In old times in Iceland, women were wearing very simple shawls in garter stitch. Women often wore them everyday, often crossed over the chest and tied at the back. They were knitted from the top down so you could adapt the size and they had a straight edge. Most Icelandic lace shawls on the other hand had a very distinctive boomerang shape and they were usually knitted from down to the top, the stitches were picked up around and the lacy edge added afterward. Beautiful examples can be found in Sigríður Halldórsdóttir’s book, “Þríhyrnur og langsjöl” (Three-Cornered and Long Shawls)
It is this book that inspired Rebecca her triangular shawl but it includes most elements from the simpler garter stitch traditional shawl as well.
“I wanted to make a simple introduction to the elegant top-down construction method for triangular shawls, so this pattern is all in garter stitch with a minimalistic floral lace motif arranged into stripes. It can be knitted to any size that fits the knitter’s tastes or the yarn available, by adding or subtracting stripes before beginning the border section. The color changes are concealed in the eyelet rows that separate the lace motifs, so the shawl is fully reversible.”
The stripes are worked in subtle shades of Icelandic lace weight wool, handyed with wild Icelandic plants by the dyers at Ullarsellid in Hvanneyrri in the West of Iceland.
The gorgeous orange is dyed with liturnarmoss that is not a moss, as the name would suggest but grey foliaceous lichen. The warm yellowish doesn’t come from the beautiful yellow-green flowers of the popular mariustakkur, but from its very recognizable leaves: those from the Mantle’s Lady also known as Lion’s foot, Bear’s foot, Nine Hooks or Dew Cup. The delicate green is obtained with the roots of snarrotapuntur, a very green grass known as Tufted Hair-grass or Tussock gras.
Rebecca Blair grew up on the Canadian prairies, so she knows the value of warm but lightweight wool garments. She enjoys Icelandic wool yarn, with its combination of downy undercoat and strong guard hair; It has the marvelous quality of being sturdy but very lofty, and therefore perfect for knitting into garments for piling on in layers. It makes her excited for cold evenings.
More about Rebecca: doiliesarestylish.blogspot.com
Size: One size
Measurements of finished item: 58” (147cm) wide by 29” (74cm) tall; can easily be resized
Needles: US #4/3.5mm, circular needle 32” or longer
Notions: 3.25mm crochet hook, length of scrap yarn, stitch markers, darning needle, T-pins, blocking wires (optional)
Gauge: 4”x4” / 10×10 cm = 20 sts and 32 rows in garter stitch, after blocking
Yarn: Hespa yarn, handyed with plants (wool: Einband from Ístex, 100% new wool (70% Icelandic, 30% other), light fingering/ lace-weight, 1-ply worsted, 50g/skein, 50g = ca. 225m/246 yds)
The finished shawl uses less than 100 g.
Colors of the original shawl:
– MC: Deschampsia caepitosa (green) – 1 skein
– CC1: Achemilla vulgaris (yellow) – 1 skein
– CC2: Parmelia saxatilis (orange) – 1 skein
Note that natural plant dyed colors tend to fade slightly, especially when exposed to direct sun light.
Because of they are hand dyed, the colors in the kit may vary from the original shawl and are not necessary obtained from the same plants.
Techniques: top down shawl; garter st, open work.
Kit: the kit contains the wool but not the needles or the other material. The kit doesn’t include the pattern that must be purchased separately. Shipping costs are not included
Shipping and returns: see Terms & conditions here