Monday, October 26, 2009

Aconite Shawl / Capelet

This was a terrific experience. I had a rough concept for a shawl made of tweedy yarn, but with the shape of a flower. I was inspired by Alison Jeppson-Hyde's book "Wrapped In Comfort".
I also wanted it to fit securely no matter how small the shoulders, and yet flow gracefully no matter how wide the hips. I know it was a tall order, but if you don't shoot high, you won't reach far. I found City Tweed HW from Knit Picks. It is a tweedy but super soft wool and superfine alpaca blend. When I sent my idea to the appropriate person, she supplied me with enough yarn to try out my design.
I tried a few stitch patterns but nothing seemed to suit the simplicity I was reaching for. I decided to start with a fitted yoke, a sharp increase, then a widely-spaced ladder lace stitch and see what came to me.
To try a few things out, I cast on a few repeats of the pattern with some waste yarn and played around to see what lace pattern could grow from the ladder lace stitches. It just happened, and I liked it fine. I decided to end with a little pizazz, and learned how to do a picot bind off so I could add that to the border. After I blocked it I tried it on, and it fit my 4XL self just fine!

Then we had a photo shoot yesterday, and Amanda put it on. I was amazed. I knew I liked the different parts, but until I saw the whole in movement as she posed, I didn't get the full effect. I know it may sound conceited, but because I view my creativity as coming in part from outside myself, I feel comfortable saying I fell in love with it. Even though it fit me, the yoke made it fit perfectly on Amanda's slender frame, too! Then Liz tried it on, and it looked great on her also.
Maybe I am getting the hang of this designing business. This shawl ended up exactly as I wanted it to. Warmth in one size, that truly does fit everyone. Thank you so much Liz and Amanda. You were great!
The PDF pattern is available as a download on the right hand side of this page, for $4.

Here are the details (and a few more photos):
Simple lace organically evolves to a more complex border.
The picot edging adds a hint of bite to this soft but not-too-girly shawl.
The fitted yoke and generous (130 inch) circumference makes this a comfortable fit for every size.

Needles and Notions:

-US #11 and #13 (8 mm and 9 mm) 36 inch Circular Needle
-2 stitch markers

Abbreviations and Techniques:

k - knit
p - purl
st- stitch
lh, rh-left hand and right hand
ssk- Slip, slip, knit; slip two stitches individually knit-wise, put them back on the lh needle and knit them together through the back loops.
yo- increase by wrapping yarn over needle.
PM- Place marker
SM- Slip marker
k2tog- knit two stitches together
s2k-(slip two stitches knit-wise)
p2sso-pass two slipped stitches over current stitch
LL inc- left leaning increase (optional, directions included)
RL inc- right leaning increase (optional, directions included)
Centered Double Decrease- s2k, k1, p2sso; slip 2 st knit-wise, k1, pass 2 slipped stitches over
Cable Cast on for Picot Edge Bind Off.

Size: Shawl measures 22 inches from neck to hem, 130 inches at largest circumference.

Gauge: 3 stitches and 2.5 rows per inch in stockinette on #13 (9 mm)

Materials: 4 skeins (164 yards each)Knit Picks City Tweed HW or comparable Aran-weight yarn (8 wpi).


Anonymous said...

That is THE MOST GORGEOUS shawl I have ever seen!!! And that it fits so many sizes... you are an amazing designer :)

Karen said...

It's simply beautiful, Diana. What a talent you have!

AlisonH said...

Very pretty--and the pattern is so much like the one I made for Tina Newton that it startled me a moment. Great minds!

Zina said...

Really lovely!

Kym said...

You know, I think that might be a magical shawl! The way it went together. . . the way your monkshead suddenly appeared and spoke to you. . . the beautiful fit. Magic! (Do you think you might be able to design an invisibility cloak, too?)

Leslie said...

Diana, that is freaking gorgeous! Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Lutra said...

I really love this shawl...
Not as much as the ocean wrap you made for me...that one is so special... just to let you know...I wore it to the beach ALL summer, and even to the new niece's Christening... EVERYONE loved it!
I even let one of the Niecelets wear it for a while....