New Pattern Release: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

Introducing my latest pattern: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl! This Danish-style tie shawl is worked from the bottom up in worsted-weight yarn.

2644 Marilla shawl

Pattern: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal

2637 marilla shawl

Inspiration: I read the Anne of Green Gables series several times over while I was growing up (and at least once as an adult).  It’s easy to like Anne—we’re meant to like her–but I always had a soft spot for Marilla Cuthbert. Prickly, practical, and tough, she protected a tender heart with a convincing façade. I like to think Marilla would have liked this shawl. It’s warm, knits up quickly, and the long Danish-style ties allow you to wrap and secure the shawl around your shoulders and waist. But, there’s just enough lace to make it pretty, too.

I made a shawl in this style a couple years ago, and I wore it all the time last winter. I loved how the ties held it in place, and allowed several different ways to wear it.  For cool days, I wore the shawl over my shoulders with the ties going directly under my arms and tied behind — like a shrug.  On frigid days, I crossed the shawl over my chest, wrapping the ties around myself before tying them behind. Both ways allowed great freedom of movement while staying warm, and pretty too!  I even wore this shawl to dog agility events.

My interpretation of this type of shawl is larger overall, with longer ties. I used worsted-weight yarn to make it warmer and faster to knit. I tried to streamline the construction to eliminate as many loose ends as possible.

2645 Marilla shawl

Design/Skills Needed: The shawl begins with the bottom edging, worked from right tip to left tip, with a short-row corner halfway through. Stitches are picked up along this bottom edge, leaving 8 repeats at both tips to form the ties. The body is worked from the bottom edge, with decreases to form the spine and top edge. After the body is completed, the neck edging is worked from right tip to left tip and joined to the body as you go.

It’s worth noting that the bottom edging uses about 40% of the yarn … so even though it takes a long time, you are nearly halfway done when you finish it! The pattern includes some charts; however, all charts are also completely written-out, for knitters who prefer to work from written directions.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern.

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

2639 Marilla shawl

2640 Marilla shawl (corner)

Cast-On Monday

This week I added two new projects to my needles.  One is a design project that was accepted for publication through Knit Picks IDP, and the other is a test knit for one of my favorite designers.

The new project of mine is a “practical” shawl — worked mostly in garter stitch with superwash worsted-weight yarn, it should be warm and cozy, and knit up quickly, too.  I’m using the Danish wrap-style shawl as a basis for the shape.  To make it pretty and fun to knit, I’m adding a bit of lace here and there — but not so much as to make it un-practical, or slow down a knitter too much.  Knit Picks granted my every wish when they accepted the pattern, and then gave me Swish Worsted in Blue Violet:

2389 KP Swish Worsted in Blue Violet
I’m lucky enough to be on Kate Oates (of Tot Toppers) test-knitter list.  Periodically she puts  out photos and descriptions of patterns she needs tested, and it is a tribute to her and her designs how quickly the tests fill up!  Lately I’ve been too slow to respond, and have missed out on testing a number of great patterns, but this time I got lucky! If you read Kate’s group on Ravelry, you already know about her knitpon — a chance to pre-order her fall collection for only $33.  Today (Mon 13th) is the absolute last chance to take advantage of this deal — check out the awesome patterns:

See that stripey boy’s sweater in the top row?  That’s the pattern I’m test knitting. I ordered some great Wool of the Andes in the new Tonal colorways,  and I’m already halfway through the body.  It looks great on my youngest boy, who is very into dinosaurs.  Here’s my pretty yarn, in Blue Yonder, Springtime, and Deep Waters.

2385 Dino Sweater Test Knit

FO Friday: Yet Another Harry Potter Scarf

This Friday, I’m proud to say that I finished the Harry Potter scarf I’ve been working on since January! This is my third time doing one of these.  This one is for a friend-of-a-friend who is going through some tough times … I have to admit, I had a hard time motivating myself to do yet more stockinette, but I designated this project as my penance knitting about two weeks ago, and that did the trick.  Poof, done!

1865 HP scarf the third

Project: Harry Potter Scarf

Designer: (I copied from the movie stills)

Available: short-hand directions below!

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Hollyberry and Gold

1864 HP scarf the third

Short directions:

  • Cast on 70 sts (use Judy’s Magic Cast On)
  • YO at both edges on first round — this will be the sit of your slipped-st edge
  • work in the round in stockinette, slipping the edge sts every other round (except, after a 3-row CC stripe, just knit the MC around with no slipped sts)
  • Stripes like this:
    • 26 rounds MC
    • 3 rounds CC
    • 6 rounds MC
    • 3 rounds CC
  • repeat stripes 13 times, then do 26 more rounds of MC
  • end by ktog the edge sts on one last round, then kitchener together
  • fringe like this:
    • 12-in strands
    • each bundle: 3 MC and 1 CC
    • attach every other st

1863 HP scarf the third

Pattern: Bike Helmet Earwarmers

Designer: Amy O’Neill Houck

Available: FREE! on ravelry

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Dynamite Blue