Knitters, do you have holiday knitting on your mind, yet? I’m not just talking about gift knitting, but knitting for yourself! Today we’re taking a closer look at the Lady Mary yarn from the Downton Abbey Yarn Collection, and this is something you might want to keep for yourself if you’re interested in a bit of a sparkly treat just for you. Indulgent knitting can lift your spirits!
The Budding Romance Shawl is a free pattern designed with the Lady Mary yarn in mind, and is a very pretty rectangular shawl that would be just right for the holidays. It would make a generous gift or a great personal knit for yourself – I can just picture wearing this with a little black dress to a party.
The shawl pattern uses a repeating lace pattern which is shown below in a couple of swatches in different colors. The Lady Mary yarn comes in a number of different colors, both brights and neutrals. It’s amazing how different the pattern can look when we change only the color but everything else stays the same!
If you’ve never tried a lace stitch before, this will be a fun challenge for you. The main trick with working a lace pattern is that you’ll be doing a combination of decreases as well as yarnovers. To make a “yarnover” means to bring your yarn forward to the front of the needle, then work the next knitted stitch or knitted decrease as indicated. It creates the little eyelets that form the lace patterns, along with those decreases. You can see in the swatches just above and just below, the decreases and yarnovers do sit in a purposeful order, making a repeating pattern.
To knit the Budding Romance Shawl, you’ll need to:
- Cast on and bind off
- Work knit, purl, decreases, and yarnovers
- Follow a lace stitch pattern (written instructions, not a chart)
- Work flat, back and forth (as opposed to “in the round)
The nice thing about this kind of pattern is that, once you have established the stitch pattern after the first couple of repeats, you get to continue working along in a straight rectangular piece. Unlike a garment or some other accessories, you can simply knit to the indicated length of the pattern without having to worry about stopping to work decreases or increases for shaping the item. This makes it easier to concentrate on getting the stitch pattern right, rather than the shape of the garment itself.
Can you see the sparkle coming from these little swatches? The Lady Mary yarn has that silvery touch from some metallic thread that’s woven into the yarn, which is the unique feature of this yarn line. As a result I think it will be a great selection for holiday projects or a number of simple accessories that would make it easy to show off the sparkle. You probably don’t want to try cables or color-work with this kind of yarn as the shiny quality would get a little lost in the pattern.
In our next post we’ll look at some more fun pattern ideas for these Downton Abbey yarns! There are so many possibilities, especially for fun gift projects or gifts to yourself! Indulgent knitting can lift your spirits!
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