Twist Collective Blog
Published on Monday, 04 April 2011 20:00
Carol Feller's latest design is Trousseau, a shawl in two sizes. This marks Carol's fourth contribution to Twist Collective, along with Parcel, Azami, and Necco Wafer. In today's post, Carol talks a little about designing her shawls. Check out Carol's site here and find out more about Trousseau here.
I love the concept of the ‘Pi’ shawl; working outwards from the central point with increase rows being spaced further and further apart. After the first few increases you have a wonderful large canvas to use for your lace stitches without needing to worry about fitting the increases in! This can make for very relaxing knitting as there is less counting as you work though it to ensure you have worked all of the increases every row correctly.
Smaller Raspberry Shawl
Now you may have noticed looking at the photos that this shawl isn’t actually a full circle ‘Pi’ shawl, well that’s because it’s a half-Pi shawl! This seems like a much more practical shawl to me. A full circle shawl can only be worn folded in two so half of your hard work never get to be seen. The same concept as a full Pi shawl applies but you just start with half the amount of stitches and work back and forth rather than in circles.
The lace pattern used in this shawl is not overly complex but it creates wonderful diagonals and visual interest across the knitting. You can see how with each increase the direction of the lace diagonal changes and the lace panels increase in size and length with each repeat. This lace is easy enough that it can quickly be memorized and the shawl quickly becomes a very relaxing knit. If fact I think it would make an excellent first shawl for a confident knitter.
We have done something a little unusual with the yarn in this project, usually the larger shawl is knit in the heavier yarn but we have actually shown the smaller sample with the heavier yarn - Sundara Yarns ‘DK Silky Cashmere’ in Raspberry. This nicely size shawlette only take 2 skeins (50g each) of this truly delicious yarn (or 320 yds). Almost all of both skeins were used, I think I just had a few feet of yarn left when I finished. This is one of the most beautiful yarns I’ve knit with in a long time; it is so soft and just glides off the needles effortlessly. The yarn holds the lace pattern while you are knitting also; it stayed open and did not need to be blocked aggressively to open it up.
Larger Caribbean Shawl
The second shawl was knit from Sundara Yarns ‘Fingering Silky Merino’ in Caribbean. This shawl was a larger size (knit with lighter weight yarn and smaller needles) and used a little under 1 skein (150g). This yarn behaved very differently and more like a wool based yarn being worked in lace. As you are knitting it pulls in on itself with the lace pattern virtually invisible. However after a good soaking and some aggressive blocking and pinning it opened out beautifully to reveal the hidden pattern. I think that blocking lace often feels a little like a butterfly unfurling itself from its cocoon.
Two sizes and yarn weights are detailed (and knit) in the pattern but this is a very easy pattern to modify. A much smaller shawlette can be knit if you used the lighter yarn and smaller needles (from the larger size) and only worked the smaller size or alternatively a larger version could use the heavier yarn with bigger needles but work it until it is the size of the large shawl. The only thing to bear in mind with these modifications is yarn amounts; I’ve given an estimate in the pattern of how much more or less yarn would be needed for variations in the size but every knitter will vary with the yarn amount they use.