I’ve long since been drawn to water and stars. The way colors play off each other in different, flowing ways throughout nature is also very inspiring to me. Because of that, I’m always on the lookout for ways to show these elements in my knitting. I thoroughly enjoy playing around with hand dyed yarns and various stitches to see if I can realize what I see around me. The Feather and Fan stitch is one of the stitches I really enjoy using because it has so many possibilities of mixing colors together in a gently wavy pattern…like water rippling in a stream or the way a flag blows in the wind. I came up with a few fun combinations, but something was still missing.
My “Aha!” moment came when I was looking at the Alpaca Sox yarns at Classic Elite. I found a hand dyed version of the yarn which, in combination with another hand-dyed colorway, inspired me to design a shawl that would represent Van Gogh’s "Starry Night". When I tried to figure out how to interpret this using a feather and fan stitch, I remembered that a two-colored honeycomb stitch can give the impression of a star in the sky. I decided to try a stripe combination of feather and fan stitch alternating with a row of a honeycomb pattern. It looked good, but still needed a little more.
The answer was to put a star stitch in the honeycomb “window”. I gave it a go and Eureka! The result is the shawl you see here.
The funny thing is that I started out thinking about Stars in the Sky, but the piece ended up making me think of an Appalachian mountain spring. You see, my son was on his way to Appalachia for a service trip with his Youth Group. I was in charge of decorations for a fund-raising dinner, so I did some research on the Appalachians to try and recreate the look. As I worked on this shawl, I kept thinking of the video and pictures of streams in the mountains…clear blue water flowing over brown rocks, green moss, and twinkling in the sun. So here it is: my Appalachian Shawl.
Jessica X. Wright Lichter - designer
60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon
Alpaca Sox, CEY’s signature sock yarn, is spun from a blend of fibers that make it comfortable and warm. Alpaca provides warmth and softness, wool adds elasticity and cushion, and a little nylon lends strength and durability.
The construction of Alpaca Sox is unique too. Most sock yarns are plied and tightly twisted to make them dense, smooth, and long-lasting. Alpaca Sox is a 2-ply yarn twisted just enough to be durable, but relaxed enough that the soft alpaca fibers can expand a little and show their halomaking it perfect not just for socks, but for shawls and other accessories too.
Here is the free downloadable Appalachian Shawl pattern. (file size: 1.4 MB)
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try these: page 1 - page 2