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Iolanthe Shawl


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Skills Needed

  • Lace
  • Worked Flat

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Pattern Details

Iolanthe is a contemporary, Estonian-inspired triangular lace shawl with beautiful star stitch motifs that add elegance and textural interest. There are tiny star stitches in the geometric body pattern; larger stacked 3-into-3 star stitch clusters forming faux cables on the fancy spine and repeated on the mesh edge; and dramatic 3-into-7 star stitches forming the border flowers. Because the traditional border pattern of wide leaves and small flower clusters resembles delicate African violets with their rounded, fuzzy leaves, I named the shawl Iolanthe, which is a Greek name meaning violet flower. Using fingering weight yarn, rather than the lace weight traditionally used in Estonian knitting, really makes the texture of the stars pop. Please note that the dimensions and yardage are provided for fingering/sock weight. Using lace weight yarn will give a more ethereal look, but keep in mind that the texture of the spine and mesh edge will be more subdued. And knitting Iolanthe in a sport or even worsted would give you a whole lot of texture with really big violets! Directions are included for both a full-sized shawl (pictured in Cayenne) and a one-skein shawlette (pictured in taupe). The size is very easy to customize further by changing the number of Chart 2 repeats worked, by using a different yarn weight, or both. The Iolanthe pattern includes both charts and full written out instructions for those of you prefer not to use charts. Construction: Iolanthe starts at the center back of the neck and is knit down to the bottom edge. There is a 2-stitch garter border on each side and an intricate 7-stitch spine composed of stacked 3-into-3 star stitches flanked by yarn overs and decreases. Patterning is done on the right-side rows only. All wrong-side rows are purled between the garter borders. Size and Yardage: Shawl size measures 65" x 28" (relaxed after blocking) used 600-675 yards of fingering weight yarn; shawlette size measures 50" x 21" and used 350-400 yards BIG CHARTS! I highly recommend setting the "Page Sizing" on your Adobe Acrobat printing window (left side) to ACTUAL SIZE in order for the charts to print as large as possible. BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY knit purl increases decreases block lace GAUGE 4.5 st = 1 inch stockinette SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS 65" x 28 shawl size; 50" x 21" shawlette size, but easily customizable SUGGESTED YARN 650 yards of Fingering weight PREFERRED BRAND/YARN Shalimar Breathless COLORWAY Cayenne

Recommended with this pattern

  • US Size 5 / 3.75 mm 32" circular
  • US Size 7/ 4.5 mm DPN, straight for bind off
  • 4 stitch markers

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Dee O'Keefe Designs
Dee O'Keefe Designs
Hi! I am a former professional guitarist who is very grateful to be a full time knitting pattern designer. I made all my clothes and jewelry as a hippie girl many years ago, and had a little cottage industry of selling my handcrafts to friends in high school. I later turned to music and put down all the needles and hooks and soldering guns and whatnot for over 30 years. I picked up knitting again a few years ago, but really kicked into gear in earnest June 2008 when I used it as a quit smoking aid. And then I discovered lace and shawls.... and the rest is history, as they say.