July 02, 2015

The Market Street Shawl

It's really about time that I got around to publishing the Market Street Shawl pattern, don't you think?  This is the same shawl that I was sure that I would have finished last December in time for New Year's Day. Seriously. No kidding.  It's certainly not that it was a difficult knit, but that I've had so many other projects in the works that I kept putting it down.  I finally wrapped it up in May, and then it took me until yesterday to get around to getting the pictures taken.  It's been very busy on the farm this year.



But here's the absolute bright side:  I'm releasing this pattern just in time for you to be able to start it, finish it, block it, and wear it by Labor Day.  When those cool evenings return, sister you'll be ready! I have already begun wearing mine to restaurants, movie theaters, and the grocery store where the air conditioning is just a bit over the top.

So, let's talk about this pattern then. Knit flat but using a US #8 (5 mm) circular needle--32 inches is ideal--this crescent shawl works up to be 72 inches (183 cm) wide and 23 inches (58 cm) deep.  Yes, that's correct. 72 inches wide. I used Madeline Tosh Merino Light (2 skeins) for the shawl in the photos because I love everything made by Madeline Tosh. However, you could also use Cedar Hill Farm Company's Velvet, Journey, Rocket Sock Medium, or any fingering weight yarn that is a close approximation to the characteristics of the original.  Please, however, avoid emailing me to ask me if the yarn you like better will work--if the yardage per 100g is pretty darned close, you have a winner!

The body of the shawl is a super-speedy stocking stitch that you can whip through while reading, watching TV, commuting on the train or bus, in a movie theater, or riding in the car, or even while at your local knitting group where, you know, you can't knit on anything that requires you to think while talking.  The pattern requires about 800 yards, but it wouldn't be wrong to go with 840, just in case you are a bit of a loose knitter.  This really isn't a pattern that requires you to worry about gauge since it's all about stitch count, not stitches per inch, and that's always a bonus!


The knit-on edging of the shawl is a vintage pattern that I found in my Weldon's Practical Needlework collection. Why do a knit-on edging you may ask? Well, you know, the thing about knit-on edging is that A) there's no grafting like you have with, say, Estonian lace; B) there's no seaming like you have with, say, an edging that you knit separately for a blanket; and C) knit-on edging tends to give you a bit of a ruffle, whereas an edging that is really just the last section of a pattern and then you bind off tends to exactly follow the dimensions of the whole piece, like with a semi-circular or triangular lace shawl. Every now and then a girl needs a little ruffle.


And I suppose I should throw in a blurb about the name.  It's the simple result of my thinking that I wanted a shawl that I could wear to the farmer's market or the Asian market (both of which are probably kept at the same temperature as a meat locker), to run errands or take my daughter to violin lessons (where they have 6 air conditioning vents in a 10 x 12 waiting room!!), or out to dinner with my man on those rare occasions when we go somewhere that requires ironing and there isn't a backlit fast food menu on the wall.  I wanted a versatile piece.  So, since the original idea was to wear it to the farmer's market, I thought it should have "market" in the title.  There you go.  Not as intriguing of an explanation as I bet you were expecting, huh?


So, with many thanks to my awesome husband/photographer (who tries very hard to read my mind when I say "just take some pictures") and despite the third week in a row of rain on the scheduled day for the "shoot", here it is, the much anticipated Market Street Shawl.

You can find this pattern at the Cedar Hill Farm Company websiteCraftsy, and Ravelry, or you can click on the picture or the button on the right sidebar.  All links lead to the Market Street Shawl.

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