Powys by Jeanne Long


May 2018
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
17 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
in Garter, after blocking
US 5 - 3.75 mm
800 yards (732 m)
85" wide by 35" deep at the center
Flag of English English
This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download

Powys is a region in Wales known for its natural beauty. The name Powys emerged during the Middle Ages, when the area was referred to as the Paradise of Powys. It’s thought to derive from the Latin for “peasant,” or “dwellers in the countryside.”

In fact, people have seen fit to dwell in the beautiful mountains and fertile river valleys of this area for thousands of years. Hundreds of standing stones and burial mounds still speckle the countryside, some dating as far back as 4000 BCE, and hill forts, settlements and roads from the Iron Age through the Roman occupation remain part of the land today.

Our Powys is an asymmetric shawl worked in garter stitch on the bias. The simple lines and hearty warmth of the shawl are true to the peasant roots of the Powys region, but the stunning hand-dyed colors and ribbons of lace nod to the area’s claim to paradise. The piece is a relaxing knit, with just enough knitterly shaping and zig-zag mesh to keep it interesting, and the resulting shawl can be dressed up or down to great effect.

Powys is a free pattern, in celebration of the many people who make our lives, and our knitting lives in particular, a paradise.

Update: Please cast on 18 sts. I accidentally omitted that (rather key detail) from the version of the pattern I first posted. Let’s pretend it was an Easter egg, to see who was paying attention. You passed the test! The new version of the .pdf includes the cast on info, and I sent an update to everyone who had already downloaded it. -jfl

Dimensions: 85” wide and by 35” deep at the center (215 cm x 90 cm), after blocking,

Yarn: Two skeins of Why Knot Fibers Sole in Cedar Lake, or approximately 800 yards of fingering weight yarn. Powys requires almost every inch of that yardage when worked to gauge, so please check your gauge carefully after blocking.

Notions: A tapestry needle and 4 stitch markers.

Construction: Powys is an arrowhead style shawl that is worked diagonally from the heel of the arrow to the point. It begins with a lace edging. The First Wing is picked up on its long edge. Increases at the center of the piece and decreases along one edge create the first point and continue the lace edging along the heel of the arrow. At the bottom point of the shawl, the lace edge is bound off. The Second Wing continues the central increases but increases the rate of decreases to draw the shawl to its third point.

Techniques: Increases and decreases, picking up stitches, eyelets, basic lace, and working two stitches/charts at a time (one on either side of a marker).

Instructions: Powys includes both charted and fully written out instructions.

Corrections: Rows 117-160 should read to Rows 117-138 and ask the knitter to complete Rows 1-22 of the River I and River II Stitches ONE time, not twice. The current version includes this correction.

Special Thanks: To KRS, a yoga darling, and BGL, a silver fox and horticulturist extraordinaire.