Editor’s choice: Knit ahead for Christmas – Shawls
Merion’s knitting ahead for Christmas! This week, a selection of shawls to make for all knitting abilities…
Are you knitting ahead for Christmas? For Thanksgiving? For birthdays? Each week on the blog, I’ve been looking at patterns I can knit ahead for Christmas gifts. It began with the Audrey Gloves – my perfect gift knit a couple of years ago. Then, as I began to think about knit-ahead gifts, I thought I’d share my searches with you! Last week, I looked at gifts for teenagers, and this week – shawls!
Shawls are the perfect solution to cold weather chills. You can tuck them neatly around your neck to keep out the cold air; they can sit sweetly around your shoulders under a coat or over a cardi, or you can swirl them gleefully around your shoulders as you stride out into the cold.
The wonderful thing about shawls, is that you can knit them with relatively small amounts of very beautiful yarn, so they don’t cost a fortune – and there are patterns for all knitting abilities, from simple shapes to complex lace. This week, I’ve found you some shawls to knit ahead for gifts, with some yarn picks to make them shine – it’s so important to enjoy your gift knitting, after all – and there’s nothing more lovely than a fun pattern and a gorgeous yarn to bring a smile to a knitter’s face!
Don’t be surprised at their value in terms of keeping warm when you knit them with 4ply or even lace weight yarn. Warm air gets trapped very effectively into a lace patterned shawl, and if you combine that with the warmth of wool, alpaca or silk – you’ll be amazed how cosy a shawl will keep you, despite its fine appearance!
Truly by Ann Kingstone
For maximum cosiness, a shawl often comprises a section of solid knitting bordered with lacework. Ann Kingstone’s Truly is knitted top down, with a section of solid colour, some feather and fan patterning edged with a simple deep lace band. If you are not a 4ply fan, Truly can be knitted in a DK yarn, making it a more substantial wrap. Ann suggests Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply, and who can resist those rich lustrous shades, and the silk/merino blend that brings such beautiful drape? If you’re looking for a similar yarn in lighter shades, take a look at BC Garn Silkbloom Fino, which contains the same percentage of silk and merino, with a very different colour palette. DK options are so varied – but I do love Louisa Harding Cassia, which is currently in the sale in a glorious array of colours.
New Moon Shawl by Anita Grahn
The New Moon Shawl by Anita Grahn is a fabulous vehicle for semi-solid yarn, with its elegant crescent shaping and new moon lace motifs. It’s designed to knit in DK or worsted weight yarn, which is quite a departure from the usual lace shawl 4ply/lace weight tradition, and one that is perfect for those of you who are not keen on very fine yarn. It’s also often an easier knit for those of you who suffer with your hands, even a millimetre makes a difference in terms of needle size when you have trouble holding your needles for long periods.
My instinct sends me straight to Malabrigo Rios as a perfect yarn for this beautiful shawl. You’ll need around 400 yards of yarn for New Moon, and there are some fabulous colourways to choose from. Cascade Heritage Paints would be a fabulously affordable choice for this beautiful shawl, especially as a gift – each 100g skein has 437 yards!
Pebble Beach Shawlette by Helen Stewart
I love this shawlette! It’s a simple lace pattern that grows fast, and if you’re new to lace, it’s a repeat you can memorise. The pattern includes three sizes – with yardage included for 4ply and lace weights, and the little picot edge pretties up the deep crescent shape. Ella Rae Lace Merino is a beautiful 4ply (fingering) weight yarn that comes in solid and heavenly hand painted shades. Each 100g skein contains 460 yards – enough for one shawl! It’s 100% merino, deliciously soft, and ideal to wear next to the skin. If you’re keen to beat the budget, King Cole Merino Blend 4ply is a very affordable alternative – in some rich jewel tones and gentle pastels.
East Gable Shawl by Judy Marples
Delightfully complex, East Gable is a delight for lace lovers everywhere! Inspired by the novel Anne of Green Gables, “pretty, feminine and fresh, just like Anne”, this shawl is the perfect companion for somebody who loves knitting lace. The pattern calls for 400 yards of 4ply yarn, and I have a beautiful, but amazingly affordable yarn to suggest – Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk! This deliciously soft yarn will sing through your needles into the lace motifs and be delightfully warm to wear. For depth of colour and a more complex shade palette, try Dream in Color Jilly, for colourways that will leave you utterly beguiled – I’ve just looked at them and have momentarily lost the power of speech!
Knit a gift shawl and your recipient will be forever grateful!
Explore our wonderful selection of shawl patterns and don’t forget to share your shawl projects with us in our Community!
Last updated: November 4th, 2016.