Escapist by Mary Keenan
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August 2011
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
28 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches
in stocking stitch
US 4 - 3.5 mm
620 - 640 yards (567 - 585 m)
This pattern is available for free.

This pattern for a triangular shawl in lace was released as a mystery knit in four parts in August 2011 and is now available in one file. Inspired by the rustic yet lovely versions featured in practically every BBC period production I’ve watched for escapism purposes over the last two years, the pattern includes a choice of two endings (both happy.)


  • Fingering: Twisted Fiber Art ‘Tasty’ self-striping or semisolid, (80% superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 380 yds/100g), 165g or about 630 yards OR
  • Sport Weight: St-Denis ‘Nordique’, (100% wool, 150 yds/50g), 210g or about 620 yards
  • 4 stitch markers
  • 3.5mm, 100cm circular needle or size to obtain gauge


28 sts/30 rows = 4” in fingering
21 sts/26 rows = 4” in sport weight

Stashbusting potential:

  • Use 1-4 solid, self-striping, or variegated yarns. A single solid shows the texture beautifully, while a hand-dyed semisolid paired with a matching self-striping yarn treats the stitches more subtly.
  • For ease of running in ends, recommendations are given in each part for the location of colour changes; in the two-colour version, Parts 2 and 3 could be done in the second colour, in the three-colour, Parts 3 and 4.
  • In Nordique, the gauge given produces a thick, warm shawl that stops an inch or so above the elbows (the fingering-weight shawl, if knit in a superwash yarn, will block out longer.) If you have spare yardage to accommodate the change, you will get a larger shawl with a larger needle.

Yardage Guide (for fingering):

Part 1 – 165 yards
Part 2 – 165 yards
Part 3 – 135 yards
Part 4 – 145 yards

Finished Size:

This will vary based on yarn base and tension while knitting, but my shawls blocked out to approximately 56” for the wingspan, 26-28” down the middle, and perhaps 80” along the bottom.


Not difficult, but not absolute beginner. You will have to know how to K2tog, ssk, and yo. Counting is minimal as the lace patterns do not form a motif and the lace repeats extend no farther than four rows, but you will want to count fairly frequently so you don’t miss a yarn over. If you do though, and you catch it before the next row, it’s super easy to pick up a running thread as you carry on such that nobody will ever know you aren’t perfect. I knit my last test over 6 days (between 20-24 hours I think), aided by the luscious Tasty and a set of lace-tipped needles.

Note: earlier versions of this file omitted the definition of ‘m1’, which I interpret as
m1: with left needle, lift running strand between sts from front, then knit through front loop
If you have downloaded this file after February 24, 2013, the file includes a definition of m1.