Monday, September 27, 2010

Stonington Shawl

Kids are in bed, maybe not asleep.... but definitely in bed for the night, so I'm settling down with the Estonian Shawl to put on side #4.  Part of the genius of this design is that there is no cast on edge.  You begin with 2 stitches (okay, you have to cast on 1+ your slipknot) and then create a square on the bias by increasing each row.  You throw in some yarn overs to create a concentric square lace design along the way, just to keep from falling asleep.  Then you pick up stitches along one side and garter back and forth, increasing a stitch on each end until you get a bizarre looking extension that only looks right when connected with the other sides.  I've now done 3 out of 4 sides and things are looking like this:

Difficult to tell from the photo, but this is knit out of a gorgeous slightly variegated purple from Madelinetosh Praire Laceweight called "Thicket."  Here's a picture from another site that shows the color much better:

Once I've finished up this last side, I'll knit on the lace edging.  As I've moved from side to side adding this edging to the original square, I've kept all the stitches live... that's what all those wandering pieces of yarn along the edges are -- place holders.  So, as I add on the lace edge, I'll just pick up each live stitch as I need it.  The concept is easier to understand if you see a sketch of the design:

So here, you can see I've completed the center square (A,B,C,D) and am now completing the surrounding border.  Next I'll be on the wavy lace edging that connects E,F,G,H.   This is the sideways lace edging.  I'm awed by the simplicity of the design and it's turning out beautifully.  This is an Elizabeth Zimmerman variant on the traditional Estonian Shawl and I'm really enjoying it.

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