The Fires of Beltaine
The night is clear. Wood has been gathered and stacked. Hearth fires have been doused, and windows and doors have been strewn with garlands of flowers and greenery. The cattle have been gathered and are lowing in their corrals. All are waiting for the Beltaine fires to be lit.
In ancient times, Beltaine was the spring festival of hope and growth, with the Beltaine fire at its center. Cattle were driven through the fire to purify them, and all the house fires were extinguished and relit from the Beltaine fire. People also jumped through the fire, and afterwards, they would enjoy a feast and dancing. Our modern day traditions of dancing around a May pole, crowning a May queen, and even spring cleaning harken back to these old traditions. Sweep out the old, make way for the new, and celebrate a good, simple life.
The Fires of Beltaine shawl is asymmetrical, and worked sideways on the bias. The lace pattern looks like cable work, but isn’t, and calls to mind curling flames rising up into the night sky. The shawl is completely reversible, too!
The sample shawl was worked in Crooked Kitchen Yarn’s Mericash Singles fingering in the Luscious Combustion colourway.
One (see schematic for corresponding letters)
A – 72”/183 cm B – 54”/137 cm
C – 37”/94 cm
D – 20”/50 cm
6 rows and 13 sts (one pattern repeat) = 1” x 2.25” (2.5 x 5.7 cm), blocked, on 3.5 mm (US 4) knitting needles.
425 – 450 yards/388-411 meters of fingering weight yarn
- 3.5 mm (US 4) knitting needles, straight (at least 14”/35 cm long) or circular
- pins, wires, and a mat for blocking
- tapestry needle for weaving in the ends
This pattern was tech edited by Angela Dexter. Many thanks to the testers of this pattern for all their help!