Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Official Watermelon Shawl Pattern

The beads are here.Czech pressed glass beads, jet AB, triangle, flat, 16x5mm, sold per 16-inch strand. I found mine at Michael's and they were a lot less expensive.

The yarn is here.Merino Lace 100 White I used a half a skein, which is about 650 yards.

You'll need size 6US circulars, any length longer than straights would be.

Vinegar, red food dye, green food dye.

The pattern?

The Watermelon Shawl, by Laura Stapleton

The dye process.
Before knitting or after knitting, I can only vouch for the before knitting dye process.

Before: Wind the yarn into a ball. Dunk it into slightly soapy water and squeeze out the air bubbles.
Heat strongly red water (I used food coloring with a teaspoon of vinegar)and soak the ball for quite a while. Press with a spatula or potato masher. The proportion of red to green needs to be large to small. Let the red soak in as much as possible.

Take out of red bath, let cool, and unwind to dry. A knitting knoddy and/or swift, are fine, as is the wrap around the elbow technique. Whatever works.

Once dry, wrap again into a ball, starting with the red first. The outside should be all white.

Heat strongly green water and soak the ball of yarn until the outer layer is a deep green. The color will fade as the layers go deeper.

Slightly press the ball with a spatula or masher, not as much as the red. When the color is intense, take the yarn out of the green bath, let cool, then unwind to dry. Roll up into a ball or using a ball winder, being sure to have the beginning be the RED end.

After: Before blocking, completely wet the yarn in a slightly soapy solution, then lightly squeeze dry. Dip the lower third, the widest end of the shawl, into a hot saucepan of green water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Suspend, letting the color 'climb' the shawl. Let sit until the green is as intense as you'd like.

Rinse, and let dry. Once the shawl is completely dry, gather the shawl as if to tie dye, tie with a scrap yarn, and wet the narrow end, avoiding the green and a bit of the white.

Let the narrow, damp end, soak in a red dye and vinegar bath until the red is watermelon red. Rinse, block, and let dry.

The secret code:
YO-Yarn Over
()-repeat the instructions between the parenthesis until the last stitch
K2TOG-Knit two stitches together.

Pattern Repeat
First Row: Knit across
Second Row: K2 (K2TOG, YO, K1), K1
Third Row: Knit across
Fourth Row: K2 (YO, K1, K2TOG), K1

The main body
String the beads onto the yarn.
Cast on 6 stitches
Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: (K1, YO) across for 12 stitches
Repeat Pattern once, 6 rows total
Row 7: (K1, YO) across for 24 stitches
Repeat Pattern once, 11 rows total
Allow a bead in a stitch every so often. Beads may be random or evenly spaced, either is fine.
Row 12 (K1, YO) across for 48 stitches
Repeat Pattern three times, 24 rows total
Row 25 (K1, YO) across for 96 stitches
Repeat Pattern five times, 45 rows total
Row 46(K1, YO) across for 192 stitches
Repeat Pattern 12 times, 94 rows total
Row 95(K1, YO) across for 384 stitches
Repeat Pattern 24 times, 191 rows total

Picot edging cast off
Cast on 3 stitches at beginning of the last row.
Bind off 6 stitches.
Cast on 3 stitches at beginning again.
Bind off 6 stitches.
Continue cast on and bind off until last stitch is bound off.

Block and enjoy.

The lovely thing is, if the knitter chooses, the pattern can be increased exponentially. I personally don't have the patience. :)
Row 192(K1, YO) across for 768 stitches
Repeat Pattern 48 times, 248 rows total

Also, it may be necessary to cut out some of the white, if it's overpowering the red and green.

If I've made a mistake, don't be shy! Tell me and I'll fix it. I've written this from memory and a sketch. I'm also wanting to have a do over, just to make sure it all works.


Maenwyn said...

Woo hoo. Have you sent it to a magazine, yet?

OK, as soon as I can get to the yarn, I'm going to try the dying project, except purple, teal and blue. I can make an eggplant shawl. Purple, white and green?

ChelleC said...

Laura, that pattern looks fantastic. Your Watermelon shawl is splendid. I couldn't believe what a darling summer shawl it is. I do think you should submit it to IW Knits for a spring or summer issue. Do it NOW though, because at most mags, submissions need to be way in advance.

Laura said...

Eggplant? How fun! I'm thinking the white should be more of a cream color. I'm sure you could find beads to match. I have a huge bead catalogue over here, spontaneously arriving one day. Gorgeous stuff.

Thanks, Chelle! I think it looks better in real life. Submit to IW?? I dunno, I'm kinda shy about it. You'll get to twist my arm about it tomorrow, I'm sure. In the meantime, I'll see what IW's submission guidelines look like, just in case. ;)

Slow and Steady Wins the Race