Friday, September 26, 2008

Freya shawl

You can see the Stor Rund Dug doily I adapted this pattern from here.

This makes a gorgeous cape-style shawl, that looks similar to the feather-and-fan types but nicer, I think.

Some of the stitches are a little hard for beginners, but if you watch tutorial videos and keep at them until they look right, you'll be a pro in no time at making them. And don't forget, blocking erases many an uneven stitch!

I did two versions of this one, the first in a baby alpaca worsted that I stranded with a baby mohair laceweight. I used about 500 yards of those on my #10 circulars to make a shawl that measured around 21" long from neck to bottom. Then I did it on some mill end Caron Simply Soft and since I'm not sure how much I used I can't share that, but I made that one even larger so I could repeat the diamonds at the bottom edge.

I've decided to dedicate this shawl to a friend, Freya Koss, who, after curing her health problems that she found were due to mercury in her dental fillings has become a tireless worker to educate the public on the dangers of mercury in your teeth. It is a Danish pattern and Freya is a Danish name! :)

Here's the pattern (click here to download a printable .pdf of this):

K = knit
YO = yarn over
Slip = slip stitch from left needle to right without knitting.
K2TOG = knit 2 together as if they are one stitch
P2TOG = purl 2 together as if they are one stitch
SSK = slip, slip, knit
SSP = Slip 1 k-wise, slip another k-wise. Return slipped sts to left needle. p2tog tbl: Insert right needle up into back loops of the two stitches and purl them together from this position. (I find it easier to pass them from the right to left through the back loop and then purl them together as if they are one regular purl stitch.)
S2K1psso = Slip the next two stitches at the same time onto the right-hand needle knitwise, knit the next stitch, and pass the two slipped stitches at the same time over the knit stitch. It makes a somewhat raised but perfectly formed knit stitch in the centre of a pair of decreased stitches which slope towards it symmetrically
C** = This is the only hard stitch - a double decrease where the center stitch is on top when viewed from the right side. To do it, purl 1, slip the next 2 together through the back loop (all three are now on the right needle), pass all three to left needle, slip the right needle over the first stitch and under the next two to pass them over the first stitch (the one you purled). The remaining stitch is still on the right needle, so pass it to the left.
()x = knit text in brackets as many times as indicated after the "x"
[]x = repeat enclosed instructions as many times as indicated after the "x"
*-* = repeat enclosed instructions till end of round.
All rows not mentioned are knit plain (knit on knit side; purl on purl side).

Cast on 40 stitches.
Row 1: P
Row 6: K3, (YO, K1) x 35, K2
Row 12: K2, (K7, YO, K1, YO)x8, K9
Row 14: K2, (K2TOG, K3, SSK, YO, K3, YO)x8, K2TOG, K3, SSK, K2
Row 16: K2, (K2TOG, K1, SSK, YO, SSK, YO, K1, YO, K2TOG, YO)x8, K2TOG, K1, SSK, K2
Row 18: K2, S2K1psso, (YO, SSK, YO, K3, YO, K2TOG, YO, S2K1psso )x8, K2
Row 20: K2, (K2, YO, K2TOG, YO, S2K1psso , YO, SSK, YO, K1)x8, K3
Row 21: P7, (slip, P9)x7, slip, P7
Row 22: K2, (K3, YO, K2TOG, K1, SSK, YO, K2)x8, K3
Row 23: P7, (slip, P9)x7, slip, P7
Row 24: K2, (K4, YO, S2K1psso , YO, K3)x8, K3
Row 26: K2, (K1, YO)x4, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x7, YO]x7, S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x4, K2
Row 28: K9, (S2K1psso , K13)x7, S2K1psso , K9
Row 29: P8, (C**, P11)x7, C**, P8
Row 30: K2, (K1, YO)x5, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x9, YO]x7, S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x5, K2
Row 31: P11, (C**, P17)x7, C**, P11
Row 32: K10, (S2K1psso , K15)x7, S2K1psso , K10
Row 33: P9, (C**, P13)x7, C**, P9
Row 34: K2, (K1, YO)x6, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x11, YO]x7, S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x5, YO, K2
Row 35: P13, (C**, P21)x7, C**, P13
Row 36: K12, (S2K1psso , K19)x7, S2K1psso , K12
Row 37: P11, (C**, P17)x7, C**, P11
Row 38: K10, (S2K1psso , K15)x7, S2K1psso , K10
Row 39: P2, (P1, YO)x7, [C**, (YO, P1)x13, YO]x7, C**, (YO, P1)x6, YO, P3
Row 40: K15, (S2K1psso , K25)x7, S2K1psso , K15
Row 41: P14, (C**, P23)x7, C**, P14
Row 42: K13, (S2K1psso , K21)x7, S2K1psso , K13
Row 43: P12, (C**, K19)x7, C**, K12
Row 44: K2, (K1, YO, K2TOG, K5, SSK, YO)x16, K3
Row 46: K2, (K2, YO, K2TOG, K3, SSK, YO, K1)x16, K3
Row 48: K2, (K1, YO, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, K1, SSK, YO, SSK, YO)x16, K3
Row 50: K2, (K2, YO, K2TOG, YO, S2K1psso , YO, SSK, YO, K1)x16, K4
Row 52: K2, [K1, (SSK, YO)x2, K1, (YO, K2TOG)x2]x16, K3
Row 54: K2, K2TOG, (YO, SSK, YO, K3, YO, K2TOG, YO, S2K1psso )x15,YO, SSK, YO, K3, YO, K2TOG, YO, SSK, K2
Row 55: P2, (slip, P9)x16,slip, P2
Row 56: K2, (K1, SSK, YO, K5, YO, K2 TOG)x16, K3
Row 58: K2, K2TOG, (YO, K7, YO, S2K1psso )X15, YO, K7, YO, SSK, K2
Row 59: P2, (slip, P9)x16,slip, P2
Row 60: K2, K2TOG, [(YO, K1)X7, YO,S2K1psso ]X15, (YO, K1)X7, YO, SSK, K2
Row 61: P2, (slip, P15)x16, slip, P2
Row 62: K2, K2TOG, K13, (S2K1psso , K13)x15, SSK, K2
Row 63: P2, P2TOG, P11, (C**, P11)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 64: K2, K2TOG, (YO, K1)x9, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x9), YO]x15, SSK, K2
Row 65: P2, P2TOG, P17, (C**, P17)x15, P2TOG, P2
**If you aren’t counting stitches anymore because you’ve grasped the pattern, do count them every few rows. At this point it is easy to miss a YO or somehow end up with too many stitches which can get magnified as you go on and is really hard to repair if it’s gone on for too long! If you find your stitch count off, don’t despair! You can easily fudge this pattern so it looks good to all but the most discerning eye. For too many stitches, in the S2K1psso, you can slip 3 instead of two to eat an extra stitch. For too few, you can do a K2TOG instead of the S2K1psso at the end of the repeat to create a stitch for the next row.
Row 66: K2, K2TOG, K15, (S2K1psso , K15)x15, SSK, K2
Row 67: P2, P2TOG, P13, (C**, P13)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 68: K2, K2TOG, (YO, K1)x11, YO, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x11), YO]x15, SSK, K2
Row 69: P2, P2TOG, P21, (C**, P21)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 70: K2, K2TOG, K19, (S2K1psso , K19)x15, SSK, K2
Row 71: P2, P2TOG, P17, (C**, P17)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 72: K2, K2TOG, K15, (S2K1psso , K15)x15, SSK, K2
Row 73: P2, P2TOG, (YO, P1)x13, YO, [C**, (YO, P1)x13), YO]x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 74: K2, K2TOG, K25, (S2K1psso , K25)x15, SSK, K2
Row 75: P2, P2TOG, P23, (C**, P23)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 76: K2, K2TOG, K21, (S2K1psso , K21)x15, SSK, K2
Row 77: P2, P2TOG, P19, (C**, P19)x15, P2TOG, P2
Row 78: K2, (K1, YO, K2TOG, K5, SSK, YO)x32, K3
Row 80: K2, (K2, YO, K2TOG, K3, SSK, YO, K1)x32, K3
Row 82: K2, [K1, (YO, K2TOG)x2, K1, (SSK, YO)x2]x32, K3
Row 84: K2, (K2, YO, K2TOG, YO, S2K1psso , YO, SSK, YO, K1)x32, K3
Row 86: K2, [K1, (K2TOG, YO)x2, K1, (YO, SSK)x2]x32, K3
Row 88: K2, K2TOG, (YO, K2TOG, YO, K3, YO, SSK, YO, S2K1psso )x31, YO, K2TOG, YO, K3, YO, SSK, YO, SSK, K2
Row 90: K2, (K1, K2TOG, YO, K5, YO, SSK)x32, K3
Row 92: K2, K2TOG, YO, K7, YO, (S2K1psso , YO, K7, YO)x31, SSK, K2
Row 94: K2, K2TOG, (YO, K1)x7, [S2K1psso , (YO, K1)x7, YO]x31, SSK, K2
Row 96: Like row 62, but with 32 repeats.
Row 97-111: Like row 63-77, but with 32 repeats.
Row 111-123: Like row 78-90 but with 64 repeats instead of 32.

Many thanks to YarnOver for translating this beautiful pattern from the Danish! For the doily pattern, which could make a lovely round blanket, see

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shawls for Grace

Today as my little kitty dies of VAS - Vaccine-Associated Sarcoma, I'd like to dedicate a pattern of sorts in her memory.

Gracie was a fighter. I got her when, as a volunteer in the Red Cross Disaster Services Unit I responded to a house fire. The home was burned to the ground and the family - parents and several children, some quite young, were being sent to a hotel for the night. A friendly and quite pregnant little cat was threading through all of our legs, purring loudly the whole time we did the paperwork and made arrangements. As I petted her, the woman said I could have her, as she was their cat and they couldn't take her with them. I took her home and she had kittens the next day in my basement.

We had our differences over the years. She bullied my beloved Ricky (male cat) unmercifully. She liked to bring live birds through the pet door to kill them in the bathroom where the mirrors confused them. Once she brought in a live snake during a dinner party and left it under the table, quickly clearing the room. But looking back I can see the humor in some of it now.

I'm trying to tell myself she's not suffering the pangs of death for nothing, but they are birth pains toward a new life. I believe, as George MacDonald did, that animals don't just pass away into nothingness but are also welcomed into God's warm embrace at the end.

The Shawl:

This may perhaps be the easiest shawl pattern ever. You simply find a repeating lace pattern you like and keep going. I think good shawl dimensions are 18 - 22 inches wide by at least 36 inches long. It takes at least 380 yards, closer to 500 if you want to make it really nice. The pattern can be found in books or online. My favorite sources for lace patterns are the library - where they have books like Stitchionary that are filled with lace patterns. I prefer size 10 needles so it doesn't take forever to knit the shawl and I can use larger yarns - sport, DK, etc. and still have it with a lacy, open effect.

To get the gauge, knit one repetition of the pattern through once (in this way you can also see if you can do all the stitches!). Wash and block it and then measure it to see how many repeats you'll need to get the desired width. For length, I usually keep going until I've used up all the yarn. I don't like tassels because I worry they won't hold up over time and will make the shawl start to look shabby.

To class it up, you can add a knit-on or crocheted on edging on all sides. You can find many of them in pattern books as well.

I wanted to put in more pictures of some examples but evidently my printer just discovered it doesn't support Vista and no longer uploads photos! GRRR!