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Torreyana Shawl

Knitting
March 2010
400 - 900 yards (366 - 823 m)
Scarf, Shoulderette, Small Shawl, Full-Sized Shawl
This pattern is available for free.

Note: Four versions/sizes available for different weight yarns. See Knitty page for details.

The Torrey pine (Pinus torreyana) is a tree endemic to coastal Southern California. Found nowhere else in the world, it clings to sandy bluffs, perched between sea and sky.

Torreyana also is suspended between worlds. Is it lace? Or maybe cables? The Estonian inspired stitches incorporate both, letting the sinuous spirals of pine cone scales echo in the shawl.

And as the Torrey pines twine their branches skyward, and their roots downward into the earth, Torreyana also grows in two directions. Beginning in the middle, first knit upwards, then downwards, the lace patterns themselves incorporate a half stitch offset, so the edge motifs continue seamlessly.

Torreyana has shoulder shaping built into the charts that gives it an almost Faroese silhouette.

The body of the shawl is knit upwards beginning with a gradual decrease rate in Pine Cone chart. After transitioning to the Pine Nut chart, the decrease rate becomes much steeper. The depth and shape of the wingspan can be adjusted by the ratio of the two stitch patterns.

More Pine Cone repeats (and fewer Pine Nut repeats) leads to a deeper, more Faroese shape, but requires more yarn. Fewer Pine Cone repeats (and more Pine Nut repeats) makes a chevron shape, and uses less yarn. The difference between these two shapes can be seen by comparing the silhouettes of the Handspun Shawl and the Petrol Shoulderette.

Torreyana has two selvedge options, a simple I-cord knit along with the shawl, or for intrepid knitters, a Chainlink Selvedge that incorporates faggoting patterned on both rows, along with an Estonian lace stitch from the body of the shawl that results in an entirely different effect when used singly in the selvedge. The wider Chainlink Selvedge does require short rows to curve around the shawl’s shoulder shaping.

Anna Yamamoto has designed a fichu style adaptation of Torreyana, the Bonsai shawlette.