Yggdrasil Afghan: A Study in Elegance

Yggdrasil Afghan     
The beautiful Yggdrasil Afghan, by Lisa Jacobs

A note from Kathleen: We're so happy to offer the Yggdrasil ("IG-dra-sil") Afghan on Knitting Daily. We love its gorgeous blend of cables and stockinette, not to mention the interesting backstory! Since it appeared in the spring issue of Interweave Knits, we've had so much positive feedback on this pattern so we thought we'd send it out to all of our Knitting Daily members. Enjoy!

Here to share some insight into this special pattern is Eunny Jang, editor of Interweave Knits.

Lisa Jacobs' Yggdrasil Afghan is a stunner: Intricate cable patterns, a bit of leaf lace, multi-directional knitting, and thoughtful heritage inspiration combine for a blanket worth keeping out year-round. 

Yggdrasil Afghan

      Yggdrasil Afghan, Center Border

 

Yggdrasil Afghan
Yggdrasil Afghan, Leaf Border

The Inspiration
Says Lisa Jacobs, the designer:

"Trees and their myths have always fascinated me. Yggdrasil, the legendary Norse world tree, bridged many worlds and provided a home and meeting place for gods and mythological creatures. Modern ecology supports ancient myths' recognition of the importance trees in the web of life. The Yggdrasil Afghan, worked in environmentally friendly organic cotton, celebrates the importance of our forests in the health of our planet.

"As I began designing the central grove of the Yggdrasil Afghan, I ventured out to photograph bare trees during early spring. At home, I used photo processing software to simplify the pictures of several trees. Then I traced the printed pictures onto graph paper where I experimented with different cables to duplicate the shape and proportions of the trees.

"Like any iconic "world tree," the tree at the center of the Yggdrasil Afghan is a composite of several different trees that I studied. As I developed the center of the afghan, I enlarged and conventionalized the composite tree to fit the triangular repeat of the pattern. Like the myths of old, the tree at the heart of the Yggdrasil Afghan is both uniquely itself and a representation of all our world's forests."

The Knitting
The Yggdrasil Afghan is built in sections: The central panel is knitted in the round with four corners, working the same intricate cable and twisted-stitch "tree" in each of four sections. A braided cable border is knitted on perpendicular to the panel with mitered corners; then a leaf braid border; then a final braided border. Areas of stockinette stitch knitted in the round separate each border.

 Yggdrasil Afghan

  
Yggdrasil Afghan, Center Panel

Large projects like blankets and afghans can sometimes become dull knitting after a few feet—not so for this afghan, with its ever-changing directions and stitch patterns.

Making it Yours
The construction of this blanket makes it possible to easily customize it for your needs: Make it with just one braided border for an heirloom baby blanket. Add one stockinette border and a leaf braid border for a respectably-sized blanket to snuggle up under on the sofa. Or add one more stockinette panel and a final braided border for a queen-sized counterpane, as shown.

Download the Yggdrasil Afghan pattern today, cast on, and let us know how you'll be knitting it!

—Eunny

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