Ess by Anna Maltz


February 2018
DK (11 wpi) ?
24 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in Ess rib stitch pattern after blocking
US 6 - 4.0 mm
853 - 1540 yards (780 - 1408 m)
S (L)
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The Ess Shawl is one of eleven engaging patterns from Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting by Anna Maltz – a beautiful, 160 page, full-colour, litho-printed book packed with photographs, knowledge, anecdotes and opinion to introduce you to the technique of Marlisle. It features 22 interesting yarns from dedicated small-producers while celebrating the breadth of our knitting community. Available from and friendly yarn shops around the world. Launch date 10 February, 2018.

The Ess shawl will satisfy those who prefer to start a shawl with an epic cast-on and decrease to the finish line rather than starting small and ending with a mammoth slog of a cast-off. The fabric of this shawl is designed to be reversible; not the same on both sides, but both are attractive and intentional. For the fun of some unusual construction, this shawl is knitted in the round thanks to a knotted steek. Once cut, unravelled and knotted, the steek section creates the fringing.

S (L)
Size S is designed to comfortably wrap around the neck, if worn scarf style. Size L is a generous shawl that will keep your shoulders warm.

Longest edge (excluding fringing): 126 (161)cm/49¾ (63½)”
Centre of longest edge to tip (excluding fringing): 47 (60)cm/18½ (23¾)”
Fringing: 7cm/2¾”

(Measurements clearly illustrated on a schematic drawing in the pattern.)

Yarn A:
Daughter of a Shepherd 4ply (4ply/fingering; 75% Hebridean, 25% Zwartbles; 400m/437y per 100g/3½oz)
Natural dark brown x 1 (2)

Yarn B: South Downs Yarn, Duncton Flock (DK/light worsted; 100% Southdowns; 76m/83y per 25g/0.9oz)
Shepherd’s Delight x 5 (8)

As a shawl doesn’t need to fit a specific body part closely (unlike hats, mittens, socks and sweaters), you have more flexibility when substituting yarn weights. For example, you could use two same-weight yarns together or almost any combination of different weights, as long as you keep Yarn A as the finer of the two you chose, because you never use Yarn A solo. Your gauge and needle size will need to be adjusted depending on the combination you chose and the size of the shawl will be affected.

24 stitches x 32 rounds = 10cm x 10cm/4” x 4” over Ess rib stitch pattern after blocking.

4mm (US6)
needles suitable for circular knitting.

Needle type note: Because you are working this shawl in the round with a steek, starting from the longest edge and working decreases, you are in effect making a funnel. This means, if you are not using the magic-loop method or long DPNs throughout, you will need to progressively change to a shorter length of circular needle and finally onto DPNs as your circumference decreases. Start with a 100cm/40” length.

Extra needle note: If you are inclined to tight cast-ons, it can be a good idea to cast on with a needle size one (4.5mm (US7)) or two (5mm (US8)) sizes larger. If this is the case for you, include a larger needle size to work the cast-on only.

For more information, see