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Stripescape by Stephen West

The asymmetry of this trapezium shaped shawl is among my favourite aspects of it. There are so many angles already being played off one another, and the final shape is icing on the cake. Excuse me while I geek out. I really, really like it.

Wedges of stockinette and garter stitch begin the shawl, and the way they’re placed gives an undulating, sea swell-like effect. The garter stitch rows create a raised 3D stripe which adds another sensory layer beyond just keeping you cosy and warm. Like a fluffy lion’s mane in a baby’s book, you can’t help but touch it. Surprisingly gratifying.

The first panel of brioche stitch encapsulates the above wedges and draws attention to the essential shape of the shawl. A fun aspect of this brioche band was changing the knitting direction yet again; now working horizontally across the edges to install vertical parallel stripes. Mind blown. The repetition and predictability of the brioche made this a comfortable place to relax and enjoy my cups of coffee while they were still hot.

The yarn over section was worth the time and I love it now that it’s blocked and finished. Each yarn over hole is made with a lower and upper stripe of colour, and the section came alive when blocked. In full disclosure, there was a moment part way through when I felt a bit grumpy and didn’t want to pick it up. Nothing dramatic, just a little misunderstanding over the time making the yarn overs. And obviously, I was in the wrong.

The i-cord border was knit progressively, giving a nice tidy edge. I marvel when i-cords stripe and morph into other colours as they go along.

The reverse side is pretty neat looking too. I’d happily use it in reverse to get more wear out of it when the cool weather returns.

The colours I used were Plum, Deep Gold, Particle, Woods and Verbena, all in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino (280m/100g). In my easy-going state, I didn’t keep track of how much of each yarn I’d used. Given the shawl’s 435g final weight, working backward would estimate: Plum 122g, Deep Gold 91g, Particle 68.5g, Woods 68.5g and Verbena 85g.

I’m really pleased to have made this shawl. The name ‘Stripescape’ is incredibly fitting. I’d encourage anyone thinking of making it to go ahead and get started.

The 'Stripescape' pattern can be found at:-

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