Wednesday, May 04, 2011
New Design: Wings of the Pigeon? Beginner-friendly Lace Scarf and Shawl
Earlier this year I published a design for a Noro scarf that uses a very simple lace pattern stitch to great effect. (So simple, in fact, that there's a only a single, easily memorized pattern row!)
The pattern stitch causes the rows to curve, creating really great scalloped edges, and a rather wonderful zig-zag effect in the stripes. It looks great with the Noro yarns because the stripes are thick.
I'd bought some Zauberball Sock yarn - at the last Sock Summit, actually! - and it sat for a while in my stash before I figured out what to do with it. I love the yarn, but it's too nice (and perhaps a little too fragile) for socks.
I knew I wanted to do something interesting with the stripes. Inspired by both this rectangular scarf and some pictures of triangular shawls, I did the math for a semi-circle, using the same basic lace pattern.
And this is what resulted!
It's been fondly known around here as "Wings of the Pigeon". (I'd been trying to think of a name for the shawl, and I asked Norman what bird the colours suggested to him... )
I'm very pleased with this design - it's a great combination of stitch pattern and yarn, and it's garnered a lot of compliments from both knitters and non-knitters.
The pattern write-up includes both the rectangular and semi-circular versions, and it's written specifically to be accessible to even non lace knitters. The rectangle is a great place to start if you've never tackled lace, and the semi-circle is a little bit more challenging, but it's still entirely friendly and makes great travel knitting.
Both designs use a single ball of yarn, making them reasonably quick and inexpensive projects. They look best in yarns that have long stretches of colors, to create nice thick stripes. I recommend Zauberball sock, Noro Silk Garden or Taiyo Sock yarns, Mary Maxim Step It Up, or similar.
With 460yds of sock yarn and 3.5mm needles, you get a semi-circular shawl 127 cm/50 inches wide x 55 cm/22 inches long.
460yds of Noro Sekku laceweight and 2.5mm needles gives a rectangular scarf 28 cm/11 inches wide x 127 cm/50 inches long. Fingering weight sock yarns work brilliantly for this design, also, and give a larger finished product. If you do want to work the rectangular scarf with a thicker yarn, use larger needles. The pattern has notes on yarn substitution and needle size.
I've also provided instructions for blocking, helpful for the new lace knitter.
Pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and Patternfish.