Thumbs up for shawls

Yes, I think I will have to make more of these. Don’t tell my socks.


Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl, by Evelyn Clark (issued in Interweave Knits 2006, and available for free here)
Needles: 3.5mm circular
Yarn: Sea Silk, from Handmaiden Fine Yarns. 1 skein did admirably for the lace-weight size, and I was left with about 11g of a 100g skein.
Cast on: June 18, 2009
Cast off: June 26, 2009
Size: After blocking, approximately 49″ wide and 22″ down the centre, slightly smaller than predicted dimensions for the lace-weight size.
Modifications: None.


It is bee-you-tea-ful. The yarn is, of course, all manner of gorgeous (since it is mostly silk), and until I started this project it was one of my very few skeins of ‘precious yarns’, you know, those yarns that you neglect out of worry you won’t do right by them when you finally knit them up. I bought this skein at Lettuce Knit during the TTC Knitalong – and not the TTC Knitalong from earlier this month, no no, the last TTC Knitalong in 2007. So that’s two years’ worth of waiting to use this up, and I even had it wound up and bagged with the Swallowtail pattern since a year ago. No more. It is no longer yarn. It is a lovely shawl (or scarf, more like), and shiny and pretty and MINE.


I would like to do a bigger version of this, in a proper drapey shawl that covers my arms. As many others have figured out by now, up-sizing this shawl requires a bit of thought and effort since the stitch count of the pattern repeats differs between the budding lace that you start with, and the lily-of-the-valley (featuring our dear friends the nupps) that finishes. If you increase the budding lace pattern by repeats of 5, it should work. I’d like to try this with a fingering weight version, perhaps adding 1 or 2 more repeats of the lily-of-the-valley as well.

You know, knitting is pretty great. It’s a good thing I do it a lot.

Knit some precious yarn today – you’ll be glad you did!


  1. tinebeest · ·

    Neat! I’ve just started on a scarf with an estonian lily of the valley pattern, and it’s nupp crazy but I love them!

    I have no shrine of precious yarns that are considered too special to knit with. Life’s too short to knit with crap yarn. If you mess up something irreplaceable and beautiful, I’m convinced the yarniverse will send something at least equally good your way again. Carpe lanam, as they say…

  2. Gorgeous!!! it turned out beautifully. Great job!!

  3. Welcome to the Land of Swallowtails! That Precious Beauty is a Stunner!
    There’s a knitter on Ravelry who can help you out on that making it larger, which I’ve done one time, but once was enough (for the larger version). I can’t remember the knitter’s name but if you check through the SwallowTails it comes up several times, giving her credit.

  4. Gorgeous!! I have a skein of Sea Silk too, in “Ivory”. I got it from a swap partner a long time ago, but have never been able to decide on a pattern.. Like you say, it’s ‘precious’ and I don’t want to ruin it by using the wrong pattern. 😛 I’ve been meaning to make a Swallowtail for myself, though.. Oh well, it’ll have to get in line.

    The yarn I’ve knitted today isn’t exactly precious, but it’s nice! Rowan Cashsoft DK.. So lovely and plump! 🙂

  5. so beautiful.
    i still can’t believe i made one for myself.

  6. Fantastic – and looks like you are well on your way over to the dark side… but I won’t tell the socks…

    And great use of precious yarn.

  7. Preeeeeeeetty.

    *pets the pretty pretty shawl*

  8. I am amazed that you made it in less than ten days. I imagine it would feel very cozy worn as a scarf.

  9. I wanted to clarify that you used one skein for yours? I got excited because I have one skein only of some lovely yarn for this project, but when I downloaded the pattern it indicated 437 yards for the lace one? Am I missing something totally obvious?

  10. Really, really pretty!

    I am thinking of knitting this shawl or one like it. Just beautiful.

  11. Ooh, how lovely! I started this pattern last month and have done very little… partly because it requires too much concentration. Kudos to you!

  12. Beautiful and fast. I’m beginning to wonder if you sleep!

  13. Hello, did you really knit that entire shawl in all of 9 days?! Jeepers you are fast! And it is lovely.

  14. It’s beautiful. It’s a great pattern too, though the nupps were a challenge!!

  15. That is absolutely stunning. I think I might need to knit myself one!

  16. betseydoodle · ·

    pretty Pretty PRETTY!

    mmmmmm Sea Silk!

  17. Oh Glenna, allow me to add to the chorus: that is so beautiful!!! Inspirational. Now I want to make one too!

  18. Glenna it is just gorgeous. I have just started knitting lace and it really is a bit addictive. I may just have tostash some of that Sea Silk!

  19. Beautiful! What an excellent use of your special yarn. It must be true that shawls are the new socks (although I doubt that any of us will neglect our sock knitting.) I just started my first shawl… let’s see if it become addicting!

  20. It came out beautifully! I so adore the color you picked.

    PS – If you go to the Swallowtail project pages on Ravelry, and type “modifications” or something similar into the search engine at the top of that page, it’ll give you several with all the math figgered out for you. It’s what I did for mine, as I am lazy and notoriously awful with math.

  21. Gorgeous! I can’t believe how fast you finished it. I’m getting some lace action myself. I started the Myrtle Leaf Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. But it will be a loooong time before I finish. Summer & lace = happiness. 🙂

  22. wow – this is just gorgeous!

  23. Wow! I love it!

  24. Thats beautiful knitting!

  25. Maureen · ·

    Your Swallowtail is beyond beautiful! I’m knitting my first lace shawl and am having a great deal of diffuculty with the nupps. Do you have any tips you can share? I’m going to persevere…they are not going to burst my bubble for knitting lace!
    Thank you so much!

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