Last weekend (or the one before), I finished knitting/crocheting my Grandma’s Christmas present, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. You can see the rest of the pictures here [link removed]. I hope to get a picture of someone (me, probably) wearing it over the weekend – I was taking pictures last night while slept, and taking pictures of oneself doesn’t often work out well….
This is such a heavily modified version of the original pattern that I’m posting it as my own. I’ll explain as I go through. There’s a link at the end to the short version of the pattern without all the prose (or at least there will be after I get a picture of someone wearing it for the official pattern write-up).
The original pattern for this came from one of the basic knitting magazines you can purchase at JoAnn or Michaels. The yarn I bought was not exactly what it called for, but was close. It started with casting on 3 stitches, and then increasing one at each edge via a yarn-over every-other row. Well, I just didn’t like the way it looked, between the yarn-over and the Patons Brilliant and the larger needle size. So, I decided to do it my own way: reversed.
So I cast on 165 stitches in the Nuance (which is a pretty nice yarn to work with – beautiful in its color changes; you just have to be careful about the gold thread that runs through it, because I had some problems with the first skein where it was shorter than the rest of the yarn and there was bunching; not much fun, but I finally figured out how to work around it). I knit the first row, then purled the second row, then repeated that (so there is a nice sturdy base of stockinette at the widest part of the shawl in the thicker, warmer yarn).
The original pattern also wanted four rows of each color before switching, but I couldn’t get the edge to look right when I did that. Carrying over and weaving in just wasn’t working for me. So in my version, I did two rows of each.
The Nuance rows (the blue-brown-beige colorway) are in Stockinette – knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side. The Brilliant rows (the solid brown colorway) are in Garter stitch – knit both rows.
So, switch to the Brilliant for row 5 (right side), and: k1, k2together, knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, k. (You’ve just decreased by 2 stitches.) Row 6: knit.
Switch back to Nuance and repeat rows 5 and 6, purling row 6 instead. (This is much clearer in the PDF version.)
Continue switching colors/yarns every 2 rows, decreasing by 2 stitches every 2 rows, until you have 3 stitches left. The first few inches take a long time, but then it goes pretty quickly after that; the math actually works out that you’re halfway done (stitch-wise) when you’re down to 121 stitches on your needles. Bind off.
The border was done with the Brilliant and a crochet hook. SC all the way around the shawl (you have to do 3 SC in the corner stitches to make it look right). Do this two or three times, or until you feel like the border is sufficiently wide. Tie off. Weave in loose ends. Voila!
This took me about two or three weeks, while studying for finals and taking an out of town trip for a weekend.
Here are some further options:
You could do wider stripes, assuming that you can make the edges look good. Your call.
If you look closely in my pictures, you can see that every 6th row of Brilliant (brown) is in Stockinette instead of Garter. This was an oops that I didn’t want to frog, so I made it work. It’s really not noticeable, and I like the look of the Garter stitch with the Brilliant, the way it’s raised so it stands out, so I don’t advise making my mistake.
You could make this shawl as big or as small as you want to, by changing the number of stitches you cast on. Just make it an odd number. The original pattern suggested an odd number, and while that was probably logical for it, I don’t suppose it’s necessary for this version.
Likewise, the border could be done in any sort of fancy crocheting edge you can come up with. I tried picot and it didn’t look right, and decided that simpler was better for my intended recipient, but everyone is different, and if you (or the intended wearer) are a little bit fancier, there are tons of options. You could even do fringe instead of a crocheted border. That’s what the original pattern called for (in Brilliant).