I promised you something special for E. So here is Evenstar.
This circular shawl was an epic knit. It took around seven months from cast on to cast off, though I did pick up and deal with other projects in the meantime. It measures around 5 feet in diameter, took 1500 metres of yarn and 3,000 beads.
I cast on while watching Frozen on Christmas Day 2016. I remember it vividly because Elsa singing “Let It Go” was not the most helpful things while I was trying to manage Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast On. You need an extra hand or two for that at the best of times.
The pattern is by Susan Pandorf, part of a series of patterns themed around the Lord of the Rings. I’ve loved it ever since I first set eyes on it, but didn’t have the skill at the time to do it. Now, several years on, I felt ready to tackle it.
One of the tricky elements of this shawl is the ‘Evenstar stitch’, which is designed to resemble Arwen’s pendant from the books and films. It’s a tricky stitch involving making seven stitches out of three. Susan recommends practicing this stitch separately, before starting the shawl proper. Learning from my nupp experience (it’s a similar technique), I used a crochet hook for this bit.
Because of the beads and the size of the shawl, I wanted a yarn with some strength to it. I used Posh Yarn‘s Natasha Heavy Lace in a colourway called Peace Spreads Her Tranquil Blanket. It’s a 50/50 mix of silk and camel. I used three skeins overall – two for the body, and one for the knitted on edging.
The beaded knitted on edging was the hardest bit of this project. It’s a great way of finishing a project, particularly for avoiding a long cast off, but, oh, was it dull. The twenty row pattern repeat is just a bit too long to properly memorise, and it seemed to go on forever.
But it was worth every repetitive hour for a piece as stunning as this one.