Willow Shawl by Anne Podlesak

Willow Shawl

September 2019
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
16 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches
in Chart A after blocking
US 6 - 4.0 mm
780 - 815 yards (713 - 745 m)
31 ½” (80 cm) back neck to hem and 86” (218.5 cm) wingspan
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This semi-circular shawl is shaped with increases worked between pattern bands using yarn-overs. It is worked beginning at the neck with a garter-stitch tab start, down to the hem. There are 3 lace panels with lace motifs representing willow catkins, as well as the progressively larger leaves on the drooping stems of the tree.

You will need approximately 800 yards of a fingering-weight yarn without much halo, and with a nice drape. While gauge is not crucial for this project, it will affect how much yardage will be used to complete it. Choose a yarn with a good drape that will block out nicely to show the lace patterning to best effect.

The willow tree and its gentle, drooping stems and leaves is an easily recognizable form near any damp area, along ponds, creeks and river beds. Willow stems were often used in basketry and the tree is noted for its strong limbs, which may bend but do not often break. The willow has a long association with both witches and druids, and the watery sap just underneath the bark contains large amounts of salicylic acid (the active component in aspirin), which works as both a pain and fever reliever, as well as a wash for burns or cuts to speed the healing process.

This is part of a multi-year series themed on the Ogham alphabet. Kits (pattern and yarn) are available for this project from The Yarn Guys/Wall of Yarn: www.wallofyarn.com.