Introducing Byatt

January 2015 129a The first pattern in my Authors and Artists series is called Byatt. It is an asymmetrical shawl that starts with just one stitch. Most of the shawl is knitted in garter stitch and it uses two colours of hand-dyed 4ply sock yarn. You never work more than one colour at any time, as the braided effect is obtained using a slip-stitch pattern. Byatt is finished off with a lacy edge in the contrast colour and a picot cast-off.

Hand on heart, I knitted most of Byatt during pub quizzes and knit nights. I found it a very soothing, relaxing knit - yet it looks quite complex when it is done. I chose to work with Old Maiden Aunt merino 4ply as I was after depth of colour and excellent drape. Several people had asked me to design a shawl that used more than one skein of hand-dyed sock yarn, and I was happy to comply.

The combination of a deep blue-grey main colour and a coppery brown contrast is not an accident. This shawl takes its name from the British novelist A.S. Byatt whose books are not just full of beautiful, rich details but are also beautifully designed. I shall write more about Byatt (the novelist) when Byatt (the shawl pattern) is released tomorrow.

I have had a very rough week, but I am very happy to say that working with some most excellent collaborators on this project has really made a difference. It is so incredibly nice when people come together in an organic way and all get aboard my rather vague concept of "contemporary pomo Victoriana but in a minimalist way". (Sometimes I wish I was more of a cupcake hat designer, but you cannot change who you are.)

More pictures and details and general Byatt enthusiasm tomorrow. Tomorrow!