The winter is always a quiet time here at Hopton House B&B, so I spend it resting, recharging and shawl knitting! Because Ralph joined us in October, I didn’t get to do any knitting before Christmas. However since then I’ve been knitting like a woman possessed.
My favourite knitting is shawls, cowls and scarves. No need to worry about swatching and sewing up seams, or spending hours knitting a jumper just to find out it doesn’t fit or suit me!
I’ve never been particularly brave with colour, sticking with blues, greys and black in my clothes. However I’ve recently discovered mosaic knitting and got into colour in a big way.
I only taught myself to knit 5 years ago, using YouTube videos. The Timehop app has just been reminding me of some of my first attempts, like a huge pink infinity scarf made of cheap acrylic wool. None of the items I knit are particularly complicated so if you fancy giving them a go, but are new to knitting – go for it!
Some of my finished projects have been proving very popular on Instagram so here are 5 of my favourite shawl knitting patterns, with links to buy the yarns I’ve used and the patterns.
If you’re new to knitting, Ravelry is an amazing resource for knitters and crocheters. You can search for patterns, then see what yarns, colourways, needles etc other knitters have used to create the project. I’m on Ravelry as KJT1966. Here’s the link to my project page.
Some of the links are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you buy the yarn through my link. It helps contribute to my serious yarn buying habit!
I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed knitting this shawl. The colours are rich and so vibrant and the yarn I used, Malabrigo Rios, is a joy to work with. The beauty of this shawl is that you can really make it your own with endless potential colour combinations. It’s simple knit, using knit, purl, M1R ( make one right ), M1L ( make one left ) and slip stitches.
The shift cowl ( pattern available to buy here ) is the baby sister of the Nightshift. It’s seamed at the back which makes it easy to wear. I’m currently knitting my third in the original yarn, Spincycle – Dyed in the Wool. This is the most expensive yarn I’ve ever bought. But you can make it very effectively with cheaper yarns. The pink one was made with 3 balls of Drops Delight, which is just £2.30 a ball in the UK at the time of writing. The blue/green was made with Malabrigo Rastita, which personally I don’t like that much as a yarn. It’s lightly felted. But as an alternative, the most popular yarn to knit it with on Ravelry, after the Spincycle, is Malabrigo Arroyo
One of my favourite things to do when travelling is to find local yarn stores and spend a while discovering yarns I can’t buy in the UK. There’s a lovely shop in Portland, Oregon called Knit Purl, where I spotted this shawl ( pattern available to buy on ravelry here ) made up in the shop. The yarn is a pure alpaca, Galler Yarns Prime Alpaca, and comes in a 227g skein. The shop wound it into a cake for me and I was able to knit it for the rest of my trip. With just knits and purls and increases, it was the perfect travel knit! You can’t buy the yarn in the UK but any alpaca DK or Aran/worsted weight would make a great substitute
This is another beautiful knitted shawl, that looks really effective but is oh so simple, just lots of knit rows and increases. We had a long drive down to Devon, and it’s a perfect travel or netflix bingeing knit. I knitted it in the same Malabrigo Rastita that I knitted the Shift Cowl in above.
This is a lovely lightweight shawl and would be perfect for summer evenings or weddings.
I’ve knitted this wrap 4 times now, using 3 different yarns. It’s a simple pattern just made up of knits and purls. As a shawl, it’s very wearable either as a big chunky scarf or draped round your shoulders in the evening. My favourite yarn to knit it in has been this WYS Croft in this glorious orange colour. The yarn is available here and the pattern here.