Shield Maiden by Anne-Lise Maigaard

Shield Maiden

September 2018
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
US 4 - 3.5 mm
US 5 - 3.75 mm
3.75 mm (F)
3.5 mm (E)
1258 - 1312 yards (1150 - 1200 m)
Size is adjustable to a certain extend (80 rows can be added to the leaves section).
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This pattern is available for kr.60.00 SEK buy it now

Pattern available in English. Cables, Latvian braids, mosaic patterns, lace, beads and nupps.

Charts only.

Leaves are done by slipping sts. You are in effect working two shawls intertwined with each other. One is the white layer with the leaves and cables, the other is the dark layer without leaves. By slipping sts in a certain way you get both layers to switch places in different ways so you get the colour showing or not showing in the pattern. Easy to do, one colour at a time for two rows, then changing colour for next two rows etc.

Difficulty: Medium to advanced. Most of the shawl has pattern both RS and WS rows, but WS rows are easy to work even without looking at the pattern once you get the hang of it. Only one colour yarn used at a time, except for the 4 rows of Latvian braiding. Lots of slipped sts!

Yarn: Main colour (MC): 200 g Farbmasche Silk Road/Seidenstrasse, 65 % merino/ 35 % silk OR Farbmasche Merino/Bamboo 400, 80% superwash merino/20 % natural bamboo, both 437 yards (400 m) per 100g. And contrast colour (CC) 150 g undyed Farbmasche Non SW Merino 400, 437 yards (400 m) /100g. Kits available at For the kits, the MC yarn is dyed in one long continuous gradient custom fit for the pattern (you need to begin with the light end and finish with the dark) and the yardage is meant for the wide lace border. You may be able to work the narrow border as well with the kit, depending on how much you use for the rest.
You will need approx. 50 g (220 yards/200 m) of fingering weight yarn for the narrow sideways knitted on border.

If substituting yarn:
For various reasons, the Silk Road/Seidenstrasse was discontinued from the dyer, and I have been working with her to find a satisfactory substitute. We settled on a merino/bamboo mix, where the bamboo has been processed naturally. I have linked to this yarn in the yarn list too, and she will be dyeing up kits in this base on request. The bamboo mix knits up on a size smaller needles compared to the Silk Road/Seidenstrasse.

Other substitutes - Go for yarn with a good grip and structure, with some fluffiness to it so it fills out the stitches. If the yarn is too slippery and smooth, the two colour background of the cables, the Latvian braids and the mosaic part will not look as intended. You will have odd looking holes and the cables will slip around and misbehave. Best way to know if your yarn works is to knit a swatch. Simply work one repeat of chart A and see if you like the look.

A note on colours:
The CC does not have to be white/undyed, as long as there is a big difference light/dark between the yarns when you work the mosaic part, as otherwise, the mosaic pattern will not be visible. You can use a lighter MC up to the mosaic, change for a darker MC while doing the mosaic and then change back to the lighter MC (this is in effect what happens in the shawl as shown and the process is described in the pattern).
You can of course use solid colours instead of a gradient, and you can use two gradients with some colour overlap at one end instead of one long gradient for the MC. You can even use 3 gradients if you can find one for the CC that has enough contrast to work for the mosaic part.
You can also reverse the colours completely and do a darker/dyed CC and a lighter/undyed MC. Or change colours for the lace border if you want. It is even possible to use two colours up to the mosaic part, change to two other colours for the mosaic and do a fifth colour for the final lace border.
There’s no yarn police working here.
If you have a precious gradient you want to use for the lace edge, you could find corresponding solid colours and do the first parts of the shawl in those. It is possible to use any kind of fingering weight yarn suitable for lace for the lace border, the good grip is only important for the parts worked with two colours (cables and mosaic).

Construction: The shawl is worked from the neck down, with a choice of either a wide lace border knit top down (suitable for both gradients and solid colour yarn) or a narrow sideways knitted on lace border (suitable for solid colour yarn). You can even work both borders for an extra layer of shielding warmth. Choice of crochet or knitted bind off.

Beads: You will need 260 size 4mm cubes or round seed beads size 6/0 (192 for the arrow motif and 68 for the top of the mistletoe pattern) to work shawl as shown (wide top down border). If working the narrow sideways knit on border only, you will not need any beads. Beads can be left out or substituted with nupps or bubbles if you like. Remember these will use more yarn. If working a larger size (instructions included in pattern) you will need more beads.

Size: 24 ½ inches (62 cm) deep and 67 inches (170 cm) wingspan blocked using Silk Road/Seidenstrasse and needle US 5 (3.75 mm). If using a size smaller needles and Merino/Bamboo or other light fingering yarn, the size will be around 22 inches (56 cm) and 59 inches (150 cm). The shawl may relax to a slightly smaller size after blocking. There is an extra chart if you wish to make a larger shawl, adding two more tiles of leaves/scales. Working this extra section will use up more yarn! Not included in the kit. And you will need more beads. Please be aware that the wide lace border is NOT extendable.

Needles and hooks: Size US 5 (3.75 mm) or US 4 (3.5 mm) circular needle (or the size you need to get a fabric you like). The mosaic and cables part should be somewhat dense. Crochet hook in the same size as your needles.

Other notions: Stitch markers. Darning needle. Size 1 mm crochet hook or other gizmo for placing beads (if using beads).

Lacebee has made a very clever extension to the edge, adding several more of the largest leaves to the mistletoe. The chart for this is added as a separate file to the download. Her project is HERE, if you should want to take a look for inspiration. :D