It’s hard to believe that it’s already mid-October, but the dropping temperatures and golden weather signal that Autumn has arrived. So what better way to kick off the knitting season than with my annual New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka “Rhinebeck”) pattern sale? How about a new design too? This is the Five Arch Shawl.
I spent a lot of time swatching with this yarn, trying to figure out what it wanted to become. I made a lot of those swatches this summer while visiting my hometown with my kids. During our trip, one of the spots I showed to them was the Five Arch bridge, an historic, abandoned railroad bridge just outside of the village.
After our trip was over, my swatching continued, and I realized that the cable pattern I was using reminded me of those arches and the water flowing continuously underneath. The Five Arch shawl was on its way.
This design combines those arch-shaped cables with the endlessly pleasing texture of garter stitch, finished off with a bit of ribbing. Because of this variety of textures, I’d recommend working with a smoothly spun fingering-weight yarn in either a solid or mostly-solid colorway.
In my case, I opted for Mohonk Light from Jill Draper Makes Stuff. What makes this yarn, and all of Jill’s yarns, special is that it is entirely manufactured in the United States. From the sheep to the mills that process and spin the wool, Jill is able to trace each step of her yarn production until it arrives on her doorstep to be hand dyed by her in Kingston, NY. Mohonk Light is a 2-ply fingering weight yarn comprised entirely of California-grown lamb’s wool. It creates a fabric with incredible stitch definition that is as lightweight as it is warm. This is her “roasted squash” colorway (how good is that name?) and I purchased it online last year when I couldn’t make it to Rhinebeck. It seems only fitting that it makes its debut in honor of the same occasion.
The Five Arch shawl is a triangle that is worked flat from one corner upwards in one piece. Every section of the shawl is written out and charted. And because I strive to make patterns as adaptable as possible, you can make a larger wrap than what’s shown here by simply working more body repeats until the shawl is your desired length and then working the ribbed border accordingly.
For me, this design has a genuine heartbeat. Inspired (subconsciously or otherwise) by a bridge in Western New York that I grew up with, and brought to life with yarn dyed downstate by an artist on the banks of the Hudson River, I can feel how strongly the aesthetic of this design was fueled by a strong sense of place.
And now for the fun sale news. From now until midnight EDT on Monday 10/17/2022, ALL of my self-published patterns, including the Five Arch Shawl, are 25% off with NO code needed!
And if you’re curious, here’s just a sampling of the 50+ other designs that are included in addition to the Five Arch Shawl:
Happy knitting season and Happy Rhinebeck! Wherever you are, have a cider donut (or three) for me 😉