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Project Idea: Botanic Shawl

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If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times. Self-striping yarns are magical and a dream to work with. It’s always exciting to get to the next color and projects seem to take no time at all! It can sometimes be challenging, however, to find patterns that highlight these wonderful yarns, but today’s project idea does just that!

Stephen West is known for big, bold, colorful patterns. While some of his projects may be a bit intimidating for newer knitters, the Botanic Shawl is a great pattern for all experience levels, including beginners! This shawl is a great opportunity to try a Stephen West design, and any color combination you choose is going to be fantastic, whether you want subtle neutrals, springy pastels, moody jewel tones or high contrast neons.

Man wearing a dark green and rainbow striped scarf.

The Botanic Shawl is a triangular shawl that begins at a point and increases continuously to its long edge. Construction is therefore very straightforward, and the stitch pattern is also easily memorized and repetitive, making this a meditative and relaxing knit. Simple to execute slipped stitches create the solid color lines that seem to float above the stripes of self-striping yarn and an icord adds a tidy finishing touch to the edge of the piece. The icord also provides a location to hide the yarn being carried between stripes!

Point of a striped shawl in light gray and multicolored stripes.

As mentioned, you cannot go wrong choosing colors for this shawl. That said, something to consider during your selection process is that this is not a fully reversible piece. In the pattern the main color (MC) is the solid color. Looking at the pattern photos, though, it almost feels as if the striping yarn is the main color. On the “wrong side” of the shawl, you’re going to see much more of this MC so make sure whichever solid you’re using is one you’re happy seeing a lot of! As always, if you have the opportunity to swatch your selections - do it! It will give you a sample of the color combination and give you a better idea if you’re going to like the final product.

Man wearing a dark green and rainbow striped shawl.

The intoxicating self-striping yarn and soothing stitch pattern will keep drawing you in to work on this project, but the best part is you can stop at any time! Make the shawl as large or as small as you want! So, if we’ve convinced you to give this project a try, here is the basic information you’d need to get started. We are also happy to help if you haven’t worked slipped stitches or done an icord edge before. Just give us a call or stop by the shop!

A shawl in light gray and multicolored stripes against a blue background.

Pattern: Botanic Shawl
Designer: Stephen West
Skill Level: Beginner
Yarn Weight: Fingering
Suggested Yarns: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball Crazy (Wool/Nylon) and Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light (Wool)

Tools Needed: 

Techniques Required: 

  • Stockinette stitch
  • Garter stitch
  • Slipped stitches
  • Striping colors
  • Increases
  • Icord

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