Mitali by Dee O'Keefe


January 2015
Worsted (9 wpi) ?
3.5 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 7 - 4.5 mm
540 - 590 yards (494 - 539 m)
70 X 16" (178 x 41 cm), but size is easily customizable
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Mitali is a bottom-up, crescent-shaped shawl with a tailored ribbed border and deeply textured lace body accented by bands of garter stitch. The versatile shape may be worn as either a large scarf or a shoulder shawl. And the generous size and worsted weight yarn make it a perfect shawl to keep you warm on the coldest days of winter.

Mitali, which is a Sanskrit name meaning friendship, was designed to be a relaxing knit for social knitting occasions. When getting together with friends to knit at the local coffee shop or yarn store, I prefer to work on simpler projects so that I can give my full attention to the conversation. But as a lace lover, I’ve found that using lace charts while knitting socially is not always the best idea. Goodness knows I’ve tried, but too many times I’ve ended up ripping back most of my progress when I got back home due to silly mistakes that I wouldn’t have made if I was paying full attention to my knitting!

Mitali’s lace body pattern has a 4-row repeat with lace patterning on one row only—no charts are required and it is very easy to memorize. The ribbed border is so simple that it is just about impossible to lose your place when sharing knitting techniques and gossip! And when knitting Mitali at home, the simplicity of the stitch patterns makes it great TV knitting as well. It’s also a good “first” lace shawl for that reason.

Construction Notes: Mitali starts at the bottom edge of the shawl and is knit upwards to the neck. The ribbed bottom border is worked first. The textured lace body is then worked using German short rows to create the crescent shape. Mitali is a great pattern for those who are haven’t worked German short rows previously. What a great technique--they are so easy to do! The pattern includes detailed instructions as well as video links.

Yardage /Sizes/Yarn Weights: While the dimensions and yardage referenced above and on the pattern are for a shawl worked in worsted weight, Mitali could effectively be worked in other yarn weights, though sport weight or heavier is recommended. The size is easy to customize by working more or fewer repeats of the ribbed pattern which begins the shawl, by using a different yarn weight, or both. Full instructions are provided, including how to calculate the number of stitches to cast on for any size. Test knitters who knitted with light worsted or DK weight used between 475-500 yards (434-457 m) on US 6 (4 mm) needles, and their shawls had an average wingspan of 64” (163 cm).