Countess of Landsfeld by Mary Ann Cunningham-Kim
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Countess of Landsfeld

Knitting
September 2013
DK (11 wpi) ?
17 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
460 - 690 yards (421 - 631 m)
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

The Countess of Landsfeld is a lace shawl for those who are either new to lace, dislike knitting lace, or do not have the time for lace, and for those who struggle with the wearability of shawls.

This shawl is named in honour of Eliza Gilbert, who fled her 19th century destiny of either a suitable marriage or genteel poverty. Despite not speaking Spanish or being able to dance, she changed her name to Lola Montez and became the most famous Spanish dancer in the world. King Ludwig of Bavaria was so besotted with her he gave her the title of “Countess of Landsfeld”. Sure, this may have led to his abdication and the revolution of 1848, but my point is this: shortcuts can be a really efficient means of getting what you want.

The Countess of Landsfeld is a celebration of shameless knitting shortcuts. The pattern is full of shortcuts, including a “no-tail long-tail” cast on (never guesstimate your long tail ever again!); 8 different options for making left and right slanted multiple decreases, and a simple picot cast off that provides stretchiness and visual interest without overwhelming the rest of the lace (or the knitter).

The lace stitch used is simple enough for novice lace knitters. It consists of 3 rows of simple, easy stockinette, and one row of rhythmic, unchanging decreases and yarnovers. With the options suggested for making the decreases, this is lace that can be accomplished by anyone, however new they are to lace, or however hectic their knitting opportunities.