well, even for the more experienced lace knitters. It was far more fun to knit than I expected, and it is also fast to make. I can truly recommend this pattern. I have written down the pattern (with my lace edging), and you can download it for free HERE. Unfortunately, it is in Norwegian, but with Google translate, it should be possible to follow also by non-Norwegians.