This pattern was originally published as part of The Downton Club by Woolgirl in February 2014. It will be offered for direct Ravelry download six months after the publication date. If you would like to be notified when the pdf becomes available, please leave a note in the comments section.
When I was planning this design, I asked myself what would the women of Downton wear on cold winter days. I think that they would wear their beautifully elegant gowns, as always, and they would accessorize with gorgeous shawls and wraps to stay warm in their lavish home.
I wanted to design a shawl that not only Lady Cora or Lady Mary could wear, but one that would be timeless and appropriate for today’s world. Inspiration for Xylia comes from the stark beauty of evergreen trees, often the only source of color in a snowy landscape, while the shape of Xylia’s lace border is reminiscent of their deep green branches.
Xylia, meaning ‘of the forest’, is knitted in one piece, side-to-side, out of a single skein of a beautiful hand-dyed merino. The body of the shawl is worked in simple garter stitch and its lace is easy enough even for a beginner lace knitter. Beads are added to the edge stitches for extra drape and sparkle; however, the shawl looks great even without the beads. If desired, instead of beading every right side row, a single bead can be added to each tip of the lace edging – simply add a bead only to Row 7 of the lace.
The shawl can be left unblocked and worn tucked into a neckline of a jacket. Blocked into a larger size, it can be draped around shoulders like a traditional shawl, or worn loosely much like a long scarf. Elegant and practical, casual or dressed up, Xylia will provide a touch of vibrant color throughout the year.
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