Thursday, December 14, 2017

Frost on the Windowpane Shawl

Frost on the Windowpane Shawl
Frost on the Windowpane Shawl

To introduce the shawl, I think it's best to start at the beginning: it's a rainy, blustery day, the place is rural Romania, and the year is 1988. Okay, okay, maybe the origins of this piece aren't quite that dramatic... the truth is, I got the idea for the Frost on the Windowpane Shawl while attending a shawl shaping class with Chrissie Day at the Loch Ness Knit Fest in Inverness this last October, when she mentioned a concept called sequence knitting. And while I am no sequence knitting expert (if you want one, you should check out the definitive book by Cecelia Campochiaro), I understood enough of the basics to want to give it a shot.

Okay, first then - what is sequence knitting? As I have a very basic understanding, I again refer you to the book. What you need to know in order to make this piece, however, is that instead of using a multi-row stitch pattern, in which you line up your current work with your work from the previous row, you will simply be repeating the same combination of stitches over and over again to create the pattern on the non-stockinette portion of the shawl. Of course, since there are also increases and that stockinette stripe to deal with, it's perhaps easier to think of knitting this shawl using a few algorithms, or rules. I realize that that might sound complicated right now, but I hope you'll realize that it's easy and fun once you get started. Another bonus is that this shawl uses an almost identical amount of your color A and B yarns, so you can knit without waste (which I personally find terribly enjoyable).

Oh, and as a final note - you'll notice that I played pretty fast and loose with the gauge on this puppy. Almost any lighter-weight yarn will work; since it's just an increasing triangle shawl, you have a lot of freedom with your yarn choice!

Finished Dimensions: roughly 56" along the stockinette stripe, 45" along the top, and 64" along the diagonal

Yarn: Skein Queen Linger (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon; 465 yards [425 meters]/100 grams); Sea Holly - one skein (color A) and My Happy Place - one skein (color B)

Frost on the Windowpane Shawl
A closer look at the details.
Needles: One 24" or longer circular needle in size US 5, and one US 4 needle for icord bind off (optional)

Notions: tapestry needle, one stitch marker

Gauge: 36 stitches = 4 inches on size US 1/2 needles, 20 stitches = 4 inches on size US 5 needles

So let's make a shawl, then! And I know I said some stuff about sequence knitting before, but we will begin with the stockinette portion of this shawl, so don't worry about that stuff for now. Using your color A yarn, then, cast on 8 stitches loosely and then go immediately to some beginning rows, as follows. As you'll notice, there are faux icord edgings on both sides of the shawl; leave those loose, especially the one at the beginning of your wrong side rows, in order to get the best stretch on your shawl when you block it. Anyway, let's continue like so:

Beginning Row 1 (wrong side): using color A, slip 3 stitches with yarn in front (sl3), purl until you have 3 stitches left in row, sl3

Beginning Row 2: using color B, knit until you have 3 stitches left in row, (yo) twice, k3 (+2 stitches)