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M'Lady Jessica

Knitting
February 2013
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi) ?
20 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches in stockinette
US 7 - 4.5 mm
492 - 861 yards (450 - 787 m)
Radius 16, 20 and 24 inches after firm blocking
This pattern is available for $5.00 USD buy it now

I love Shakespeare comedies. Even though they are predictable, and (in the current liberated climate) dreadfully un-PC, there is just something universally appealing about the Bard’s sense of humor. Throw in a few cross-dressing women, add some gender-bending repartee and sneak in a practical joke or two and you just can’t go wrong.

I also love to make and wear well-fitting shawls. Unfortunately I find so many patterns (including several of my own) are beautiful when they are flat but put them on and they bunch and gather. If I spend untold hours creating a wrap, I want my work to actually show!

When I created the structure used for all the shawlettes in this series –a half-circle which conforms lovingly to the shoulders– I knew I needed to dedicate the series to Good Old Bill’s ladies. Like the comedies, the framework is the same for all the shawls but each has its own unique pattern.

Both written and charted formats are provided.

About Jessica
Difficulty: Intermediate

Jessica is a young woman who is torn. She is the daughter of Shylock, the bitter Jew who has loaned Antonio, The Merchant of Venice, three thousand ducats—demanding his very flesh as collateral. Shylock has good reason to hate Antonio, a Christian who has persecuted him for his faith. Sadly, Shylock’s bitterness has taken over his entire life and has spilled over into his relationship with his daughter. But, Jessica has a secret—she is in love with Lorenzo who is a Christian. While Shylock is distracted by his vendetta against Antonio, Jessica elopes with Lorenzo—taking with her a great deal of her father’s fortune. However, even though her husband has “made her a Christian” she cannot forget her heritage and her father nor can she escape the casual anti-Semitism of her husband’s friends.

The lace design for this shawlette is truly worthy of Jessica—it is pulled first in one direction, and then the other. And, in the journey back and forth it creates a beauty that is poignant in its simplicity.