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Whorl Shawl by Nancy Marchant

The moment I saw an image of this pattern I let out an audible, “wow”. My greedy little brain went into overdrive trying to understand the construction and I yearned to see the final fabric with my own eyes. The original images I’d seen were beautiful to look at. The final product in my hands is no less beautiful. And that is owed entirely to the brilliance of Nancy Marchant. I followed the instructions, listened to plenty of Thom Yorke and BRMC and voila! Whorl for me.

The pattern gives instructions how to set up two different versions of the shawl. The principal instructions detail how to make a shawl where the main garter colour matches the raised coil stitches, and a contrast colour forms the background band of colour behind the coil stitches. A second version is shown a few pages later where the main garter colour is the complete background colour of the shawl and a contrast colour is used for the coiled stitches.

I began making the first version of the shawl using Marine Splendour as the main garter and coil colour, but changed my mind after working a repeat of the patterned section. I was using Deep Gold as the background band of colour, and realised I’d prefer it instead as the coil colour. I pulled back to the garter two colour striping and realised I’d need to take this out too to stay true to the pattern. I contemplated it, but then decided I was ok with it not being exact. I was watching ‘The Farewell’ at the time and wanted to give Awkwafina’s character a hug. I think the timing helped make it an easy decision. If you can catch up the stitch count somewhere, then good enough can be enough.

As suggested, I used a locking stitch marker as a cable needle and JR’s advice to move the centre stitch marker two places across on row 3. That worked well and was helpful.

I made an extra repeat of the final garter stitch section so the lower band of garter would be a little deeper. Other than that and the change to the two colour striping the rest is as instructed.

I dyed up 200g each of Marine Splendour and Deep Gold in the 4ply 100% Australian Merino. I thought I was going to need more, but my gauge meant I ended up having some leftover.

Make this shawl in whatever fibre makes you happy. It really is something special. I will love it forever.

The Whorl Shawl pattern can be found at:-


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