Bertha Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark

Bertha Lace Shawl

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Icelandic shawls offer a wonderful opportunity to add new dimensions to lace. Colors—traditional or contemporary—can change anywhere, including the edging, and texture can be added with bands of reverse stockinette stitch.

Two traditional Icelandic lace stitch patterns are combined with an interesting edging to create three versions of this shawl. Knit from the top down, they all start with spider lace, which is easy to memorize since it repeats over 4 rows. An optional trellis border can add ripples of color or subtly textured chevrons of reverse stockinette stitch. Each ends with a lacy edging and crocheted chain cast-off.
Increases in the spider lace naturally shape the top of the triangle to curve around the shoulders. Either border or the edging can be started after any 16 rows of spider lace, making it easy to customize the size.
The shawl looks great in solid and semi-solid color yarns and can be knit in lace, fingering, and Shetland/sport/DK weights.
This design was inspired by the beautiful Icelandic lace on display in the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, and it is named for my Icelandic aunt.

Yardage and Size Information
Instructions are given for three sizes. Yardage amounts below are for medium size. Yardage for small size can be decreased 20 percent and for large size, increased 30 percent.
Approximate blocked back length changes for lace weight will be 1.75” (4.5cm), fingering weight 2” (5cm), and Shetland/sport/DK weight 2.25” (5.5cm).

Skill Level

Sample Shawls
Clockwise from top, Striped Trellis Lace Border, Textured Trellis Lace Border, and No Border shawls.

Striped Trellis Lace Border Shawl: Istex Einband Icelandic, 100% Icelandic wool, fingering weight (17 wpi): 2 50g (250 yd/225m) balls Color 0851 cream, and small amounts of Color 0151 natural black and Color 1027 light gray.

Textured Trellis Lace Border Shawl: 1.5 oz. (475 yds/435m) Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18, 50% wool/50% silk, lace weight (23 wpi), apricot color.

No Border Shawl: 150g (550 yds/503m) Kauni, 100% wool, Shetland/sport/DK weight (15 wpi), ES color.