Shila by Dee O'Keefe


August 2017
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
4.5 stitches = 1 inch
in garter
US 5 - 3.75 mm
US 7 - 4.5 mm
540 - 580 yards (494 - 530 m)
60 x 24" (152 x 61 cm) for pattern size; 73 x 29" (185 x 74 cm) for larger size instructions included
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Shila is a top-down, contemporary triangular shawl. The very first shawl shape I learned to design was a top-down triangle, and I love wearing that shape due to its versatility. With Shila, I decided to go back to my triangular roots and create one that had lots of squishy garter stitch, fun striping and a swath of modern geometric lace—all in a sporty design which allows your favorite tonal and variegated hand-dyed yarn to take center stage, while also being quick and easy to knit. The pattern size (60” wingspan) was chosen because I find that to be a perfect size to wear as either a scarf or an off-the-shoulder accessory—not too big, not too small.

Shila would be an excellent choice for a “first lace” pattern for newbie lace knitters, as the diagonal lace of the border is very easy to memorize and “read” while working with either the charts or written instructions for the charts. To further help newer knitters, the pattern includes detailed information about how to work the edges when switching the yarn colors. Complete blocking instructions are also provided.

You may notice that that yarn overs used in the diagonal lace border are very neat and crisp-looking. This is due to a wonderful technique used by Arctic knitters. When creating their beautiful geometric lace designs, they twist the knit stitches which fall directly over the previous right-side row’s yarn overs. I love this technique, and so I named the shawl Shila, an Inuit name meaning flame, to acknowledge the Arctic influence of the design.

The Shila pattern includes both charts (for the lace border) and full written out instructions for those of you who prefer not to use charts.

Yardage: For a shawl worked at the pattern size of 60 x 24”(152 x 61 cm) , the average amount of yarn used during test knitting was 560 yards (512 m) of fingering weight yarn. For the sample shawls pictured, I used 345 yards (516 m) of Color A and 215 yards (197 m) of Color B.

Size Customization: If you would like a larger Shila, an additional 6 rows of the body accent stripes following by another wide garter band section may be worked (for a total of 36 additional body rows). Working this larger size will result in a shawl measuring approximately 73 x 29” (185 x 74 cm) and will use about 550 yards (503 m) of Color A and 300 yards (274 m)of Color B for a total of 850 yards (777 m). Full instructions for this larger size are provided, including revised stitch counts.

You may also use heavier yarn worked at the pattern-size instructions to yield a larger size. If you decide to go with a heavier weight, note that more yarn will be required than stated above.

Construction Notes: Shila starts at the center back of the neck and is knit down to the bottom edge. There is a 2-stitch garter border at the beginning and end of every row. A single center stitch separates each half of the shawl. Four (4) make-1 increases on every right-side row—adjacent to the garter borders and center stitch—shape the triangle.