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Kimani is the Shoshone word for butterfly, which is a symbol of rebirth and renewal in many Native American cultures. There is a dance performed by Shoshone women called the Ladies Fancy Shawl Dance, which features colorful fringed shawls and movements that resemble butterflies in flight. This vision of joyous dancing, swirling shawls and butterflies inspired me to design my own fancy lace butterfly shawl.
And so Kimani features an intricate middle panel of butterfly motifs flanked by side “wings.” There are two ways to work these wing sections: a Lace Wings version, which consists of an abstract butterfly mosaic pattern; and a Stockinette Wings version. The border consists of a textured eyelet rib that is my lace interpretation of the fringe that adorns the Shoshone shawls.
Kimani is offered as a charted pattern, with big-easy-to-read charts and detailed instructions to show how to work them. Please note that all lace pattern stitches are charted only.
Sizes: Working the pattern size in Sport or DK weight yarns will result in a shawl that measures approximately 68” x 24”. The size of the Kimani shawl may be easily customized by working the pattern in different yarn weights, so using fingering weight will make the shawl a bit smaller than the pattern size, while using worsted weight will result in a larger shawl. For example, fingering weight versions that were test knitted measured about 58-60” x 20-22” and used about 500-550 yards on US 4 (3.5 mm) The lighter sport weight yarn (Knitting Notions Superwash Merino Sport) that I used for the blue sample used about 580 yards and measured 62” x 22” on US 5 (3.75 mm) needles.
Construction Notes: Kimani is worked top-down, starting at the center back of the neck and worked down to the bottom edge. There is a wide center panel consisting of 4 stacked butterfly motifs that is patterned on both right and wrong sides. This panel is flanked by wings that are purled on all wrong-side rows. The bottom eyelet rib border is patterned on both sides. There is a 3-stitch garter border on each side.