Adelita by Dee O'Keefe


April 2020
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
5 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
710 - 770 yards (649 - 704 m)
62" x 26", directions for larger size of 67" x 28" included
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Adelita is a top-down, semi-circular half pi shawl which features three harmonious botanical lace patterns—cloverleaf eyelets, horizontal leaf lace and vertical twig lace. The predominance of stockinette stitch which surrounds the lace pictures painted by the yarn overs in all three patterns gives a contemporary flair to the design itself and adds coziness and warmth to the shawl.

The striking leaf pattern found in the middle of the shawl is a very old, traditional Spanish lace pattern called Madeira Leaf. With lace patterning on both the right and wrong sides of the shawl, the individual leaves are composed of delicate single-stranded yarn overs and gracefully curved decreases. The vertical twig pattern below the leaf section, which provides a lovely visual counterpoint to the horizontal movement of the Madeira Leaf lace, ends with dramatic scallops that are shaped during the blocking process.

While dimensions and yardage are provided for fingering weight, Adelita could effectively be worked in other yarn weights. Solid or tonal yarn is recommended in order to show off the design to its best advantage. The pattern includes detailed blocking instructions.

The Adelita pattern includes both charts and full written out instructions for those of you who prefer not to use charts.

I named this shawl after one of my favorite guitar pieces by Francisco Tárrega, a Spanish composer and guitarist of the Romantic era who is considered the father of classical guitar. His sweet little Adelita was the first of many of Tárrega’s beautifully expressive compositions that I learned to play when I studied classical guitar, and was my dad’s personal favorite. Here is a link to over 4 hours of Tárrega’s beautiful guitar music; Adelita may be found at the 17:22 mark.

Construction Notes: Adelita starts at the center back of the neck with a garter tab and is knit down to the bottom edge. There is a 3-stitch garter border at each side. Adelita’s shaping method is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s revolutionary pi shawl formula, where the stitches are doubled every time the row count doubles. Yarn overs are used to achieve these increases. All increase rows are marked as such on the pattern.

Yardage: The range of 710-770 yards for the pattern size is based upon average test knitter data, although one tester, who used a heavy fingering weight yarn knitted at a looser gauge, used a bit over 800 yards. So for those of you who are looser knitters and have a limited amount of yarn (800 yards or less), please be sure to check your gauge ahead of time on a blocked and relaxed stockinette swatch and adjust your needle size accordingly.

Size Customization: If you prefer a slightly larger shawl, you may work five repeats of Chart 3 rather than four for a shawl measuring approximately 67” x 28.5”. To estimate the difference in yardage when working this larger size, allow approximately 50-60 yards extra. Please note: Working more than five repeats of Chart 3 is not recommended, as any more repeats would throw off the pi shaping math.

Please note that the PDF named ADELITA APRIL 2020.rev2 is the most recent version of the pattern, per the update on May 1 which corrected the Size Customization paragraph on page 2.

Special Thanks: I want to give a shout-out and heartfelt thanks to my good friend and fabulous test knitter Paula Feldman for knitting the lovely Anzula Squishy Black Cherry sample--and also for her great advice, cheerleading and just going above and beyond in every way during my design process. (Banana bread = yum yum!) Also thanks to Jill Krone for knitting the equally lovely Hazel Knits Entice Cabbage Rose sample.