New Pattern Release: Kudzu Shawlette

Introducing my latest pattern: the Kudzu Shawlette! This dramatic lacy shawlette, worked in soft, luminescent Cotton Bam Boo, is a versatile accessory for all seasons.  This pattern was designed especially for Classic Elite Yarn‘s free weekly web-letter.

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Pattern: Cotton Bam Boo Kudzu Shawlette

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: free at Classic Elite!

Yarn: Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo

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Inspiration: In the southern United States, Kudzu flows over the land like waves caught in time. When I lived in Virginia, I loved to watch the daily progress this “weed” made, overtaking trees and buildings alike. I tried to capture the impression of motion in this shawlette, using lace patterns that transition organically from one to the next.

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The top edge begins with a twisted rib that expands into the first round of leaves.  The second round of leaves, slightly larger, develops from a column of twisted knit stitches left-over from the rib. The third and final round of leaves, larger still, expands to take over the lattice at the bottom edge.

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This lacy shawlette can be worn over the shoulders with a fancy accent button or shawl pin to hold it in place. The full length version can also be wrapped twice around the neck for a more casual look. The midi length is just long enough to go once around the shoulders. 

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Design/Skills Needed: Kudzu is worked flat from the top down.  Because there are so many stitches (especially in the full-length version), I highly recommend using circular needles. In addition to the slightly unusual wrapped stitch in the twisted rib pattern, the pattern also includes more common lace stitches (yarnovers, decreases, double decreases), and knitting and purling through the back loop. The pattern is fully charted, but also has complete written directions. Ambitious beginning knitters will find this a challenging but achievable introduction to lace knitting; intermediate and experienced lace knitters should enjoy the ever-changing pattern.

I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

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I thought it might be interesting for knitters to see a little bit of the design process for this pattern. This is my final sketch for Kudzu, made after swatching, but before the sample was knit. Close observers will notice how much longer the finished sample is, compared to the sketch. In fact, the Cotton Bam Boo stretched much more than I anticipated, even after careful swatching.  The resulting sample was significantly longer than I had anticipated, but I found myself really liking the length.  I showed it to a fashionable younger friend of mine, as well as several different knitting friends, and they all gave it a bit thumbs-up.  I included the “midi” length in the pattern, which is closer to my sketched version.

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I’m also sharing scans of some of my notes and charts from false starts and final versions. I don’t have much commentary on these — just sharing!

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17 thoughts on “New Pattern Release: Kudzu Shawlette

  1. It’s beautiful; thank you for sharing this pattern. I have some silk yarn that I think would be very pretty. I’ll try a swatch with it. Linda

  2. I instantly wanted to knit this up! Thanks for a great pattern. I am looking forward to trying out the Cotton Bam Boo, and this is irresistable…

  3. This is gorgeous. I am an intermediate knitter who is confused by charts. I am going to try the written directions, which seem very clear. I love it!

  4. Glad to be of service! More and more I’m realizing that charts vs written is just a matter of brain process … I try to make sure my patterns are accessible to both kinds of knitter-brains.

    The written directions have been test knit and tech edited — but of course, if you run into any problems, please ask!

  5. I have had the privilege of being one of the testers of this great Kudzu Shawlette patterns.
    I immediately fell in love with all those nice leaves in her drawing.
    The yarn I used was : Sport / 5 ply – 90% Acrylic, 10% Mohair
    It was just fun to knit and communicate. It took me about 26 hours (in total) to finish this knitting. Though the rows are very long, it never gets boring. The pattern has a lot of variation, an easy rhythm, and the result is just great as you can see on my Ravelry project page :
    http://www.ravelry.com/projects/breipret/cotton-bam-boo-kudzu-shawlette
    To wear it I prefer the double twisted version, so I sewed little buttons. (On the pictures I buttoned it wrongly! I used holes 1, 3 and 4 instead of 1, 3 and 5)

  6. What a beautiful pattern! I have already downloaded the pattern, and just have to get one or two other things off the needles before I get started…

    On long car trips when I was little, whenever we saw those waves of vines climbing over trees and power lines and anything standing still, we would shout out “KUDZU” and dissolve in giggles. Thanks for a design that brings back such fun memories!

  7. can somebody help me i dont understand wrap 1 over two, do i suppose to kint 3 pull them off the needle ???/….im very confuse im stuck 😦

    1. Hi GB — I’d love to help you if I can. Have you read the directions for the wrap stitch? Which step is confusing for you? In a nutshell, you knit three stitches. Then, you take the first one that you knit, and lift it up and over the other two and off the needle. That first stitch ends up wrapped around the other two.

      Are you on ravelry at all? This particular pattern has several great knit-a-longs with lots of people able to help. Come join one (or more!).

  8. I have just started this pattern and it is coming along wonderfully.
    I am up to row 4 of the leaves section and having problems. The line of k1-tbl doesn’t seem to be matching up. I was part way thru row 5 and have undone row 4 and 5 as it just didn’t look right. Will it work itself out further down? Or is there a misprint?

    1. This pattern all lines up with itself, so if the ktbl lines aren’t stacking, the most likely cause is a mistake in your knitting. If you post a photo on Ravelry, fellow knitters can help you spot the mistake.

      It’s not impossible that there is an error in the pattern, but in this case I think it is very unlikely. This particular pattern has been knit hundreds of times in the last few years, and if there were a major error, I think out would have been found by now.

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