This Thing of Paper: Introducing the Rubrication Shawl

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Welcome to the seventh of ten posts introducing the patterns in This Thing of Paper. We are launching the book on November 30, so I want to take you through the patterns and their stories.

The Rubrication shawl is knitted in Travelknitter Tanami 4ply. Larissa dyes the most amazing reds and the Double Happiness colour is just heavenly. The shawl uses 2 skeins - if you substitute you need to watch your yardage as the shawl will use more yarn than you might think! The shawl itself uses one of my favourite constructions: it starts with just a few stitches and the asymmetric increases make the stitch patterns travel at an angle. There are a few funny little twists - a lace edge worked at the same time and mock cables running down the shawl - which makes this shawl a really fun and engaging knit (for what it is worth, I binge-watched Fringe whilst knitting the sample and the plot still made sense!).

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Rubrication was probably where I started designing for the book. I knew I wanted a big, red shawl named after the practise of adding red lettering to books. I spent weeks trying to track down the right red colour and Larissa nailed it. The shawl is big and sweeping and dramatic - so the yarn also needed to be sweeping and dramatic whilst letting the stitch pattern breathe. The camel/silk blend delivered on all counts. 

The stitch pattern itself is reminiscent of quills and nibs and ink dripping down the leaf of a page (yes, there are leaves too). I wanted to design something which would function as a metaphor for writing and creating. 

The photo shoot look place in the Georgian reading room at Innerpeffray Library, Perthshire. Innerpeffray Library is Scotland's oldest lending library, and we were so fortunate to shoot there. We just walked up to shelves and shelves of Early Modern books — and were encouraged to grab whatever we wanted from the shelves. It was a beautiful day in such a beautiful space. 

As for the essay that accompanies this shawl, I will not say much. It celebrates you — the knitter and the maker — and I want you to read it for yourself. 

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