Knitting Traditions 2018: Ballets Russes Wrap
When I was a kid, I had a cassette tape of The Nutcracker that I absolutely loved. It told the story of Marie Stahlbaum, her eccentric godpapa Drosselmeier, an evil seven-headed mouse king, and, of course, an enchanted nutcracker prince, the namesake of the story. The tale was narrated by an English actress with the loveliest voice, and it was set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous musical suite written for the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia. From the opening scene in Nuremberg to exploring the prince’s fairytale kingdom, I loved escaping into the magical world of the story. I listened to that tape every night for years until it finally wore out.
Designed by Lana Jois, the Ballet Russes Wrap from Knitting Traditions 2018 evokes that same romantic feeling. I can imagine Marie wrapping up in it as she wandered through the snowy forest or when she met the Sugar Plum Fairy. More importantly, I can see myself wearing this shawl, knit up in a fabulous red color and draped elegantly over a little black sheath dress, or made in a winter white yarn and tucked into the neckline of an elegant camel coat. It’s a polished accessory that’s versatile and suitable for many occasions.
The Ballet Russes Wrap is also a very approachable project. It’s a fairly easy lace pattern, with a few cables to add texture and movement. The stitch motif is pretty without being overly complicated. Made in Blue Sky Fibers Alpaca Silk, the soft sportweight yarn makes it knit up quickly on reasonably-sized needles. This is a beautiful shawl meant to be worn and enjoyed, not an heirloom to be packed away for safekeeping. Wear it to see the ballet with your own enchanted prince or princess.
DESIGNER Lana Jois
FINISHED SIZE 65″ long and 14½ (19)” wide. Wrap shown measures 19″.
YARN Blue Sky Fibers Alpaca Silk (50% alpaca, 50% silk; 146 yd [133 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #120 white, 4 (5) skeins.
NEEDLES Size 6 (4 mm): 24″ circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
NOTIONS Cable needle (cn); tapestry needle.
GAUGE 19 sts and 27 rows = 4″ in lace patt.