NOTE: The beige shawl knitted by oxfordkitchen is not the original design, but is a lovely variation on Sandi’s shawl pattern. The blue shawl shown is what you get when you knit the pattern as written. To see oxfordkitchen’s mods, check out her project page.
NOTE #2 (May 11, 2011): There are no errors in the pattern. REALLY. This pattern has been successfully knit by hundreds of folks all over the world. Just keep track of your markers, and count stitches as you go, you’ll be fine. (That said, it isn’t really a beginner pattern.)
The beginning at the neckband sounds tricky, but it is just a variation on the traditional “tab start” version of shawl knitting, where you knit a strip in garter stitch, then pick up stitches along the side and cast-on edge of the strip so that you can then work downwards from the neckband strip. You should end up with live stitches around three sides of the long neckband strip. That’s it. :) See? Easy peasy.
ABOUT THE SHAWL:
Sandi Wiseheart needed to knit a shawl, but it couldn’t be a fancy shawl, it had to be a practical, working woman’s shawl for a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sandi decided to start with a good thing and make it even better: she took the basic design of the popular Summer Lace Shawlette (Interweave Knits, Summer 2006), and then made it longer and wider. She also eliminated the back lace panels to make the shawl faster and easier to knit. The result: a beautiful shawl that stays put on your shoulders and can be worn comfortably from doctor’s office to treatment room, and then even out to tea afterwards with a friend to celebrate life and strength. The shoulder shaping, based on the clever shawls from the women of the Faroese Isles, is easy and adds graceful vertical lines; the single row of lace blossoms at the bottom of the shawl symbolizes healing and hope (and can be omitted for an even simpler shawl). This shawl is for Kathryn, and for Shawneen, and for all breast cancer warriors everywhere.