A note from Kathleen: I love this blog about knitting a gorgeous shawl based on the Old Shale lace pattern. Old Shale is a classic that's perfect for beginning lace knitters, and designer Meghan Bosanko used it to make her lovely beaded shrug.
She used Cascade Ultra Pima in her version, which we don't carry anymore. Any DK-weight yarn will work though—may I suggest Tosh DK in Lepidoptra? It's a lovely variegation of purplish reds and blues.
Or the super-popular Bamboo Pop would be perfect, and we have a bunch of gorgeous colors!
Download Meghan's Cristaria FREE shrug pattern, and read on for her wonderful tutorial about how this shrug works.
Named for a pearl mussel that produces freshwater pearls, the Cristaria shrug is a quick, pretty knit shrug that complements formal summer ensembles or casual looks alike. Add beads or pearls for a piece that is truly your own!
And that’s really all there is to it! You’ll repeat those 4 rows about 14 more times, depending on how big around you’d like your armholes. To finish, bind off and break yarn, leaving at least a 12˝ tail.
Don't panic when your work-in-progress looks bunchy!
Diving in Deeper: The lace row sure does have a lot of counting— wouldn’t it be a lot easier to use more markers? A tempting proposition, no? Normally, I prefer to use markers like big red flags to remind me when it’s time to change stitches. In this pattern, though, the markers are smack dab in the middle of a bunch of k2togs!
There is method to my madness (well, this time, at least…). This is an atypical lace pattern in that the increases are all bundled together and the decreases are all bundled together. A more regular (rectangular) pattern usually peppers them across the row in pairs. Because of this, if you plunk down markers willy-nilly, they will actually migrate across the row and mess you up!
So, the short answer is that markers are only useful to a point on this pattern. Think of them more as error correction tools— if you end up with anything other than 18 stitches between markers, you know something has gone wrong in that section. The “short answer?” That didn’t seem very short at all. Out of morbid curiosity, what was the long answer? Plate tectonics!
Excuse me? No, really! The stitch markers show you the center of a double-sided stitch “subduction” zone— basically a stitch gobbler. It’s like the stitch markers are hovering over very aggressive black holes that pull stitches in and make them disappear.
Conversely, in the middle of each increase section (right after the 3rd yarn over, to be precise) is a “mid-ocean ridge” of stitches—a place where new stitches bubble up to the surface and spread out. If you placed a stitch marker at each of these spots, you could imagine them hovering over tiny stitch factories, creating new stitches and pumping them outward. The whole row would look something like this:
Which, to me, looks a whole lot like this:
Wow, this is really getting out of hand. Anything else you’ve been dying to get off your chest? Well, since you asked… The idea for how and where to use stitch markers (as a way to catch and isolate mistakes instead of to tell you when to change stitches) came from the mathematical basis for error-correcting code. Also, the function y(x) = 2.5 cos (2π x/13), with x and y in centimeters, describes each row of this pattern. Whee!
Finishing: String a single freshwater pearl onto each of about 25 head pins. Trim pin ends and bend into loops. Attach pins at the bottom of the soft U-shaped rows of the center 3 columns of stitches (see picture), or use whatever arrangement strikes your fancy.
Use reserved yarn tails to attach corners of finished piece to create armholes. Weave in ends and trim. Now throw it over a sundress and go put Audrey Hepburn to shame.
Ready to turn your screen off and start knitting? Download Cristaria Shrug tutorial for a printable version of this post, or Download Cristaria Shrug pattern for a no-nonsense, 1-page printable pattern.
XOXOXOXO, Meg :)This shrug was knitted with Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima in Heathered Pansy #3705.
Handknit gloves are so special, and Kelley has whipped up a great free pattern for an easy pair, knit from our exclusive Bravo yarn. These gloves are soft and luxurious but also very practical. Alpaca is warm and light, so these gloves will be light as air.One of the challenges of knitting gloves is avoiding the holes that inevitably appear between the fingers, usually because enough stitches weren't picked up or they were picked up too loosely. Kelley has solved that problem!
Sometimes you just need an easy project to work on, and Kelley's new free pattern, the Simple Ribbed Hat, is the perfect cast-on for times like these.
We debuted this pattern on a recent Technique Tuesday on Facebook Live, and Kelley used it to demonstrated how to fix a few common mistakes knitters make all the time (even a pro-level knitter like Kelley!).
You'll learn how to fix dropped stitches, turn purls into knits, and fix incorrectly oriented stitches.
Have you heard of Izzy Dolls? They're darling little toys that are included in aid packages, and are sometimes a child's first toy. Designer Esther Braithwaite has developed many patterns for Izzy Dolls, sometimes called Comfort Dolls, and they're available free in her Ravelry store.
Kelley fell in love with them and decided to feature Izzy Dolls on her weekly Facebook Live broadcast, Technique Tuesday.