Knit our Right Royal Baby Shawl for your precious bundle!
Britain is counting down the weeks to a royal birth – the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby is due at the end of this month! We asked British designer Belinda Harris-Reid to design a shawl for a prince or princess of the realm, and she rose royally to the task!
Belinda Harris-Reid has “royal” form. She was commissioned by the Campaign for Wool (patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales) to design and create cushions for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. These earned her (and the folk from the Campaign for Wool) a special royal wave from the Queen herself, which later inspired her to create her fabulous “Royal Wave” ponchette design.
So – I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a thoroughly British shawl designed by a thoroughly British designer (who went to the same school as Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – albeit much later!), made up in a thoroughly British yarn! Hey presto, we have Belinda Harris-Reid with the “Precious” shawl knitted in UK Alpaca yarn!
UK Alpaca yarns are exclusively British-manufactured from alpaca farms around the UK. The fibre is sorted and graded on UK Alpaca’s own farm, before being spun in the traditional worsted method in British mills. UK Alpaca Baby Alpaca Silk 4ply is 80% British alpaca, 20% Tussah silk, blended expertly to produce a deliciously soft and cosy natural fibre yarn. It comes in one shade, Parchment, modelled exquisitely by beautiful Eliza, 11 months (our new LK model, and gorgeous daughter of the newest member of our marketing team, Sarah!)
Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years and the textiles made from their fleeces have been highly prized for centuries. Rachel Hebditch is one of the leading alpaca breeders in the country and co-founder of UK Alpaca Ltd, the only company that grades British alpaca fibre, has their own alpaca farm and spins their own luxurious yarn too. Alpaca fibre is perfect for babies because of its thermal properties, Rachel tells us – it regulates temperature, and allows the skin to breathe, rather than getting too hot or too cold. “It can be as soft as cashmere,” she says, “and is second in strength only to silk.”
Belinda’s design features gentle cabling and the gorgeous bee-wing stitch. “I designed this sumptuous shawl in celebration of a new baby Royal,” explains Belinda. “Precious is knitted in one of the ‘noble fibres’ – aptly named as it is softer, more luxurious, stronger and more resilient than the finest sheep wool. It is said that the Sungod Inti created the alpaca to reward the Incas of Peru. Even today alpaca fibre is still referred to as the fibre of the Gods. I chose British yarn, luxury, warmth and deliciousness to create this quintessential heirloom – it’s softer than soft, enchanting and precious – to keep any baby soft, warm and safe!”
We think so too! The Precious shawl has been lovingly passed from desk to desk in the LoveKnitting office and we’ve gasped at its beauty, incredible softness, lightness and loft. This is a shawl to enfold all the precious babies in the world – and then treasure lovingly for precious babies to come!
How to buy the pattern downloads: Click on the images to download the patterns. Add the pattern to your basket, and select ‘Go to Checkout’ – this requires you to create an account with LoveKnitting. If you’ve already shopped with us, then you will already have an account and can simply sign in. Follow the checkout process to receive the download.
Last updated: April 17th, 2015.