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Vineyard Mystery Knitalong

Vineyard Mystery Knitalong

Announcing the upcoming Vineyard Mystery Knitalong! Join me in September to kick off autumn and relax after the back-to-school mania. (But let’s not think about THAT just yet.)

You’ll get to feel like a designer as you knit through each section, not knowing where you’ll end up. It’s exciting, isn’t it?

The Vineyard Mystery Knitalong (MKAL) is a shawl pattern of secret shape and design, to be published in 6 installments starting September 4th & 5th, 2024. You’ll receive one clue a week, every Wednesday, each with instructions for creating the next section of the shawl.

I’ll be hosting the MKAL online AND in person, at Maker Savvy in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. If you live nearby, join us for the live events by signing up at We’ll kick off the series at KIN Vineyards in Carp, with a wine tasting, gourmet pizza made with local ingredients, and a murder! (Cue dramatic music… dah dah DAAAAAAH)

All the in-person knitters will be entertained by a chapter of a murder-mystery story that Wendy of Maker Savvy is adapting for us from a free online murder-mystery party outline. Since we’re not entirely sure about the copyright laws of using the free outline in a published pattern, I’m not going to include Wendy’s story with the mkal pattern. Apologies.

So, online, the mkal will be a normal, super-fun, murderless, mysterious knitting pattern. 🙂

Now, about the pattern itself:

If I told you, I’d have to… well, you know the old joke. (In case you don’t, the answer is “kill you.” “I’d have to kill you.” But of course I never would because that would be incredibly rude.)

The Vineyard Mystery Knitalong pattern will be a shawl knit with fingering-weight sock yarn, and it will use 7 colours in total.

It will include stitches in various combinations, and it will be written for all skill levels to follow. You might learn a few new things along the way, and I will include complete instructions for every technique, but there will NOT be brioche. (I love brioche! But Wendy thought I should tone it down a little for this particular project. She’s probably not wrong.)

If you’re a fan of my general style esthetic, which I would call wearable, bold, stylish, and possibly geometric/textural, then let me tell you that I’m designing another shawl that I personally want to wear.

If you like patterns that have periodic shifts in technique and/or stitch patterns to keep your interest, then I’m so your girl! ADHD brains for the win!

About the Gorgeous Yarn Kits:

You guys. I am super into seasonal colour palette analysis lately. Have you seen this on Insta? I blame my bff, who started me down this rabbit hole, but really, I’m having a blast.

I’ve been dressing in my colours, and I feel so good! (I’m a True Winter / Cool Winter.) And I reeeeeally wanted a yarn kit in my seasonal colours. So… (cue heraldic trumpet notes)… Wendy and I worked with Kat’s Riverside Studio, and they let me put together the colour kits for the pattern from Kat’s gorgeous selection of hand-dyed yarns.

You can order the kits online from I hope you love them as much as I do!!

The Winter Colour Palette:
Clear, cool, high-contrast
MC: noir
Minis: ghost, marylou, chartreuse, cone flower, lapis, and celestial

The Summer Colour Palette:
Cool, muted, soft
MC: faded jeans
Minis: verdigris, rindle, marsh, ballet, wisp, sugar plum

The Spring Colour Palette:
Clear, warm, bright
MC: beryl
Minis: kelpie, lagoon, lipstick, chartreuse, coral, flamingo

The Autumn Colour Palette:
Warm, muted, deep
MC: neptune
Minis: berry, hunter, ochre, russet, moss, mahogany

To make your own yarn kit from stash:

Use fingering weight sock yarn. My sample is knit in a multi-ply yarn, not singles. I recommend a multi-ply yarn for this particular pattern because it will provide you with a similar stitch definition. But if you want to mix yarn types, that can be fun, too.

MC: 115 g / 440 y / 402 m
Minis: 6 x 25 g / 110 y / 101 m (total 150 g / 660 y / 606 m)

To make a large size, double every yarn amount.

Needles: Size 5 US / 3.75 mm circulars, about 48″ / 120 cm in length from needle tip to needle tip. We’ll be knitting flat.

Colour Advice:

For the Vineyard Mystery Knitalong shawl, as long as your MC stands out against all your Minis, you should be fine. Some of my kit colours (particularly Summer) have lower contrast levels on purpose, to provide a more muted, hazy appearance to the colour blends.

The MC will be used throughout the entire project, with the Minis playing and running around in various ways and combos. So, the MC will set the overall background tone, and the Minis will affect it in various ways depending on how they’re blended.

I’ve got a few tips on how to choose your own seasonal palette colours, but first, I should explain the difference between a warm and a cool colour.

Warm and cool are relative terms, but for this purpose, warm means it has a yellow / orange base or undertone, and cool means it has a blue or purple base / undertone.

The colour red is also a warm colour (although not as warm as yellow), but if it leans more towards a purple, we call it a cool red. Warm reds lean more towards orange. The red that’s right in the middle, neutral red or true red, is generally considered to be in the True Winter palette, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Clear” and “muted” has to do with how pure the hue is. The three classic primary colours (hues) are red, blue, and yellow, assuming that each primary is exactly in the neutral centre of its spectrum. When you mix two primaries together, you get either orange (red + yellow), green (yellow + blue), or purple (blue + red). Any secondary colour that’s made of only two primaries in any mix ratio is a “clear” hue.

As soon as you add even a tiny dot of the third primary to any of the secondary colour mixes, you get a more muted version of the clear hue. The muted colours start to lean towards either a grey or a brown, but they still look like colours, not a greyscale.

(To get all the way to a grey, you’d need to add about an equal amount of a warm secondary and a cool primary hue to each other, or vice versa. To get all the way to a brown, combine a warm primary with a warm secondary. But since we’re choosing yarns and not mixing paints or dyes, I’ll stop there.)

To custom-make your own colour palette with yarns from your stash (or your LYS), here are a few suggestions. Feel free to tag me on Instagram with a picture of your yarn ideas if you have any questions.

Winter Palette principles: Clear, cool, high-contrast

MC: lightest or darkest of all the colours, like black or bright white

Choose a variety of shades, like 3 medium, 2 light, and 1 dark, to achieve high contrast with your background. Lean towards bright, cool colours, especially in the medium-shade range.

Summer Palette principles: Cool, muted, soft

MC: a hazy, medium-shade colour

Light-to-medium-shade colours in various cool, hazy colours. Add a navy or a milk-tea colour if you want a little more contrast.

Spring Palette principles: Bright, warm, clear

MC: a clear, light, or bright colour

Minis: bright, warm rainbow colours, spring greens, caramels, warm turquoises. Many of the bright colours will be a medium-shade (if you take a photo and turn it to greyscale), but try to choose at least one or two that are lighter and darker for variety. If you like neutrals, try a light cream, caramel, or warm taupe.

Autumn Palette principles: Muted, warm, deep

MC: Your favourite fall colour. Deep turquoise? Russet?

Minis: Any rich, warm colour. Go for a fall foliage palette, or choose all warm turquoises and olive greens for something different. Deep mahogany browns and warm, rich cabernet. Choose a range of shades, from dark to light, for more movement within your hues.

You can pre-order the pattern from Ravelry at any time, and you’ll receive each pattern update directly to your inbox as they’re released.

To knitalong together online, use the hashtag #vineyardmkal and tag me at aknitica on Instagram. Feel free to ask me for colour advice there, too!

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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.


[box type=”note” size=”large” icon=”none”]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[/box]

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.


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One, A Shawl with Two Sides

You guys, I am so excited about what I’ve been working on lately. I wanted to make myself a reversible, graphic, simple, shawl that was enjoyable to knit while I read a book. The obvious stitch to choose was garter stitch, but I had bought a gorgeous Julie Asselin gradient kit recently, and I really wanted to use it in something interesting.

After some trial and error, I finally settled on pairing it with a white skein of Cascade Heritage Silk from my stash. (I love how the white makes the turquoises look light and airy.) I started with my favourite easy-to-begin shawl shape, the asymmetrical triangle that grows from just a few stitches designed originally (I think) by Martina Behm.

And then, I started to play with slipped stitches. I wanted a straightforward, repeatable, reversible pattern. I wanted it a little interesting to knit and to look at, but I wanted to let the gradient be the star of the show.

Here’s what happened:

This is One. It came first.

One Shawl, part of the Inverse Reverse Collection by Amanda Schwabe #OneShawl #InverseReverse #knitting @aknitica Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 010 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 018

Did I mention the One shawl is reversible? Like, completely perfect on both the right side and wrong side of the fabric?

The wrong side is actually an inversion of the right-side columns, so you can choose which side you’re in the mood for on any given day. The light side or the bright side… or maybe the bright side or the dark side, depending on your colour choice.

Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 020 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 027 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 031 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 036

I’m so happy with it! I hope you like it, too. It’s so wearable, so easy, so simple, that I’m almost afraid to publish it. Maybe you won’t think it’s special enough. But I like the good classics, and I think this shawl will become a pattern I return to knitting and to wearing over and over again. It’s even good gift knitting, since it requires no blocking whatsoever because of the nicely behaved garter stitch. (I always want to give the people I love beautiful shawls, but the prospect of then explaining to them that they’ll have to handwash it and block out the lace to open it up every time it needs cleaning is so off-putting.)

Slip-stitch knitting is so fun, too. What I like is how it makes those beautiful vertical lines that you don’t often get in knitting unless you know stranded knitting or intarsia. But to make them with slipped stitches is sooo easy. You never have to use two colours in a row. Only one. Always just one strand of yarn at a time.

You’ll get a complex look with a simple technique. It’s so fun!

And then, to add on to all that goodness, there’s the shape: I love this shape. For so many reasons. How do I love it? Let me count the ways:

  1. It grows from a tiny point, so the cast on and start up are fast and easy.
  2. It grows from a tiny point and ends with a cast-off along one whole side of the triangle, so you can knit it up to any size using ANY weight of yarn without doing any calculations at all; you just knit until you’re done and then you stop. I’ve practiced it with fingering-weight, worsted weight, and sport weight so far. Using 100g in each of two colours makes a lovely size of shawl no matter which weight you choose. (This also makes it a good project for any hand-spun yarn that doesn’t necessarily align with a standard factory-spun weight.)
  3. It’s easy to wear. Sure, it makes a triangle, but it’s a versatile, shallow, curvy triangle that makes a lovely scarf/wrap/kerchief/long blanket/cozy magical thing.

So then I got a little carried away by the joy that is reversible slipped-stitch columns, and I wanted to see what they’d look like traveling and twirling around each other on both sides of the fabric. So I made more shawls…. and they’ve grown into a collection. There were just too many fun possibilities to try!

The Inverse Reverse Collection is an ebook that grows by one shawl every month for the next 4 months. So when you buy the ebook, you’ll get a shawl subscription to every reversible slip-stitch pattern that’s coming up this fall, at a discounted price.

Here’s a little preview of what’s coming up:

Meet Two, a reversible shawl with a twist.

It’s coming out at the end of August.

Two Shawl, part of the Inverse Reverse Collection by Amanda Schwabe #TwoShawl #InverseReverse #knitting @aknitica Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 055

And then, there will be Three.

You can see sneak peaks of it in my Instagram feed (@aknitica), in a gorgeous pink gradient paired with light grey. Its birthday will be the end of September.

Four will feature the return of reversible cables in a new configuration.

Let’s leave it mysterious for now, and look forward to its release at the end of October 2016.


For now, if you’re intrigued, the best place to start is by knitting up your own version of One. It’ll give you a great introduction to the basics of the two-sided slip-stitch technique, which will make the more-complex future shawls seem all the easier.


You can get One here, on Ravelry.

To subscribe to the Inverse Reverse Collection ebook (and get One right away), buy it here on Ravelry.


And, if you’re in the Ottawa area, I’ll be teaching Two in a class at Yarn Forward & Sew On on Bank Street, starting in September. Keep an eye on the store’s booking website for upcoming class details and to sign up for the Slip-Stitch Shawl Class:


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Scintillate Shawl Knitting Pattern and Super Special Discount

It’s the weekend, and who doesn’t want a deal on an addictive shawl knitting pattern? I’ve just made my “Learn to Knit a Lace Shawl” class exclusive pattern available to everyone. I hope you like it, too.

I’ve named it Scintillate. It is covered in diamonds, after all. Whether they shine or not in real life is totally up to you and your yarn choice.

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. #knitting  #shawls #cozy

I made this shawl with beginning lace knitters in mind. I wanted to give them something pretty yet simple to work on. I love knitting diamonds because of the beautiful, straight lines they make. It’s so easy to see if a yarnover is out of place. If you keep looking at your knitting, mistakes are easy to spot and fix before you’ve gone too far.

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. Great wrap for cool weather. #knitting #aknitica #shawls

The overall lace patterning has a lovely rhythm to it, too. After a while, you’ll have memorized the pattern and be able to anticipate what should happen next. It keeps things interesting while giving a comforting sameness all at once.

This has become one of my favourite shawls to wear. The Manos del Uruguay Fino is cozy and squishy, and the shawl size I got from 1.5 skeins makes it a perfect wrap. You can knit yours in any size, as a neckerchief or an even larger shawl. You can also use any yarn you want. One of my students made two versions: one with fingering-weight yarn and one with worsted. The worsted one is thick and luscious, and I might have to copy her idea soon.

My little Eva modeled it for me. It really is grown-up sized.
My little Eva modeled it for me. It really is grown-up sized.

The pattern includes options for three different edges to finish it off. You can knit it with no special edging, with a narrow garter-and-zigzag border that flows out of the diamond tips, or with a wider large-diamond border, like the one in my pictures here.

And, as promised, as a subscriber to my site, you get a coupon code for the Scintillate Shawl pattern! It will be good until the end of September, and you can feel free to share it with your friends. With the code, the price goes down from $6 to just $0. That’s less than a cup of coffee. Heck, that’s FREE. Yes, free. Zero dollars. Just because I like you.

[box type=”note” icon=”none”]Scintillate Shawl coupon code: COZYUP[/box]

You can grab your pattern here, but hurry! The coupon code only lasts as long as September. Once October hits, it’s gone.

If you’ve just popped over to see what the free coupon code is all about, welcome! I have other free patterns available, plus some goodies that I like to think are worth paying for. 😉 If you subscribe, you’ll get future discounts and even knitting tips in your inbox. 

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. #knitting #shawls


Happy knitting!


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8 Tips for Knitting Lace

Does lace intimidate you?  It certainly looks complicated — but the good news is that if you can follow directions, you can knit lace.

And we already know you can follow directions.  That’s how you learned to knit, right?

But there are some extra things you can do to make knitting lace easier.  So, here are my tips for knitting lace.  There happen to be eight of them.

8 Tips for Knitting Lace.


Tip 1

Use stitch markers.  Mark off the edge stitches (which lace shawls usually have), the centre stitch(es), and even mark the places where the lace patterning repeats itself in a row.  That way, if you forget a yarnover, it will be so much easier to find your mistake.

Don’t like the feel of hard, plastic stitch markers?  I use little loops of knotted yarn in a contrasting colour.  They’re nice and soft, and I don’t freak out when I lose one because I always have more waste yarn.

Tip 2

Avoid making mistakes by counting, double counting, and triple counting.  Why count like an obsessive lunatic?  Because then you’ll notice a missed yarnover almost immediately — soon enough to fix it easily and continue knitting happily.  Remember those stitch markers from Tip 1?  If you know how many stitches should be between each one, and you double check that none are missing each time you reach a marker, your knitting will get ten times easier.

Tip 3

Look at the chart.  It should show you how the stitches will relate to each other once they’re knitted up.  See that line of stacked centre double decreases in the chart?  That means that those decreases will stack neatly in the knitting, too.  And see how those yarnovers form a diagonal line?  That means they’ll form a diagonal line in your knitting, too.

Now, some patterns are too weird to fit neatly into a chart like that.  That’s why designers sometimes have to use those weird, dark-grey “no stitch” squares.  In real life, lace curves and bends… but graph paper does not.  We do what we can with what we have.  But a good designer will always try to show you how the stitches relate to one another.

A tip about reading charts:  Think of each square as an instruction, not a stitch.  If you follow the little line of instructions across the chart, one by one, you’ll do fine.

Another bonus tip about reading charts:  Make sure you’re reading them in the right direction.  Flat charts get read from right to left on right-side rows, but from left to right on wrong-side rows.  Circular charts are read from right to left on all rows.  If in doubt, start at the side where the row number is written and work away from it.

Tip 4

If you really hate charts and absolutely refuse to use them, or if you just want to know your lace on a small scale before casting on 300 stitches, try knitting a small swatch across just one or two pattern repeats.  That way, you’ll get a feel for how the stitches will interact, and you’ll be able to spot mistakes more easily later on when you start your big project.

I did this when knitting some Estonian lace with nupps, and boy, am I glad I did.  The lace repeat was long and two-sided, and I made some mistakes the first time I tried it.  It went much better the second time.  I knew what I was doing by then, and I could spot my mistakes as I made them… instead of 3 rows later.

Tip 5

Keep looking back at your knitting to make sure the stitches are lining up consistently.  In fact, every time you knit a new row, make sure it’s lining up properly with the stitches underneath it.  Are those decreases stacking or lining up the way they should?  Are the yarnovers in the right place in relation to the ones below?

Tip 6

Knit under good lighting.

Tip 7

Don’t knit lace when you’ll be too distracted to pay attention and count your stitches.  TV and knitting groups are great, but they can wreck your lace before you notice a thing has gone wrong.  Ask me how I know this.  Now, I keep at least two projects on the go: I work on my lace shawl during quiet times or boring shows (Formula 1, anyone?), and I have a mindless project I can work away on during good shows like Call the Midwife or The Big Bang Theory.

Tip 8

Yarn matters.  Especially if this is your first lace project.  Avoid fuzzy yarn, dark yarn that’s impossible to see even under good lights, and clown-barf yarn that will draw attention away from your stitches.  Seriously, do you want to knit an intricate lace pattern that no one will notice because the ten different colours are all yelling, “Look at me!  Look at me!” ?

Just so you know, I’m currently knitting a lace shawl with black yarn, and it’s going to be gorgeous.  But on the needles?  It’s impossible to admire, I can’t get a good photo of it for my Ravelry project page, and it can be tricky to see the stitches.  I sit directly under a lamp to knit this shawl.  It’s not impossible.  I just don’t want you to knit your first lace shawl ever in black and then wail, “But Amanda didn’t warn me about this in that post of hers on lace knitting!”  So now — count yourself warned.

Also on the subject of yarn mattering, make sure you use yarn that you can block.  Acrylic yarn?  No matter what you do to it, it will always spring back into a crinkly blob.  When knitting lace, always use something lovely that has memory, like a type of wool or other natural fibre.  Merino is my favourite.  But superwash, even merino, won’t remember the blocking as well as a plain old non-superwash wool.  It’ll be okay, but not awesome.  Trust me on this one, too.

So, how about you?  Have you had troubles with lace knitting in the past?  What were they?

Are there any tips for knitting lace that I’ve missed?  If so, share them in the comments!   I’d love to hear from you.

Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe #summerknitting #Cotlin #KnitPicks #aknitica

If you’re looking for an interesting lace shawl (not necessarily a beginner’s one), check out my newest pattern release, the Sea Glass Shawl, now available through Knit Picks!  And come join us for a knitalong over on Ravelry in the Aknitica Designs group.


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Sea Glass Shawl

Are you looking for some interesting summer knitting?  How about something in a nice, light cotton-linen blend, with pretty stripes and lace, that feels good to knit and even better to wear?  And how about a knitalong and giveaway to make it even more fun?

Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe #summerknitting #Cotlin #KnitPicks

How about my new shawl pattern?

Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe #summerknitting #Cotlin #KnitPicks #aknitica

I had a ton of fun designing this one.  And I had to Google the Pythagorean Theorem and relearn how to use it!  Be impressed.  It was hard.

BUT, now that I’ve done all the hard work, the knitting is easy.  And don’t you love how the lace is in the middle instead of at the edge?  Yeah, I wanted to try something different.  Just because.

It’s kind of like having a necklace in your shawl, right?  Fun.

Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe #summerknitting #Cotlin #KnitPicks #aknitica

We begin this beauty by casting on along the bottom edge and then working up in growing-and-shrinking stockinette stripes.  I made a different kind of decrease along the spine to avoid getting a solid line.  Also, I like to try new things.

Here’s where my stupendous, mind-bending math came in:  I had to calculate the distance I had for stripes before the lace panel so I could figure out how many pairs of decreasing stripes I could fit in.  But first, I had to discover the size of the lace.  Then, I had to figure out heights of hypothetical triangles.  Really, I barely remember what I did.  It’s a blur.  But it worked, so I must be amazing.

(I hope you all know me well enough by now to recognize my weird humour.  RIGHT?  Still waiting for that sarcasm font to be invented by someone more brilliant than I am.)

Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe #summerknitting #Cotlin #KnitPicks #aknitica


So what we have here is my favourite kind of knitting:  relaxing-yet-not-boring striping stockinette with a splash of interesting thrown in.  The lace panel is, as you can see, a field of mesh surrounding some diamonds surrounding some circles.  With the exception of one row at the very end, ALL the patterning is worked on the right side, and the wrong sides are all purled.

As with all my patterns, I’ve included both charts AND written instructions.  My aim is to please all of the people all of the time.  😉

Some further notes, if you decide to knit a Sea Glass Shawl:

The pattern calls for two balls of CotLin for the lace panel.  My test knitter was able to do it with just one, but I needed a small portion of a second ball.  We wrote “two” because the last thing I want is for you to be like me and run short of yarn!

There are tips in the pattern about how and when to sew in the ends for those stripes.  I really don’t recommend carrying the yarn up the sides because I, personally, don’t like how it looks.  But it’s YOUR shawl!  Do what you like.

You’re welcome to come knit along with others in my group on Ravelry.  I’ll pop in to answer any questions and to ooh and ahh over your colour choices.

That reminds me!  I knit my sample shawl in just two colours (Blackberry and Swan), and it looks fabulous, too.  What do you think?

2013-12-12 15.55.27

Man, it’s hard to photograph Blackberry.  It’s actually a super-deep, almost-black purple.  It’s really gorgeous.  And I like how the high contrast really makes the stripes pop.

But I also love the subtle combination of colours in the Knit Picks sample.  Here’s another colour combo — this is actually the one which I had originally envisioned:

Sea Glass Shawl concept sketch by Amanda Schwabe  #summerknitting #KnitPicks #CotLin #aknitica Sea Glass Shawl concept sketch by Amanda Schwabe Sea Glass Shawl concept sketch by Amanda SchwabeAs you can see, there are so many beautiful possibilities!  I can’t wait to see how everyone else knits this shawl.  Seriously, it’s so fun watching project pages pop up on Ravelry.

Now, for the fun part:  the giveaway!

I have an ebook copy of the entire CotLin 2014 Collection, and I want one of you to have it.  It’s gorgeous.  You can check out the entire collection here to see what I mean.  (In fact, I kind of want to make at least the Band Camp Pullover for myself.  Now that I know how lovely this yarn is, I’m totally tempted.  I bet it would make an amazing, cool-yet-warm sweater.  The yarn is both laid back and high class at the same time.  I guess that’s what you always get when you throw linen in the mix.)

Since I so completely enjoy knitalongs, meeting my fellow knitters, and chatting about colours and projects, I’m going to give the free copy of this ebook to a knitalong participant.

To qualify for the draw:

Head on over to the Aknitica Designs group on Ravelry and tell me what colours you’ll be using to knit your very own Sea Glass Shawl.  Will you use three?  Only two?  Will you go bright or subtle or high-contrast?  Let me know in the group’s Sea Glass Shawl Knitalong thread.

You’ll get bonus points (read: extra entries) for every social media share you connect to this post!  Share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., and then send me an email at amanda at aknitica dot com with a link to each share.  Don’t forget to tag those posts with #SeaGlassShawl

I’ll give you two weeks to enter the draw and order your yarn, and then we’ll get started knitting together!

And then….. da da da DAAAA:  At the end of the knitalong, we’ll have another prize!  Every finished project will be eligible.  I think we’ll have two draws, actually:  one for a hard copy of the CotLin 2014 Collection, which I will mail to the winner, and another draw for a free pattern of your choice from my self-published Ravelry patterns.

Yay!  I think this will be fun.  So, will you be joining me?


Sea Glass Shawl by Amanda Schwabe  #summerknitting #CotLin #KnitPicks #aknitica #SeaGlassShawl

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Effervescent Shawl Pattern

I love lace shawls, but I do not always want to wear them.  You know what I mean?

I prefer to wear an every-day, toss-around-your-neck-and-go Shawl That You Wear Like A Scarf.  In fact, scarf shawls are my new necklaces.  They keep me warm, and I always feel fabulous and cozy while wearing one.  They are my new love.  (I have my knitting guild to thank for that.  Last year was a bit shawl-obsessed for all of us.)

Since my shawls are my favourite accessory, I basically need all sorts of different ones.  Being an in-between size (you know, between “having kids” and “actually wanting to do the work to lose the last 15 pounds”), I tend to buy basic tops.  Like black t-shirts.  But a shawl?  It will fit me no matter what size I am. So you see, I’ve been thinking a lot about shawls lately.

This, then, is my first shawl design, with more to come.  More on my needles, more being charted, more being puzzled through…  But for now:  TA-DAAA!  It’s the Effervescent shawl.

Effervescent Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. It starts with an interesting lace edge that I puzzled out from a cardigan that my Grandma knit for my mom.  I love it because of its nice lines, and how the little eyelets and decreases pull themselves into little almost-bows.  Close enough to be feminine, and far enough to be every-day wear.  It has patterning on both right- and wrong-side rows, with a couple rest rows in between.

Then we move on to perfect tv knitting: stockinette stripes in bold colours.  For me, that makes it a perfect project.  A little bit of spice to start, a little bit of relaxation to finish.  I like my knitting to be both spicy and sweet. Because we started at the bottom edge of the triangle, the finishing up bits are minimal, since all the stitches have been decreased down to 7.  Simple grafting ensues. Effervescent shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe.


















I love that coral is back in style this year.  And that blue?  Oh my.  This colour combo will keep me feeling breezy and light, even through the deep, dark winter. But I have a feeling that you knitters will branch out and be your creative knitting selves, delving into colour combinations I haven’t even considered yet.  My friend Beckie was leaning toward grey, red, and dark blue last time I saw her.   I can’t wait to see all the colourways that will emerge! Effervescent shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Coral, White, and Light Blue.  For you local people, I bought mine at Unraveled in Merrickville.  The Baby Cashmerino is about a 2 (Baby/Sport weight) if you’re going by the Craft Yarn Council of America standards, in case you want to substitute.  I bought it because it came in the exact colours that I wanted, and because I love the feel of it.

With the Debbie Bliss yarn, you will need

300 m / 120 g White (3 balls)

150 m / 60 g Coral (2 balls)

250 m / 100 g Light Blue (2 balls)

Needles: size 6 US (4 mm) circular, in about a 32″-40″ range.  You just need a cable long enough to hold your shawl while you work it back and forth.

The pattern includes charts for the lace as well as written directions.  There’s also a drawing that gives you a brief overview and the measurements for blocking.

And now for the Grand Finale!  You can get it by clicking this little button:

p.s.  I finally started a Ravelry group!!  I’d be honoured if you’d join me there.  It’ll be a great place for pattern support, knitalongs, and lots of encouragement.  You can still (and always) reach me by email if you have any questions or comments, but now we have one more choice in the mix.  If you’re knitting up an Effervescent shawl, please come and share it with the group!  I will ooh and ahh over your colour choices.  🙂