This is a Faroese-style shawl, designed by Cheryl Oberle. She calls it Stora Dimun. It’s included in her wonderful book, Folk Shawls. I used the recommended yarn, Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills Silk Blend. This one is the red poppy colorway. Very yummy 75% wool, 25% silk sportweight. Silk and I don’t typically play well together. But this stuff has totally won me over.
In fact, this is Stora Dimun #3. So I guess the pattern has also won me over. Here’s Stora Dimun in the same yarn in chesnut, and this one is natural cream.
I know, I should try another folk shawl. And I will. Maybe someday soon. It’s just that this one comes out so nice, stays on the shoulders, and is large enough to tuck an infant under while Sawyer’s mom is holding him close. This Stora Dimun was gifted and is being much appreciated by a knitworthy young mom.
Not to toot my own horn, but I think this looks totally cozy. It’s Cheryl Oberle‘s large-sized Stora Dimun Shawl from her wonderful book Folk Shawls. Knitters have to buy the entire book to purchase this pattern, but it’s well worth the price. There are 20 shawl patterns inspired from folk shawls around the world.
Stora Dimun is one of Oberle’s Faroese Island shawls. You cast on stitches for the bottom edge of the shawl. With regular decreases, a triangular shawl emerges with a center panel. Subtle shaping helps glue the shawl in place even if its wearer is active (or even if its wearer is snoozing in a comfy leather armchair).
Mine is knit in the yarn Oberle suggests: Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills Silk Blend, in the chesnut colorway. This is a 75% wool, 25% silk sportweight. I normally eschew silk, as in “deliberately avoid using, abstain from.” Silk and I typically find each other’s company icky. But this yarn is enough to make me change my mind. Unlike typical silk, it doesn’t suck moisture from your hands and won’t send you scurrying to your body butter after every knitting session. It’s lightweight and warm–just like the large Faroese Island shawls are supposed to be.
This little gem is a free pattern from Cheryl Oberle’s website: Carol’s Clever Little Shawl. It is Carol Sanders’s adaptation of a historic shawl from the 1800’s. You will find the story of the shawl, and a link to a PDF with the pattern, at the link I’ve supplied.
I’ve knitted mine of Malabrigo worsted, in the azul profundo colorway. It is a nicely mottled dark-but-not-really-navy-blue and I am very pleased with myself for chosing this yarn to knit this pattern. The pattern calls for worsted weight on size 10.5 needles. That wasn’t going to work with Malabrigo, so mine is knit on a size 9. I am short, at 5’3″, and for me this is a full-sized shawl.
The pattern has just enough lacework to keep it interesting. There is a bit of short row shaping every 18 rows. One especially appreciated feature is the keyhole. Just tuck the ends through the keyhole and there is no need for pesky shawl pins. This shawl stays put on its own. Casting off, all it needed was a bit of steaming on the points. Here’s another I knit a few years ago, of Brown Sheep worsted.
I’ve already worn my azul profundo (deep blue) shawl on two chilly evenings this week. But today it was in the high 80’s, and muggy, so all wool shawls will soon be packed away. That’s Michigan weather for you!
Knitwear designer Cheryl Oberle tells the story of how knitter Carol Sanders deciphered the pattern to a shawl from the 1880’s. She generously includes a free PDF of the shawl (this one) on her website. Cheryl calls it “Carol’s Clever Little Shawl.” Carol has decided that Mrytle originally knitted the shawl. This one is my version, which is very true to the original. I knitted it in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, in their color M-140 Aran. Brown Sheep is often my “go to” yarn. At 85% wool, 15% mohair, it is warm as can be. It can sometimes be a tad thick and thin, but never too thick and never too thin. It is very reasonably priced and comes in wonderful saturated colors.
This was a fun knit. The three regular readers of my blog know that I’m a big fan of garter stitch. Some experienced knitters find it very boring. I find it very calming. This shawl uses a bit of short row shaping to give it a nice drape. The keyhole is a wonderful feature. No need for a shawl pin or for fussing with a knot. And the touch of lace is a touch of inspiration.
Thank you Carol and Cheryl. Oh yes, Mrytle too. (That’s Hoover in Elizabeth Paige Smith’s kittypod in the background.)