North Sea Shawl, complete

§ April 23rd, 2007 § Filed under Lace work § 23 Comments

One of the best things about a lazy weekend is having an old friend to share it with, someone who knows your rhythms, your likes and dislikes. Even better when that friend is visiting, and not only sits around and talks to you nineteen to the dozen so you can knit and finish a project, but also helps you pin it out while blocking, and then models it for you. So this past weekend was a delight. My friend Latha visited me after  a long time, and between reminiscing about university, walking around the Italian neighbourhood and Chinatown in San Francisco and eating and drinking lots of good stuff, I managed to finish the North Sea Shawl from Cheryl Oberle’s "Folk Shawls" book.


This shawl has a fair bit of bounce before blocking, due to the garter stitch panels. But once blocked, it flattens out into the most gorgeous undulating pattern. The colour on the photo to the right, with the blocked shawl, is closer to the real shades. You can see the Malabrigo laceweight working its subtle shade magic. This yarn is too gorgeous for words.

Pattern notes:

Pattern: North Sea Shawl (Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle)

Yarn: Malabrigo laceweight in Damask Rose, used double throughout, on size 7 bamboo needles

Gauge: 26 st to 4 inches over the main lace pattern

Modifications: I shortened the number of repeats to make for a narrower shawl. I cast on 85 stitches instead of 109, and got a final width of 15 inches. The finished shawl is about 75 inches long.

I loved this project: it was quick, simple and beautiful. Minimal
effort, maximum joy, just a variation of Feather and Fan, with a short
central panel. You knit one side and the central panel, then the other
side and graft the two together, which took me quite a bit of time. But
I did 14 repeats on each of the side panels, and got a stole of decent
length. If you’re looking for a simple rectangular stole, I highly
recommend this pattern. It has the right mix of pattern to keep it
interesting and garter to keep it going.

I thought of the process of knitting this stole rather like knitting a largish
sock: 80 plus stitches, an 8 row repeat with a 12 stitch pattern
repeat, to be done twice and with light and portable enough for me to carry
around. Before I knew it, it was done! I think it’s a good idea to
think of it this way, because the tedium of a long, 75 inch rectangular pattern is somehow made much more tolerable that way.

23 Responses to “North Sea Shawl, complete”

  • Agnes says:

    Lovely lovely lovely! The pink is gorgeous!

  • Rachel says:

    Pretty shawl! Perfect color for spring.

  • lobstah says:

    Wow, that is simply beautiful! It looks so yummy.

  • Wendy says:

    It’s really beautiful! Love the color!

  • stacey says:

    beautiful! i love the pink and the pattern almost looks like hearts in the last picture!

  • quill says:

    It’s so beautiful! My mom just came to visit and took her long lent to me copy of Folk Shawls back to Denver with her… now I want it back again…

  • Alison says:

    Wow, that’s gorgeous. I’ve never really thought twice about that shawl until now! It’s really pretty in that color and I might have to seriously think about adding it to my ever-growing queue. I do love that book.

  • pamela wynne says:

    beautiful!! And I like your “just a big sock” strategy — will have to use that one. I have some Malabrigo laceweight that just started calling to me a bit more loudly. :)

  • spudsayshi says:

    Veeeerrrry nice! And did I hear that friend E is coming to visit soon, too? I’m so jealous!

  • Knit Masala says:

    That is absolutely stunning! I love the color (again, Mmmalabrigo doesn’t disappoint) and the handiwork is gorgeous.

  • Melissa says:

    Oooh, it’s beautiful!!!! The pattern really shows up well in that color. Love it.

  • jenn says:

    Lovely! I love the color(s) you chose for the shawl. I made the NSS a couple years ago in a handspun laceweight (my own) and there was more varigation then i would have liked in the end piece.

  • Suzanne says:

    Beautiful! I love the color.

  • Olga says:

    That’s just gorgeous! I love that book, and Malabrigo is the best.

  • Martha Hulse says:

    Your shawl is gorgeous. I knit it for my friend’s 50th birthday a couple of years ago, in Silky Wool. I will probably knit the pattern again.

  • OLPP says:

    That is absolutely beautiful! Very very lovely, and the color looks so pretty on you!

  • Mary says:

    Wow — that is inspiring. Beautiful work. And kudos to your good friend for modeling. I agree, life is pretty fine when there are good friends around.

  • mazhalai says:

    love the pink!! and the pattern.. looks so delicate and beautiful..

  • Opal says:

    What a great knitting philosophy for knitting a shawl. I know that stoles can get quite tedious. The end product is absolutely gorgeous though. Really, it’s stunning!

  • Amanda says:

    That is such a lovely shawl! Now I’m very curious about the lace weight Malabrigo. The subtle variegation lends fantastic depth and interest to the finished shawl. Fantastic!

  • pamela wynne says:

    Just got your lovely comment, but I seem to have lost your email…
    I just wanted to say, frog the sock! Do it! Otherwise, whatever the problem is, it will haunt you. :)

  • Sneaksleep says:

    Simply divine! Looks great on you, too. I agree with others that you have the right philosophy about shawl knitting. Not *quite* as compact as a sock-in-progress, but still lots of bang for the buck!

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