Although the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) has been cancelled, I hope that many of you will find your way to the virtual festival this weekend to support your favorite small businesses!
For my part, I’m happy to be releasing a new pattern coinciding with this wooly weekend, especially since it features a special farm yarn purchased at Rhinebeck last year. This is my Flint Hill shawl.
This design combines lace, cables, and ribbing into one classic wrap for all seasons. The shawl features two different cable patterns, one small traditional cable and one larger cable with a more organic quality and eyelets that echo the delicate clover lace pattern of the body.
Because of this variety of textures, this pattern works best with a smoothly spun fingering-weight yarn in either a solid- or mostly-solid colorway.
And that’s where we come to this special yarn from Catskill Merino. It’s a superfine Merino yarn from a flock of Saxon Merino sheep on a small, woman-owned farm in the Hudson Valley. My skeins of fingering-weight yarn were hand dyed in their “Clover” colorway, which is a rich, verdant green with some yellow undertones. The yarn is as wonderful to work with as you might imagine: soft, smooth and elastic as you knit with it, easy to wet-block, and the finished fabric is simultaneously warm and lightweight. And the stitch definition speaks for itself!
The only thing more special than the yarn is getting to meet the women behind the farm, the flock, and the yarn. That, to me, is the real benefit of Rhinebeck and the saddest part of what we are missing this year: the opportunity to meet producers directly, to discover new products, and to support yarns and businesses that we believe in. Until October 2021 comes around, we will have to content ourselves with supporting these folks virtually and using these gems from our stashes!
Back to the knitting nitty-gritty: the shawl is an asymmetrical triangle that is worked flat from one corner upwards in one piece. Each section of the shawl is written out and charted. Because I strive to make patterns adaptable (where 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 pattern celebrates everything I love about Rhinebeck and what it represents: being part of a community that loves working by hand to create beautiful things that last.
You can find the pattern here at DCD or here at Ravelry. (Oh, and yes! This pattern will also be 25% off thru Sunday night, the 18th, as part of my annual Rhinebeck sale! Don’t forget the code: “rhinebeck“)