Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lazy Day Lace Shawl - a free pattern

It's the shoulder season again - the time between hot and cold - so I've been thinking of my shoulders. And of Christmas, for which I will doubtless want to knit scads of reasonably fast flexibly-sized presents I didn't start in April as I'd planned.


This little shawl is the perfect response to both thoughts. You can knit it in a week (I knit it in four days, but I don't recommend this if you are also responsible for showing up at a day job and cooking meals and/or cleaning house), it's repetitive enough to be both soothing and suitable for watching TV or chatting over, and it's surprisingly versatile when complete.



As with many of the things I design, however, as I worked through the pattern repeats I realized the shawl was teaching me something - or maybe I was figuring something out while experimenting with the lace sequence?

This year has been an eventful one for me, challenging in just about every way you could imagine, and I haven't always known where I would find the energy to get through the next obstacle. I always did find it, but I've gotten through a lot of days on hope (plus chocolate.)


That's what this lace does. You knit a clear path - many parallel clear paths - and then you turn the work and knit a barrier that crosses all of them. The very next row you start up again as if the barrier wasn't there and you do this over and over again. In the end, when you stand back and look at the fabric, you can see that the barriers actually enrich it all. It's a lot like life, isn't it? Everybody faces challenges, and it's up to all of us to keep on keeping on; we may be individuals, but it's absolutely a collective experience.


Notes: I made this on 4mm/US 6 needles with a single skein of Twisted Fiber Art's 'Playful'; I'm now knitting another on 3mm/US 2 needles with a single skein of TFA's 'Arial'. Essentially, if you have circular needles you like and a good amount of yardage in a yarn that comes out nicely on them, you can do this shawl. Just knit to the end of what you have, and stretch it as far as you can after wet blocking.

Bonus: If you like the shawl, you'll love wearing it as a scarf with the matching hat!


November 2009: French Translation Now Available

Many thanks to Louise at Biscotte et Cie for translating this shawl pattern into French for me! Many of the gorgeous yarns at Biscotte would be perfect for this shawl, but one of the newest - Thalassa, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% sea cell - would be particularly scrumptious, I think. Can you imagine the sheen you'd get with the sea cell??


Download .pdf of Lazy Day Lace Shawl

View .pdf of Lazy Day Lace Shawl - French translation

22 comments:

Tamara Paetkau said...

Your words were just what I needed to read today, to keep going...to realize that the barriers can enrich life...and to live with hope, always with hope.
Thank you.

Mary Keenan said...

It helped me to write those words down, too! I'm so glad they meant something to somebody else as well.

Lyn said...

Lovely shawl - I especially like the way it's worn buttoned!

Patti Parker said...

Perfect for my Sisters in law...going to buy yarn now.

erica bea said...

thanks for contributing a great pattern to the collective experience! i am knitting this shawl along with 3 others to present to a group of caregivers who took care of my granny for 8 years. she passed this summer & her birthday is coming up. I thought it'd be a nice way to show my family's appreciation for their selflessness and compassion.
thanks again!

Marguerite said...

Dear Mary,
Life has been so hard on our family that this morning at work, without any warnings I started to cry in front of my computer. I decided that a little Ravelry would change my mind and following the lead for that beautiful shawl, I ended on your blog and read the post. I will certainly come back to visit and maybe I will write a post too! I've been away too long. Thank you for the words.
Marguerite from Montreal, Quebec

Mary Keenan said...

Erica, that is such a beautiful thing to do... reading your message, I realized that I finished my shawl on the anniversary of my late brother's birthday. It definitely does a good job marking gratitude for a life and all the kindness in it!

Mary Keenan said...

Marguerite, that is just surreal! I'm finding that these lucky moments and connections happen for me more and more - I'm glad it happened for you today :^)

Shay said...

"Trust in God but don't forget your chocolate!" should be everyone's motto.

Thank you for sharing this pattern; I think I may make one for myself.

Christine said...

A Celebration in Yarn - this pattern is just what I'm looking for: short enough for comfort, buttoned for secure wearing, and a simple to work, textured pattern. Will work it with pale yellow Misti Alpaca.
Thank you for your words of wisdom, too. I'll celebrate clearing the hurdles of the last 2 years as I work this pattern and start this new phase of life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful pattern! This is just what I have been looking for!! I'm planning to knit a sage green shawl to wear on my wedding day and couldn't find a pattern that I liked...This one...I immediately feel in love with. Thanks again! :-)

cea said...

thanks a lot for the translation

Reecha said...

Hi... This is a lovely pattern and I would really like to try this one. I am sort of a beginner as I have knitted only 2 caps and a scarf before this. I could understand few things about this pattern and it would help me if you clarify them.

Do I need size 6 circular needles or the flat ones would work?
On Pg 2 you have written:
Row 1: (RS) P1, K1, yo, K1, [pm] *K1, ssk, yo, K1; repeat from * to the two central K sts [pm], yo, RT, yo [pm]
**K1, yo, K2tog, K1; repeat from ** to last 3 sts [pm], K1, yo, K1, P1

What does repeat from * to the two central K sts mean? Are you talking the two central stiches of the ones that were knit in the previous round? I am unable to decide till where I need to repeat this.

Thanks!!!

Mary Keenan said...

Reecha, even though this shawl is worked flat you'll need circular needles because you're going to end up with a LOT of stitches! Straight ones just aren't going to be long enough.

Regarding the two central K sts, you will see as you get going that there is a two-stitch line at the middle of the shawl with a little twist in it every few rows. The way you turn the shawl into a triangle is, in part, by putting a new stitch (by way of a yarn over) just before and just after that two-stitch twisty line. The other thing you'll notice is that the lace pattern is different on either side of that two-stitch line - each side mirroring the other. So when you have the right side of the shawl facing you you will do the K1, ssk, yo, K1 lace until you reach the increases on either side of the central twisty line, and after that you switch to the K1, yo, K2tog, K1 lace.

Hope this helps and do let me know if you have more questions!

Tink's Spin said...

That is just the cutest shawl, I am going to link back to your site so I can makes this , lv it , Tink

8675309 said...

I may be a dolt, but how many stitches did you cast on?

Mary Keenan said...

6! You start at the top centre and work down ;^)

8675309 said...

Thanks! I totally missed that. Can't wait to finish it. This is EXACTLY what I need to keep the chill off my shoulders while I knit. Thanks!

Ouisie Kelly said...

Thanks for the beautiful pattern. Is it possible to make this shawl larger? I make Prayer Shawls for church for people that are very ill and this would be really nice because it buttons and it won't fall off. Do I just keep knitting or would I need to make more adjustments? Thanks a lot.

Mary Keenan said...

Ouisie, you can definitely keep going as long as you have yarn to work with - just maintain the pattern as set and keep on knitting :^)

Anonymous said...

Lovely woman; lovely scarf. Thanks for your generosity in sharing.

pzoe

domyR974 said...

thanks a lot for this gift ! and in french it's wonderful because I can't knit in english language ! so, thanks thanks thanks !