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M'Lady Olivia

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 14, 16 or 20 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 Olivia
DIFFICULTY: Intermediate

The beautiful Olivia is absolutely adored by her neighbor the Duke Orsino. Sadly, the Duke does not see beyond the surface beauty to appreciate Olivia’s personality. She is a woman of substance: she loves deeply; manages her estate easily; and, most importantly, does not take herself (and her obvious beauty) too seriously. She realizes the Duke’s love is superficial, and, having just lost her brother she is in no mood to deal with her annoying, love-sick neighbor. All this changes, however, when the Duke’s handsome young attendant, Cesario, comes to plead the Duke’s case. Olivia is persuaded into love by the praises of the young man—but unfortunately her love is for Cesario, not the Duke. Unbeknownst to Olivia, Cesario is a young woman in disguise.

Like the character in Twelfth Night, the beauty of the Olivia shawlette is striking and straight forward—not overly froufrou or embellished. The lace design uses only basic decreases and yarn overs on the right side of the shawl making it accessible to those new to lace knitting.