Now that Wool week is over for another year, I’ve found the time to write another blog entry. I’d forgotten how exhausting teaching can be, but also how much I enjoy it. It seemed to go very well and I think all my ‘students enjoyed themselves – at least I hope they did! I’m always amazed at how many people travel so far to take part in all the workshops on offer. It just shows how popular Shetland wool is all over the world. There are so many things that can be done with it and next year I hope to be able to attend some of the many workshops available.
Late on last year I was asked if I could incorporate a rose pattern into the centre of a 1-ply wedding shawl, as the bride was a ‘Lancashire lass’ and wanted something to reflect this, I said blithely ‘I don’t see why not!’, as I knew I’d seen a rose pattern in one of my many knitting books.
Finding Marianne Kinsel’s ‘Rose of England’ Design in her second book of Modern Lace Knitting, I sent a picture of it to Trish. It’s originally a circular design, but Trish wondered if I could do it in a triangular/pentangle shape instead, so the ‘rose’ would hang down her back when she wore it. I said I would give it a go, but never having been all that good at maths, I wondered how on earth I was going to convert a circle into a triangle!
Anyhow, using Shetland 1-ply lace wool, I started off on four double pointed needles, but found it too tricky to get going without it twisting, so ended up using two needles for the first few rows before changing to a short circular needle. As the stitch count increased, I went up to a longer length and had over 1200 stitches by the time I’d finished the centre rose - one row seemed to take forever!
Now to convert the centre circle into a triangle – this was going to take a bit of thought and the use of even more of my little grey cells! I consulted with various friends about the best way to tackle it and ended up by just dividing the stitches into three and doing each third separately. I charted the first ‘third’ on graph paper to give me an idea of how big the final shawl would be and what sort of pattern I could fit into it. I opted for the ‘Cat’s Paw’, as it was simple and would not detract from the ‘rose centre’, but would break up the stocking stitch nicely. I then had to increase outwards, which is the opposite of what I normally do and decided the best way to do this would be to do a yarn forward at the beginning of every right side row.
This also made sewing the three sides together much easier. To finish, I knitted on a scalloped lace edging round the outside.
I hope you'll agree that the finished shawl looked pretty good.