Big Star by Julia Billings
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Big Star

Knitting
November 2015
Sport (12 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 34 rows = 4 inches
in Garter stitch
US 8 - 5.0 mm
1312 - 1531 yards (1200 - 1400 m)
206cm from point to point and 70cm from neck to lower edge
This pattern is available for £4.00 GBP buy it now

A large, cozy shawl incorporating the characteristic features of a traditional Faroese shawl: garter-stitch body, large graphic lace panel, central gore, shoulder shaping and fringe. Big enough to wrap a couple of times around your neck, it can also be worn in the traditional way- wrapped around the waist and tied at the back…

Big Star owes much to one particular traditional Faroese shawl design, Johanna Maria, produced by Faroese Handicrafts and published in Nordic Knits and Foroysk Bindingarmynstur. However, it is a true hybrid, combining traditional lace motifs from Faroese and other knitting cultures of the North Atlantic and Baltic that, together, form a series of stars and evoke the folk knitting and warm, utilitarian shawls of knitting cultures around the world.

Woollen-spun yarns are recommended for this design, as they both trap warm air and have long yardage, resulting in a lightweight but very warm shawl.

Yarn weight is flexible, ranging from fingering to light worsted; the sample shown is knitted in Rowan Rowanspun DK, an extremely fine DK-weight that behaves more like a sport-weight. Please note that the use of finer yarns will create a lighter, slightly smaller shawl with more open lace, while thicker yarns will result in a larger, denser shawl.

You will need approximately 1200m of sport-weight yarn for the body of the shawl, plus 200m for the fringe. Unless using a different size needle or knitting to a different tension, the yardage required should, in theory, remain the same, regardless of yarn weight. However, some people find that using a heavier yarn requires more yarn, even with the same needle. To avoid disappointment, please ensure that you have enough to finish your project.

The blue sample shown measures 206cm from point to point and 70cm from neck to lower edge. The brown sample is knitted in Jeni Reid’s wonderful worsted-weight Shetland handspun and is huge!

Instructions for the lace panel are given in both charted and written form.

Many thanks to Joeli for her marvellous tech support, Jeni Reid for her wonderful photos and handspun version of the shawl, and all of my test knitters, Laura, Leona, Liz, Kerry, Mel, Susana and Zoe for their patience, support and beautiful versions of the design!