Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Another fine lace Unst Shawl


The Hinnywaar  is finished and I love the patterning of it. More pictures, including of my lace grafting journey if you are interested are here (blog  posts of 26 July 20, 3 Aug 20) 


So on to the next one. I have chosen the Burrafirth shawl (1) it is of similar size, it might even be a little smaller but the pattern is steeped in meaning (and memories of Unst) for us as we have not been able to go this year. With things as they are with Covid-19 all plans have to be fluid. 


For this shawl I have naturally dyed Jamieson:and Smith’s  Supreme lace yarn with Golden Rod from my garden. This shawl is a trial to see how the dyed yarn knits up. It is the finest yarn I have dyed to date, by natural dyeing. I measured the wpi after dyeing for that NM 1/16 yarn  and it came to be 60wpi. 




So the project bag is repacked (blog post of 6 Sept 20), the yarn is prepared and the pattern is chosen. Since I worked out how to graft the previous shawl I decided that I would not start another shawl without having worked out how I would do the lace graft. So I looked at the pattern and  worked out which 2 rows I would construct during the graft,  checking that this would work for each lace edging, the middle grafting would be garter stitch grafting. I wanted to check that one of these 2 central constructed rows did not involve a row of eyelets. Once  decided I then set about drawing out the 4 stages for each pair of stitches (one from the front needle and one from the back). 


Section of the graft crib sheet.




I knitted a piece of the lace edging  as it would be elsewhere on the shawl. Then I examined carefully where the graft would be so I had an example of what this looks like with knitting rather than a graft. 

The knitted lace edging - the graft will be done at the the narrowest point, marked as on the photo. 



I then knitted  a sample of lace edging for each of the front and back needles and finished 2 rows short as I would form these 2 rows during the graft. 

So then I worked through my crib sheet for the graft. 

 Trial graft



So now I feel nearly fully prepared to knit the shawl, I will do the bit marked again! 


The yarn is knitting up well, despite being naturally dyed and I am very much looking forward to being able to wear it, to coordinate with my Harris Tweed skirt! ( see blog post of 3Sept20)  

These photos show the first part. I have just stretched the knitting out a bit when dry. It has not yet been blocked and from experience I know any unevenness will look less when blocked. 


Lace edging and part of the border



The lace edging  (Norik waves pattern) is knitted first then stitches are knitted up. This  right hand corner is worked by short rows as is traditional in these Unst Heritage Lace Patterns (2)




The yellow pins show the line where I picked up the cast on row from waste yarn in working the second short row corner, apologies for using yellow pins! 



One set of the Burrafirth Trowie Caerds (3) 



  1. Like the Hinnywaar shawl, this Burrafirth is one of the series designed in Unst and sold for the Unst Heritage Museum, designed by Hazel Laurenson. The grafting method i will use is all thanks to Joni Coniglio. If you search for her name you will find more details of her brilliant instructions. 
  2. For lovers of Unst like us Norik Waves will bring  back memories of a fascinating beach  in the north of the island 
  3. Shetland dialect  for ‘ferns’




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