This shawl is made for the Arthurian queen Guinevere. According to legend she is the May Queen and where she walks white flowers will grow to mark her steps. The shawl shows her greenery with an all over leaf pattern while the fringes includes her white flowers.

Sizing
Size: 48 x 150 cm + fringes

The size is measured over 6 pattern repeats in Big Verona. Knit a swatch if you’re using a different yarn and calculate your size from that.

About the yarn
The main yarn in the shawl is Järbo garn Big Verona. It’s a colour varied yarn that comes to the stores twice a year and always in new colours. The shawl calls for one skein of Big Verona so it is easy to knit up in whatever colour strikes your fancy from the current colour range. If you’re having trouble finding a suitable varied green try and knit it in a solid colour or change yarn all together.

The fringes are worked in Svarta fåret Raggsocksgarn and Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous D.K. but they can easily be worked in any yarn with a suitable colour and weight.

Main Yarn:     Järbo garn Big Verona, 1 skein (total: 200 g, ca 500 m)
Additional yarn:   Svarta fåret Raggsocksgarn, 1 skein (total amount used ca 12 g, 20 m)
Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous D.K., 1 skein (50 g, ca 12 m)
Colours:    Multicoloured green with long colour reports (Järbo Garn Big Verona)
Mixed green (Svarta fåret Raggsocksgarn, fringe yarn)
Off white (Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous D.K., fringe yarn)

Needle:     5 mm/US 8
Other tools:    3 mm crochet hook
Tension/Gauge: 12 st in pattern (one pattern repeat) = 7,5 cm after blocking.

Technique
Difficulty: Easy
Stitches used: knit, purl, yarn over, decreasing, short rows, crocheted cast-on
Other craft: simple crocheting

Abbreviations
st(s)                 stitch(es)
k                      knit
p                      purl
yo                   yarn over
k2tog              knit 2 together
skpo               slip, knit, pass slipped stitch over – one stitch decreased
sk2po             slip, knit2tog, passed slipped stitch over – two stitches decreased knitwise
sl                     slip one stitch
tbl                   through back loop

Crochet abbreviations (English)
ch            chain stitch
dc            double crochet
tr             treble crochet
sl st         slip stitch

Observe that the pattern uses the English crochet abbreviations and that they are different from the American. You can find a conversion chart here.

The shawl pattern

The shawl is one size with the pattern written for 6 pattern repeats with 12 stitches each + 7 stitches for the edges. Number of repeats are indicated after the repetitions. For a different size knit a swatch, block and measure and calculate number of repetitions and change accordingly.

The pattern uses a crocheted cast on which looks very similar to a cast off. This could be substituted for another type of cast on if preferred.

General  reminders
All rows begins with slip one. This is included in the pattern.
All wrong side rows are purled except for the first and the last stitch.

Cast on
Cast on 79 st with Big Verona using crochet cast on.
Knit one row. Continue in pattern (row 1)

Rows
Row 1: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, yo, k3, skpo, k1, k2tog, k3, yo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 2: sl1, p77, k1
Row 3: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k2, yo, k2, skpo, k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 4: sl1, p77, k1
Row 5: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, yo, skpo, yo, k1, skpo, k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 6: sl1, p77, k1
Row 7: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, yo, skpo, k1, yo, skpo, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, k2tog, yo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 8: sl1, p77, k1
Row 9: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, yo, skpo, k2, yo, sk2po, yo, k2, k2tog, yo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 10:     sl1, p77, k1
Row 11: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, skpo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 12: sl1, p77, k1
Row 13: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, k2tog, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, skpo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 14: sl1, p77, k1
Row 15: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, skpo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 16: sl1, p77, k1
Row 17: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, k2tog, k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k1 yo, skpo, yo, k1, skpo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 18: sl1, p77, k1
Row 19: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, k2tog, yo, k1 k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k1, yo, skpo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 20: sl1, p77, k1
Row 21: sl1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k2, yo, [sk2po, yo, k2, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, skpo, k2, yo] 5 times, skpo, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 22: sl1, p77, k1
Row 23: sl1, k2tog, yo, [k1, yo, k3, skpo, k1, k2tog, k3, yo] 6 times, k1, yo, k2tog tbl, k1.
Row 24: sl1, p77, k1

Make a total of 11 repetitions of  row 1-24. End with row 23.
Cast off  in knitting.

Making up

Steam gently while stretching the shawl to correct size. If you are using a yarn with natural fibers block instead of steaming.

Make twisted fringes by adding a double length of green yarn (Svarta fåret Raggsocksgarn) to the edge of the shawl. Twist the individual strands of yarn in the yarn twist direction. Let go of the ends so that the added rotations twists the two strands together. Secure with a knot at the end. Make a total of 13 fringes per side (two per pattern repeat plus one).

Crocheted flowers

Special abbreviation
ch-ar       chain 1 around the fringe strand by putting the yarn under the strand and the needle loop over the strand.
tr-ar        treble crochet around the fringe strand by putting the yarn under the strand and the needle loop over the strand.

Use the end knot or make a knot on the fringe where you want the flower.
Use off white yarn (Twilleys of Stamford Freedom Gorgeous D.K).
All trebles are done into the first circle.

Flower at the end of a fringe strand
Round 1:       ch1, ch-ar, ch2, ch-ar, ch1, sl st into first ch to make a circle.
Round 2        ch 2 (=tr1), ch5, tr1, tr-ar, ch5, tr2, ch5, tr2, ch5, tr2, ch5, tr1, sl st into second chained st to close.

Flower at the middle of a fringe strand
Round 1:       ch1, ch-ar, ch2, ch-ar, ch1, sl st into first ch to make a circle.
Round 2        ch 2 (=tr1), ch5, tr1, tr-ar, ch5, tr2, ch5, tr2, ch2, ch-ar, ch2, tr2, ch5, tr1, sl st into second chained st to close.

Fasten threads and trim off excess yarn from fringe strands. Press flowers gently.

~

The contents of this pattern and its knitted design are subject to copyright. Even though it’s offered for free please respect the copyright and use this pattern only for your personal non-commercial use. Do not publish it without the designers consent, distribute or sell electronic or paper copies of this pattern, or commercially sell any items produced using the directions in this pattern. © CarolineCreations 2010

Knitting greenery

The harshness of this year’s winter brought out the longing for spring in me. So every time I visited a yarn store I came home with yarns in all shades of green. To emphasize the greens I started planning for patterns with leaves in them and while waiting for spring I was knitting the greenery I was hoping soon would follow on the trees outside my window.

Spring has come and even though there are still just buds and not that much leaves my knitted greenery has sprung out into two patterns that soon will be available here. If spring needs a little extra push I’m sure that your leaf knitting can give it some help in the right direction so join me in knitting in the new season!

The first pattern is a shawl inspired by the Arthurian queen Guinevere. I’ve always seen her as the May Queen and my shawl for her incorporates both leaves and flowers which are said to grow where she walks. The second pattern is a skirt with a leaf border that I hope will bring out some spring flirting when worn. Both of them uses yarns with varied green colours that will make it’s best to remind you of the greenery in nature that soon will surround us.

Some of the green yarns I've been playing with this winter

Green knitting

Knitting greenery also made me think of green knitting. Being environmentally friendly is always important to me but with Earth Day tomorrow I’m thinking about what effect our favourite pastime has on the world around us.

When it comes to consumer goods there are three important keywords for me: reuse, remake, recycle. They are all targeting the production of new things. If we reuse as much as possible then we don’t have to produce new things, thus saving both the materials and energy of new production as well as avoiding adding to landfills and other garbage disposal systems. When reusing isn’t an option then we can remake. Many things can fill their purpose, old or new one, if we change them into what we need them to be. Taking in, shortening or changing buttons in clothing is an excellent example of remaking. Finally, when we can no longer remake, then we can recycle the materials. In that way we can make sure that the materials once produced will not end up as rubbish but will instead be back in production thus reducing the needs for taking resources out of the earth.

Reuse knitting

So how do we reuse in knitting? First of all we can reuse our finished objects. It simply feels wrong to throw away something that you have put a lot of work into. If you get tired of them have a look around and see if someone else wants it. In my circle of friends we organise a clothing exchange day a couple of times per year so that we can find new and happy owners for that which we are no longer using.

Slippers made from left over yarn. Saves on heating and looks pretty!

In a circle of knitters this could easily be adapted to suit knitted objects, making sure that every one appreciate the work that has gone into all the things swapped, and include left over yarns as well. With the clothing we leave what ever haven’t found new owners to a charity store. Left over yarns could be collected to charity projects, given away either as skeins or as finished objects. Finding a way to use them up could be a fun gathering in its own.

Remake

Remaking knitted objects doesn’t have to be complicated. A classic remaking is knitting new feet for worn out socks. The leg of the sock is often not as worn as the foot and if it has elaborate work then it is worth saving. Cut of the foot and rip up the yarn to where the leg ends. Pick up the stitches and knit a new foot. Worn or uninteresting edges could be changed in the same way. Cut and rip it up and knit new ones. There’s no need for matching the old one, unless you really loved it. Knit a swatch to check your tension and count out the number of stitches needed. If it won’t match what you have to begin with, make increases or decreases to match or cast off the old stitches and pick up new ones with your desired yarn.

Woollen knits can be remade through felting. Either felt first then cut and sew together into something different or just felt and reuse (although in a new size) for a new look. This is also an excellent way to remake knitted objects that has had washing accidents. Rather than seeing it as something to be thrown away you could look at it as a new opportunity.

Recycle

Recycling usually makes us think of putting used containers in the recycling bin but in knitting you can be your own recycler. Salvaging yarn from knitted pieces that won’t be used in any other way is a great way of not only keeping down consumer production but also keeping down yarn costs and getting some yarns that are no longer available. The yarn usually needs to be reconditioned, that is having all the crinkles from being knitted taken out of it. Start by carefully take up the seams and separate the knitted pieces. Unravel from the cast off edge just as you would do if you would unravel something you were knitting. Wind up the yarn into hanks and tie them loosely together with contrasting yarn that won’t stain. Wash the hanks gently and leave them dripping wet. Hang them up to dry on a stick or similar rounded object so as not to leave kinks in the yarn. The wait of the wet yarn will uncrinkle it without taking out all the elasticity of the yarn. Let it dry, wind into balls and knit again!

Other ways of recycling is making yarn out of non-knitted textiles. Designer Mags Kandis is showing a technique with which to use textiles for knitting on Knitting Daily. Basically you cut long strips of the fabric and use them for knitting. Knitting daily is also challenging it’s viewers to create their own objects in this way and to share them with other viewers.

My favourite recycling of yarn is to rip out old frogged projects and start all over with the yarn. Since it is already frogged, and probably has been untouched in your project bag for a long time, it feels like your getting new yarn for nothing. Depending on the yarn, it might need some reconditioning but quite often the yarn will relax without washing when it has had time to rest. Remember that unknitted skeins might look different to those salvaged from frogged items when knitted, due to kinks and washings of the previously used yarn. Knit swatches and compare and plan for smaller objects than the original if need be.

My Unravel Day-challenge

My personal challenge for Earth Day is to unravel old frogged projects and knit something new from at least one of them. I hope that many of you will join me and Make Earth Day into Unravel Day! Add to your stash while being green and recycling. Make a get together with some knitting friends and help each other out if it’s too painful to unravel your own stitches. If you don’t want to see that yarn again make it a gift to whomever unravels it.  In return you will find yourself the owner of some new skeins that hopefully will be much more inspiring.

Other green sides of knitting

Hand knitting is slow work even for the fastest knitters among us. This helps by keeping down new production since we just can’t knit up all that yarn that fast. This slow, and sometimes painstaking, labour also means that we usually treasure what we’ve knitted a lot more than bought objects and will use it until there’s possibly no more uses left in it. Less is more when it comes to production and environmental friendliness.

Finally knitting is a great energy saver. Rather than turning up the heat when the autumn comes with colder days we use it as an excuse to knit new things to keep us warm both indoors and out. Knitting an afghan from leftover yarn must be one of the great ways to be environmental friendly on so many levels at once. And remember, if you need an excuse to come home with more yarn from your local yarn store; your stash brings excellent insulation for your home while waiting to be turned into new fantastic knitted treasures that will be used and reused for years to come.