Variations on a Shawl Pattern

NYGV shawl

The first time around I knit my Not-Your-Garden-Variety Shawlette I chose a West Yorkshire Spinners fingering-weight yarn (color: cayenne)  I bought on a trip to the U.K.

I wanted to see what the design looked like in a heavier-weight yarn, with a few beads added as an embellishment, and in a color that actually reminded me of a flowering garden.

In knitting this variation, I used the same size needles that pattern calls for (US 6/4.0mm), chose a DK-weight yarn (Artesano British Wool; color: bluebell) 3-50g skeins, and incorporated 16-8mm translucent glass beads (color: wheat), to resemble beads of dew on one of the rows of blossoms.



Measurements after blocking: 43 inches (110cm) across the top; 24.5 inches (62cm) from top to end of bottom point.

The pattern is one of mine on Ravelry. You’ll find instructions for the variation on that page.

The shawlette is also available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

Blocking a Knit Lace Shawl – and My Latest Pattern

TTLKS1Palm trees grow everywhere in Thailand, from the sea to the mountains, and the landscapes are a lush green throughout the year.

For my newest shawl pattern I decided to incorporate these elements in the design of a shawl that’s a suitable accessory in the tropics year-round, and for spring and summer in less tropical climes.

This soft and elegant rectangular Thai Tropics shawl is knit with Manos lace (2-ply), a blend of baby alpaca, cashmere, and silk, and it’s as luxurious as it sounds! It features a panel of palm fronds and a panel of palm leaves, set against a background of open lacework.

Dimensions after blocking: 18×64 inches (46x162cm)

As you can see from the photos the lace design elements are clearly defined and the piece has a very finished look to it.

It doesn’t come off the needles looking like this, however! That’s one reason the dimensions are noted “after blocking.”

Wet blocking of lace knit items is necessary to stretch out and give shape to the piece, and to open up the lace stitch structure. If you simply stretch the item when it is dry, it will spring back and not maintain the desired shape and size.

Here’s a look at the palm fronds end of my Thai Tropics shawl before blocking:

I should add here that I resisted the blocking step of producing lace knit accessories for quite a while, even though I knew this step was an important one.  The whole process looked too difficult and I didn’t have the tools I needed, so I stretched and smoothed the scarves and shawls and went back to my knitting.

I’ve since gone back and wet blocked these pieces, and what a difference it makes!

The process is not complex and the tools are relatively easy to acquire. It helps if you have:

1. Interlocking play mats or blocking mats –  I use play mats simply because they cost less and are easy to find in toy stores and many discount or department stores. Blocking mats are considered a specialty item and are considerably more expensive.
2. Knitting blocking wires [or a knitting blocking kit (with pins)] – Threading these wires along the edges of a shawl or scarf ensures a straight edge and helps in the stretching process. Using wires also means using fewer pins.
3. Stainless steel T-pins – If you didn’t get pins with your wires, you should buy some good quality stainless steel pins (to keep them from rusting and staining your knitted item).

There are lots of helpful websites and videos to take you through the wet blocking process, so it doesn’t make sense for me to repeat the steps here.

Here’s an article that I have found to be particularly useful:

And here’s a look at my new Thai Tropics Lace Knit Shawl in the wet blocking process.


I hope you give the pattern a try, and try out the wet blocking technique on your next lace knit accessory.

If you’d like to purchase this shawl, rather than the pattern, it’s available in my Etsy shop (ScarvesShawlsandMore).

Happy knitting – and blocking!

Practice Basic Lace Knitting Stitches – and Knit a Scarf!


Unbelievably light and soft, this Blossoms and Vines Lace Scarf was designed to be knit with lace-weight alpaca yarn on US 2-1/2 (3mm) needles.

The amount of yard required is 275-290 yards (251-265 m) for a finished accessory that measures around 6.5 x 55 inches (16.5 x 140cm).

This is the second of two patterns I created that were inspired by traditional English gardens I was fortunate enough to encounter on a trip to the U.K. earlier this year. The design is based on my impressions of trellised vines and a multitude of blossoms and is meant to have a vintage feel.

The pattern is quite straightforward and can be knit by anyone with a bit of lace knitting experience.

If you have limited experience with lace knitting, you might want to practice a few of the rows from this scarf pattern to improve your technique before taking on the whole pattern.

The following abbreviations are used in the instructions. If you don’t understand how to perform the actions after reading the descriptions, try searching on YouTube for relevant videos.

K2tog (knit 2 stitches together from the left needle – to decrease 1 stitch)
SKP (slip 1 stitch, knit the next stitch on the left needle, and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch – to decrease 1 stitch)
SK2P (slip 1 stitch as if to knit, knit the next 2 stitches together, and pass the slipped stitch over the 2 stitches that were knit together – to decrease 2 stitches)
YO (yarn over, to increase 1 stitch)

You might want to try knitting the pattern rows seen below with larger needles and heavier yarn, to make it easier to see what you’re doing as you practice. [Note that the actual pattern will emerge after you’ve blocked the finished scarf. I’ll talk about blocking lace knit items in next week’s blog.]

Repeat these four rows as many times as you’d like until you’re comfortable with the various stitches and satisfied with the result. These will not produce the full 12-row pattern seen in the scarf, and are meant for practice only.

Cast on 39 stitches and knit across all stitches for 4 rows
Row 1:
K2, YO, SKP, P1, K2tog, YO, K3, YO, SKP, P1, K7, K2tog, YO, K1, YO, SKP, K1, P1, K2tog, YO, K3, YO, SKP, P1, K2tog, YO, K2
Row 2: K2, P2, K1, P7, K1, P13, K1, P7, K1, P2, K2
Row 3: K2, YO, SKP, P1, K2, YO, SK2P, YO, K2, P1, K6, K2tog, YO, K3, YO, SKP, P1, K2, YO, SK2P, YO, K2, P1, K2tog, YO, K2
Row 4: Repeat Row 6

Now it’s time to knit the scarf! You can find the pattern on Craftsy or Ravelry for USD 2.25.


Let me know if you need any help.

See you next week,

Choosing the Right Self-striping Yarn for a Knit Shawl

If you’d like to create a striped knit shawl but don’t want the fuss of changing yarns every couple of rows, you can achieve a similar effect with the right choice in self-striping yarn.

For the body of the shawlette pictured above I used Lang Mille Colori Baby merino (4-ply, fingering weight). When you choose a self-striping yarn it’s important to see a photo or sample of a swatch or item that’s been knit using the yarn, to ensure that you’re happy with the look.

This colorful Leaf Edged Half Circle Eyelet Shawl is knit from the top down from a pattern that forms a half circle. The body is knit in one piece in a simple paired eyelet stitch, and then the lacy leaf border is knit using the live stitches at the bottom edge of the shawl. The top edge is finished by picking up and knitting stitches across the top, finishing with a picot bind-off.


The simple eyelet lace stitch allows the color to be the focus of the shawlette, and the top and bottom edging in a complementary solid color provide a bit of elegance and interest.

I used nearly 2 full skeins of the Lang Mille Colori Baby merino yarn for the body (415 yards/380 meters) and less than half of the Manos Fino silk/wool blend (approximately 100 yards/90 meters) for the edgings. Both are fingering weight (4-ply) yarns and were knit with US 4 (3.5mm) needles.

The overall dimensions after blocking: 42×20.5 inches (107×52 cm)

An intermediate level knitter will find this pattern enjoyable. The edgings may prove to be a bit challenging for a beginner.

If you decide to use a different brand of yarn for the body, remember to check the self-striping pattern to ensure you’ll be happy with the result!

Lang Mille Colori Baby: 845.0039
Manos Fino: Topaz

The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and Craftsy. I hope you try it out and enjoy knitting the shawl as much as I enjoyed designing it.

Happy New Year!