Inverse Reverse: A collection of reversible shawls

It’s that time of year — when I always want something wrapped around my neck.

I have a serious obsession with knitting shawls, so my closet is getting pretty full of various neck-warming devices. And yet, I still want to make more… (I picked up a copy of WestKnits BestKnits recently, and now I want to make all the things. My Christmas present to me might be the casting-on of a speckly Dotted Rays.)

I do like it best when my neck things are reversible, when they’re made with some sort of simple stitch pattern so I don’t have to always be looking at the pattern, and when I’ve chosen good yarn.

I’ve made some shawl patterns this year, and they’re a little family. They are One, Two, Three Secrets, and Fade & Flip. Together, they form the Inverse Reverse collection, and fight crime throughout the galaxy. Wait, what?

I mentioned them earlier, but our fall/winter has been a whirlwind of new school, more teaching, and my glitchy brain, so I’ve been having trouble writing about them here. Anyway, this family of shawls grew from a weird convergence of coincidences: a Julie Asselin gradient kit I bought at Wabi Sabi in the summer, Mosaic Knitting by Barbara Walker, and my desire to knit something new while reading a book. Yes, I like to read and knit.

For simplicity and reading: garter stitch.

From Mosaic Knitting: the magical inspiration of slipped stitches. But why couldn’t they be used to make something reversible? Why not slip them on the back AND the front of the fabric?

Because of the gradient: I don’t know. I just wanted to pair it with something to make it stretch… I tried it with a couple of colours before I decided on white as the true friend for the mini-skeins.

I’m also a fan of the asymmetrical triangle framework I first found in Martina Behm’s patterns. I’ve always assumed she invented this shape. Does anyone know any different?

Two knit in sport weight with 8 US (5 mm) needles)

Once I got going on One, and I was having such a good time, I got carried away; my mind flew off in a million directions, following all the possibilities of the twists and turns of reversible slipped stitch columns. What if I made them like travelling stitches? What if I let the shaping dictate their intervals? What if I used Morse code? What if I used TWO gradients?

Fade & Flip, made with two gradient skeins from Wollelfe on Etsy

And a collection was born.

Three Secrets… this is the one you can knit in Morse code.

 

As of yesterday, Fade & Flip, the fourth and last pattern in the collection has been published on Ravelry. I’m really pleased with all four of the shawls, and I hope you will be, too.

(Did I mention that three MORE of my kids need braces? Gah.)

They were slower coming out than I’d planned, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve learned many things while making my first ebook, and the number one thing is this: life gets in the way, and I’m going to make sure the patterns are written BEFORE promising a specific publishing schedule. So thank you for being patient with me while waiting for the fourth pattern!

Three Secrets was made with a whole Julie Asselin gradient kit and one skein of silvery-grey Manos del Uruguay Fino

And now, the pattern specs:

Each pattern in the Inverse Reverse collection is

  • reversible — a complete mirror of beautiful stitches on both sides. There are no real “wrong” sides. Everything is public-ready.
  • inverted — if the slipped-stitch columns are MC on one side, they’ll be CC on the other side, and vice versa.
  • made from two colours (or one solid and one gradient, or two gradients). Basically, an MC and a CC.
  • knitable with 100 grams of each colour, no matter what the weight of yarn. Different weight change the stitch pattern, of course, but it works for the first three shawls (One, Two, and Three Secrets) completely. For the fourth, Fade & Flip, I’d recommend sticking with either fingering or sport weight so you can fit in as many Celtic Knots as possible.
  • an asymmetrical triangle shape, long and somewhat shallow, and great for wrapping around your neck many times as a warm scarf or around your shoulders for a cozy wrap.
  • started with just 4 stitches and cast off along the long edge.
  • built on a garter-stitch base, with the same rhythm of slipped stitches. Once you’ve knit One, you’ll recognize many familiar elements in the other three, which makes upgrading to the travelling columns much easier. Even if you knit just a tiny sample of One as a swatch, it’ll help you understand the basics before you start cabling on Two and Fade & Flip.
  • adjustable in size: these patterns don’t really end. You could knit them infinitely large…. just cast off when you’ve run out of yarn or when you’ve reached the size you want.
  • wearable without blocking. They’re garter stitch! Although I did find that Fade & Flip looked better with light blocking because of the cables. Anyway, doesn’t that make them perfect gifts? 😉
  • charted AND written. Because I know there are two types of knitters, and they’re both fierce about their pattern preferences.

Three Secrets can even double as a casual sweater tied around your shoulders… or is it?

And One makes good tv knitting (and reading knitting!) once you get going. It’s mesmerizing.

It’s those beautiful straight lines and the changing colours. Darn it, now I want to make another one.

 

You can buy each pattern individually on Ravelry, but the best deal is to get the ebook, of course. You can find them all here: Inverse Reverse on Ravelry

Two. I made this one with some really bright, amazing Hedgehog Fibres yarn in fluorescent green Envy, with a super-soft and luscious skein of Manos del Uruguay Fino in charcoal grey.

I hope you all have a great holiday, whatever it is you’re celebrating. 🙂 May your gifts be full of yarn and your hearts be full of peace.