So. Lace. A lace shawl. If you’ve never knit one, it’s seriously intimidating. I looked at a chart and was confused, and a bit scared. I mean, how would that all make sense? How on earth were those instructions going to turn into something light and lacy?

I’d been knitting for, oh, nine months when I decided to challenge myself, and knit a lace shawl. I had already knit an Ysolda Teague patternan Urchin hat – and when she put up previews of her Whimsical Little Knits collection, I signed up. The booklet included a pattern for a lacy shawl, Ishbel. It consists of a stockingette section, followed by a lace edge. I figured I could tackle that – that would be easier than a completely lacy shawl.

Ishbel shawl

Ishbel shawl knit in Dream in Color Starry, colorway In Vino Veritas

And, that’s when I discovered something that no one tells you beforehand: You’re going to purl a lot when knitting lace. For more ‘simple’ shawls you’ll purl the entire back of the lace, unless a pattern is charted on the backside, or unless it’s a garter stitch shawl. Sigh. Still, the result is gorgeous. Ultimately, lace is not as scary as you think. I’m fine with both written and charted directions, but I do highlight my rows. Lifelines really help – basically, you run a thread through a pattern row, or at the end of a section. That way, it’s easy to frog back if you’ve made errors, or dropped a stitch, without undoing the entire thing. I find it really really difficult to pick up dropped stitches in lace.

The yarn is Dream in Color Starry, which contains 2% silver fibers. That’s what gives the yarn that sparkly effect. It looks gorgeous in the finished object, and it dresses up the shawl. I think it’ll be great with more formal clothing, too. Love it! The colorway is In Vino Veritas, and I think the subtle colorshifts really look inspired by the colors of wine. It really is a great gift for my sister.

silver fibers sparkle!

Silver sparkles, and gorgeous subtle color shifts



  1. Very nice. Lace is definitely not as scary as I used to think. And it can give a simple project a lot of pick-me-up.


    1. Yes, I definitely agree. I used to think of lace as the lace that is tatted, and the kind that is used for wedding dresses, but there are so many other options, too. I love garter stitch lace patterns, where you don’t have to purl endlessly. And the best thing about lace is that once you block it, you have this beautiful, airy finished object instead of that kind of crumpled ball of knitting


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