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!

Thailand Memories

My original design, Thailand Memories Knit Lace Scarf is one of my favorites. It features temple roofs, unopened lotus buds, and the leaves of the sacred Bodhi tree, which are all elements found in the country’s Buddhist temples.
TM4Thailand’s natural environment, iconic images, and architecture inspire some of my designs, as you can see in the temple roofs, elephants, leaves, and blossoms in the patterns.

I like experimenting with stitch patterns and creating designs that incorporate images from my travels also. Lace knitting in particular interests me and in my scarf and shawl patterns you’ll find fall colors from the US, temple roofs from Asia, camels and elephants from Morocco, and flowers and garden images from England.

Working from memory, photos, graphics, and actual objects, I translate what I visualize onto graph paper in lace stitch patterns. For some reason, although I create my designs with charts, the instructions for all of my published designs are written. Maybe I’ll make the transition to charted patterns in the near future!

For the Thailand Memories pattern I wanted to integrate the leaf edgings into the overall pattern of temple roofs and lotus buds, so that they were knitted along with the body to the scarf, rather than added on later. This added some complexity to the pattern, but a satisfying result.


The yarn for this scarf project is Manos Silk Fino (a blend of fine merino wool and silk) in the color Topaz, which is similar to the color of the robes worn by many monks. You’ll see a range of tones in the piece as the yarn is both hand-spun and hand-dyed.


This scarf is knit in 2 pieces that are grafted by using a simple Kitchener garter graft. I used most of 2 50-gram skeins knitting the scarf with 3.5mm knitting needles (US 4).

When completed the Thailand Memories scarf measures 8 x 55 inches (20 x 140cm).

If you have some previous lace knitting experience you should enjoy knitting this pattern, and I will be happy to help with any questions you might have.

The Thailand Memories Knit Lace Scarf pattern is available on Craftsy and Ravelry and the scarf itself can be purchased on Etsy.

Happy New Year!

A Travel-Inspired Shawl

I enjoy traveling and often pick up the work of local artisans. After doing a fair amount of lace knitting earlier in the year, I wanted to knit a scarf/shawl/wrap based on a painted cloth I found in South Africa several years ago.
African print to use in chart patternTribal Traces African Sampler Scarf/Shawl was my first design incorporating eyelet lace stitches, and has so far been the most popular.

TrTr2 TrTr1-1

I have knitted the pattern in both laceweight (2-ply) and fingering weight (4-ply) wool. The scarf pictured was done with 2-ply yarn on 3.25mm needles and measures 25x160cm (10×63 inches).
TT 1This one, which I think is a better representation of the actual painted cloth, was knit with 4-ply wool on 3.5mm needles, and measures 35x230cm (14×90 inches).

I used 1 80-gram skein of 2-ply superwash wool for the lace-weight wrap, with a fair amount left over. For the fingering weight shawl I used 2 100-gram skeins, with just a bit left over.

Two identical panels are knit and then grafted together using the Kitchener stitch. There are 6 sections to each panel.

I’d enjoy seeing your results if you decide to knit Tribal Traces, perhaps with a different type of yarn.


Free Guest Towel Pattern – and its Mate

Free Seed Chevron Towel Pattern

Guests coming for the holidays? Want to add a fresh new touch to the guest bath? Here’s a free pattern for my Seed Stitch Chevron Reversible Guest Towel.

I decided that I wanted to knit a guest towel and wanted it to be reversible but couldn’t find a pattern I liked, so I designed this one.

This reversible knit towel measures 28x43cm (11x17in) and is soft with a nice nubby texture from the seed or moss stitch. The chevron pattern looks great on both sides.

I knit this on US 5 (3.75mm) needles using a DK weight yarn – King Cole Cottonsoft in Coral. It used around 2/3 of the 100g skein. (I’ve also seen this knit in a worsted-weight yarn, which I liked as well, as the heavier yarn gave the towel additional body and increased the size.)

There’s a mate to this pattern: Seed Stitch Chevron Cotton Knit Towel – Reversible.
Eyelet Seed Chevron Towel Pattern
(Note that this pattern is available for USD 0.99)

This one has some lace eyelet features in the edging and internal borders and is the perfect mate for the free pattern.

This reversible knit towel measures 28x43cm (11x17in) and is soft with a nice nubby texture from the seed or moss stitch. The chevron pattern looks great on both sides.

I knit this on US 5 (3.75mm) needles using a DK weight yarn – King Cole Cottonsoft in Coral. It used around 2/3 of the 100g skein.


Free Pattern – Eyelet ZigZag Garter Stitch Knit Scarf in Mohair (reversible)

If you’re looking for an easy pattern for a scarf as a Christmas gift, look no further!

I had 100 grams of Colinette Hand Dyed Mohair sitting around for a while and decided I’d make a simple scarf, so I did a reversible garter zigzag design and thought I’d post the 2-row pattern for the scarf:

What you’ll need:
100 grams (193 yards/175 meters) Colinette Hand Dyed Mohair (78% mohair, 13% wool, 9% nylon)
Weight: Aran
Color: Tapis (this colorway has been discontinued by the supplier, but it’s often available at online stores and eBay)
6mm (US size 10)

Note: You can use any yarn you like, but your final dimensions may differ from my result.

CO 33 stitches
Row 1: (K4, YO, K1, YO, K4, SK2P) twice; K4, YO, K1, YO, K4 (35 stitches on needle)
Row 2: K2togTBL, K31, K2tog (33 stitches on needle)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you’ve nearly run out of yarn.
BO loosely
If you’d prefer a pattern that you can download, it’s available for free in my Ravelry shop.

CO (cast on)
K (knit)
K2tog (knit 2 stitches together from the left needle – 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)
K2togTBL (TBL means through the back loop, so when you knit these 2 stitches together, instead of going in from the front side to knit 2 together, you go in from the back of the needle (through the back loop of both at the same time) and then knit – to decrease 1 stitch)
YO (yarn over – to increase 1 stitch)
BO (bind off)
The finished size is around 7-1/2×60 inches (19×153 cm). I’m sure you could add several more inches with blocking.

If you like the scarf and don’t have time to knit, you can buy it from my Etsy shop.

Happy knitting,
Mike H

Christmas Trees and Snowflakes

Welcome back!

Knit yourself a special accessory for the holidays.CTandS3

Also perfect as a gift for someone with the holiday spirit, this bright red lace knit scarf is lightweight yet warm, knit in a 4-ply wool that’s machine washable.

The scarf is made in 2 panels, joined with the easy Kitchener garter graft (link to video instructions included).

Christmas trees and snowflakes are featured in the lace design, which is enhanced by a single translucent glass bead topping each of the trees.

You’ll find the written instructions easy to follow for this 7.5 x 66 in/19 x 167 cm Christmas Trees and Snowflakes Lace Knit Scarf!

Also, let’s not forget our furry friends during the holiday season. They might enjoy some knitted lace as much as their humans do.

There are 2 patterns in 1 here:

  1. Snowflakes – designed for a small dog, with a measurement between button to buttonhole of about 11.5 inches (29.2 cm). There is a note in the pattern about increasing or decreasing this measurement if necessary.
  2. Christmas trees – designed for a medium-sized dog, with the distance between button and buttonhole being 13 inches (33 cm).

They knit up quickly, and as you can see in the photo, the Snowflakes scarf looks really nice on my pal Charlie.

If your schedule is keeping you too busy to knit, both the human and doggie versions are available as finished hand knit products in my Etsy store – with free worldwide shipping by air until December 4.

See you next week. Happy knitting and shopping!


Welcome to This Man Knits.  I’m a knitwear designer based in Bangkok, Thailand and travel extensively looking for inspiration for  my new and original designs for hand knit accessories – for women, men, and their pets!

From week to week you can expect to see photos of my work, hints and tips about knitting, links to patterns, and links to sites where you can purchase my luxury hand knit items.

If you’d like to see the patterns I have available, visit my Ravelry page.

My scarves, shawls, and other accessories can be viewed and purchased in my Etsy store.

In the meantime if you’d like to learn a bit more about me, I was recently interviewed for the Around the World in 80 Skeins blog.

I’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to see on this site, your feedback on my patterns and accessories, and anything else related to knitting!

See you next week,