Thank you everybody who participated in the mystery knitalong for Escapist, the shawl inspired by the many period romances I watched last winter.
I can show you what it looks like, now that the knitalong is done:
My idea was to make a shawl that would be warm around your neck and shoulders, while growing fast around the arms so as to be big without insane amounts of knitting. It had to be super easy so you don't have to count a lot, and it had to have a few runs of stocking stitch to make it easier to run in ends when you start a new ball of yarn.
You'd be surprised how hard it is to come up with different stitch patterns that meet all those requirements. A garter stitch base is good for warmth, so it went first. Because it holds itself close the shawl got really wide once I switched to lace with a stocking stitch base - and that limited what I could do with the third lace choice, because it had to stretch out either the same or wider. In the end I decided on a subtle variation on the second lace stitch that smoothed out its garter transitions with thin strips of stocking stitch.
I wanted a special lace pattern for the spine, something compact but interesting. This one happens to create a natural fold down the middle, which made it a lot easier to block - I just fold the shawl in two and pin it out in a perfectly symmetrical double layer, then press the fold flat again when it's all dry.
For the last part, I increased the stitches at the sides and centre to compensate for the stocking stitch border, which I think are lovely and, in the case of the sides, make a perfect place for a button if you want one to slip through any of the yarn overs. I might do that myself.
You may notice from these pictures that one version has a scalloped edge, and the other a straight one (or do I mean wrinkled? sorry about that, heh.) Both edges use the same amount of yarn, and you get to choose which one yours will have.
Bonus: the garter stitch lace naturally rolls itself into - well, a shawl collar. You can straighten it out when you put it on if you prefer, but I like to keep it, myself.
I wanted an old-fashioned humble-looking wool shawl that could be glammed up with luxury yarn or vibrant colour, and I think this one fills the bill. It's looked great in all the different fiber compositions and colours used in the knitalong... and one of the first to be finished was snapped up for immediate use in historical reenactments to boot.
I hope you enjoy it too!
Download .pdf of Escapist