Friday, August 29, 2008

Tasha Tudor Day -- shawl and knitting

In the comment section for yesterday's post about Tasha Tudor Day, Carmie mentions that the instructions for the TT Shawl look pretty un-mindless to her. I thought I'd post what the pattern is basically -- you start with 3 stitchess, and purposely add holes and increase a stitch every row until the shawl is wide enough. This is the mindless part as you do the first 4 stitches each row the same way; all those other stitches are just knit stitches.

Here are some pictures and explanations of those first 4 sts: The first stitch -- and you do this EVERY ROW -- is simply wrapping the yarn around the needle to "make a stitch".
This is the second stitch -- knit the first two stitches on the left-hand needle together as if they are just one stitch. You will now have 2 stitches on the right-hand needle.
For the third stitch, bring the yarn forward between the two needles as if you were going to purl a stitch. Instead, wrap the yarn around the needle and you'll knit the next stitch.
Here are the first four stitches on the right-hand needle.
[NOTE: The first two rows don't have you do the k2tog, just the wrap at the beginning of the row.]

This is the mindless part ... and takes a while as the finished shawl is 60" wide. You can stop at any time and make this shawl a doll shawl or one for a child (should be approximately the length from wrist to wrist when arms are straight out). This is the nice thing about this pattern as you can stop when you're tired.

Once I get to a suitable length, I will post close-ups of how to do the lace border/bind-off. If the lace part scares you, you can always leave the shawl without the lace edging, bind-off the top as a normal bind-off. It's a very elegantly simple shawl either way.

Oh, and as far as circulars go ... they're easier to use than straights as you don't have the knobs that catch on your clothes, pulling out the stitches you've worked so hard to put on the needles (this has happened a bit too often for me so I almost always use circs). They take a bit of getting used to and I'd recommend a 16" or 20" to start out.


Carmen L. said...

Mary, thanks so much for these up close instructions. I have to go and buy the right size circular needles tomorrow. I really want to tackle something harder and I want to get good at knitting. I'm going to follow and hope for the best!

Catole in Wales said...

Mary, I so want to learn to knit! I love all of the creations that you and the other ladies have created.

Carmen L. said...

Hi Mary, I was about to buy some circ needles, but I looked at the pattern and I noticed that it called for size 4 and something like 29" or 32". You mentioned shorter needles. Will that impact the work? What yarn do you recommend? thanks!

Mary G said...

Carmen, I've been meaning to answer this question ... sorry!

Per length of circs -- I'd start with a #4 in a 20-24 inch length unless you're sure you want to do a full-size shawl. I would recommend starting with a small shawl (maybe a doll-size or one for a neice?) to make sure you like doing this and kind of practice the pattern. Once you liked what was happening you could always go to a longer length -- altho I rarely use anything longer than about 24" (the sts may get bunched up a bit, thus the suggestion of a longer needle).

I think I'd go with a bigger size than a 4 -- an 8 is easier to manipulate, works up faster and the fabric is softer. I'm doing a shawl on the 4s and using a soft washable wool and I think the feel is too stiff (so it might end up as a doll's shawl!).

Hope that helps.

JennGM said...


Did you make this shawl yet? Did you ever share pictures? I was looking at this version and it seems more open and drapey than other finished ones.