Marled Magic Shawl by Stephen West

I like Stephen West’s designs (https://www.westknits.com). I have made them before. He backs the sale of his written patterns with videos which elaborate and demonstrate some details of his designs.

Buying the pattern for Marled Magic Shawl, I was attracted by the possibility of making it creatively from my stash. Not in the restrained way that the designer intended, but in a more adventurous way. That is, I intended to mix and match and blend yarns of different weights to produce various heathered and/or subtly blended yarns to add to the complexity of the result (and to use more than just the fingering weight yarns in the stash!)

My daughter was to be the recipient of this wrap.  That meant careful consideration of the colour scheme.  She lives in a coastal Australian town and loves her beach. I’d been lucky enough to find, in a second hand bookshop, a copy of Richard Woldendorp’s Design by Nature, Fremantle Arts Centre Press, North Fremantle, Western Australia, 2001.

On p.16 of the book I found a wonderful image of “An ancient limestone ridge cutting Big Lagoon from Freycinet Reach , Shark Bay, Western Australia”. I live in Western Australia.

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So I hunted through the stash and assembled a variety of weights of yarn in the colours of Woldendorp’s image. Below is a photo of some of the leftovers after the wrap was finished.  Linen, alpaca, wool, cotton, silk and mohair in thick , thin, boucle, s -twists and z- twists, even some with metallic threads.  I plied thin ones together to get variegations and split some thick ones where necessary.

Catherine's wrap yarn assortment
Some of the leftover yarns
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Above and below: Some of the stitch patterns used
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“Steady” and “Fading” marles were used to great effect in this pattern. A “Steady” marle is done by carrying one of two yarns throughout the section and only varying the colours of the second yarn. A “Fading” marle is achieved by changing both strands at random but only changing one of those strands at a time. In the above images the two lower ones are Steady marles, while the topmost one is a Fading marle.

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Blocking it on my exercise mat (tassel not yet finished off)
Catherine's wrap 4
The finished wrap

One of the interesting features of the pattern was the plait or braid running down the centre back and finishing in a tassel. It was actually formed right at the end from a continuous braiding of very long ends deliberately left hanging after each colour change on the Mesh section (seen on the right of the plait), which is the first block worked. The mesh is simply two  alternating YOk2tog (repeat) and purled rows but the marled technique makes it look more complex than that.

I just hope my daughter likes it!

This entry was posted in Clothing, Knitting, Stash-busting yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

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