Oshara Shawl Mystery KAL: Week 3
Hi everyone! Welcome to Week 3 of our Oshara Shawl Mystery Knitalong.
This week’s shawl segment is a continuation of the colorwork and lace patterns we talked about last week. There are no new techniques in this week’s segment; however, as I sit here looking at the colors and shapes flowing across the surface of the shawl, I am reminded that I haven’t talked about the inspiration for this design.
As an artist and art historian, I have always been fascinated by the shapes and colors used by the peoples of the American Southwest. These hues were drawn directly from the stark environment’s shades of red, orange, brown, ochre, and black, while the touches of vivid blue and white have always reminded me of the precious water sources scattered around the region. Straight lines like the horizon, diamonds and triangles like the rocks and mountains, and stylized human, plant, and animal motifs can be found decorating pottery, jewelry, and textiles. All of these are excellent examples of art reflecting life. And interestingly, even the oldest examples of this art come across as very modern, bridging yesterday and today.
Geometric shapes and color palettes indicative of the Southwest inspired the Oshara Shawl’s design. First, I created a simple color scheme by choosing three neutrals from Sorata’s beautiful colorways—midnight blue, silver, and charcoal—accented by one bright color, either dusky teal (the sample color), antique moss, or scarlet. This color scheme makes the shawl fit into just about any wardrobe while still keeping a sense of its original inspiration.
Next, I thought that slip-stitch colorwork, with its inherent geometry rather than flowing lines, was a perfect tool for interpreting various shapes. With this colorwork method, I created graphic sequences of square dots and larger triangles organized within alternating lines of colors.
Finally, I added lace bands that flow seamlessly from the colorwork and create characteristic Southwest diamond shapes while adding yet another interesting technique to the project.
The shawl is shaped into a crescent using a short-row method I developed almost 10 years ago after I fell in love with lace. I was looking for a shawl shape that would fit around the shoulders without a pin, and I wanted to smooth out the bottom edge by eliminating the point found on triangular shawls. After much knitting and tinking, the bottom-up short-row crescent was born, followed shortly by the top-down construction method which I used for this shawl. I adore the versatility of these crescents; they readily hug your shoulders without tying or pinning, and they can be draped and wrapped in many different ways—even worn open like a scarf.
Oshara Shawl Pattern Details, Week #3
Work Rows 1–22 of Chart 6, breaking D, E, or F after Row 8 and B after Row 18.
Work Rows 1–10 of Chart 7—403 sts.
If you’d like to create a printable set of instructions for the shawl, copy and paste the URL for this blog into the box at the top of this page. Your print version will be generated in a jiffy!
I hope you’re enjoying working on your Oshara Shawl as much as I have loved designing it for you.