Alexandra by Dee O'Keefe


March 2012
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
US 5 - 3.75 mm
420 - 750 yards (384 - 686 m)
Two pattern sizes: 68 x 34" (173 x 32 cm) shawl; 52 x 26" (132 x 66 cm) shawlette, but easy to customize even further
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Alexandra is a top-down, triangular lace shawl with great texture and bold design. This shawl was designed specifically for fingering weight, hand-dyed yarn, although the design will look lovely knitted up in solid colors as well.

Working with hand-dyed yarn can be challenging when two or more skeins are involved, as there always seems to be a line of demarcation wherever the new skein is added. I don’t like alternating skeins but love the uniqueness of hand-dyed yarn, so I decided to incorporate the inherent differences between skeins into the design of the larger shawl size. A contrasting yarn color may also be used for the border on either size.

Please note that this is a charted pattern, there are no line-by-line written out instructions for the charts.

For your convenience, the pattern includes separate charts for two sizes: a full-sized shawl and a smaller shawlette. (Please print pages 1-11 for shawl size; 1-6 and 12-16 for shawlette size.) Also included is an instruction sheet “How to Block a Lace Shawl.”

Because the shawl size requires two skeins of most fingering weight yarns, you can work the body with the first skein and switch to the second skein at the border. What might have looked like a mistake if the skeins were changed elsewhere now looks like an artistic design decision!

Construction Notes: Alexandra starts at the center back of the neck and is knit down to the bottom edge. There is a three-stitch garter border on each side, four yarn-over increases on each right-side row and a center stitch separating each half. Patterning is done on the right side rows only, with all wrong side rows being purled between the garter borders.

Yardage: The purple and gold shawls pictured used approx. 650 yards (594 m) of single ply, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light fingering weight yarn on US 5 (3.75mm) needles. Please note that test knitters used between 600-760 yards (549-695 m) depending on yarn, needle size and individual knitting style, so if you have 2 skeins of fingering/sock yarn or equivalent yardage, you will certainly have enough.

The green shawlette pictured used 410 yards (375 m) of the Tosh Merino Light on US 5 (3.75mm) needles, although some test knitters used up to 460 yards (421 m) of different yarn.