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Brushstrokes Shawl Knitting Pattern

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In February 2020 I was in Paris at the Musée de l’Orangerie standing in front of the truly monumental Monet canvases on display there. The magic of impressionistic technique on this scale was that you had to stand on the other side of the gallery to really see the picture as a whole; within a few metres it became a collection of brushstrokes and sweeps of texture and colour. It made you feel like a human microscope and created awe in the skill of the artist who necessarily stood up close to construct it. That sense of movement and scale has inspired this shawl, with its large motifs and the sweeping shapes in the fabric.

The beautiful, biased, pattern is created with increases and decreases on both sides of the fabric. This is fairly unusual for standard knitting, but is often seen in lace knitting. The large yarn and simple repeats make this an ideal project for a novice lace knitter to try out their wrong side manoeuvres and start a journey into lace knitting.

Yarn and yardage
Sample used 5 skeins of Kid Classic – 765 yards/700 meters

Gauge and needles
Although gauge is not critical it will affect the final size of the piece and appearance of the lace. The pink sample was gently steam blocked for a small, relatively dense, winter shawl. With aggressive wet blocking and pinning out you can achieve a much larger shawl with airier lace as illustrated by the close up of the blue sample. Knit at 15 sts to 4 in/10 cm over stockinette and if a larger and more open shawl is desired block to 10sts to 4in/10cm.

The pink sample was knit with a US 11/8mm needle.

Skills required:

Increasing, decreasing, yarn overs.

Ability to read your knitting and some previous lace knitting experience will be helpful. Without these skills, this pattern will be considerably more challenging.

If you have not previously blocked (stretched out) a piece of lace knitting you will find it helpful to research this subject before blocking your shawl, as blocking is essential for this piece

Size
The lightly blocked pink sample is 56” x 29” / 140cm x 74 cm.

Notions
Tapestry needles
Stitch markers
You will get a PDF (970KB) file
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