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It Started with a Sketch: Grand Fir


Earlier this year I was at a knitting meet-up where, as a way of introduction, everyone was asked about our biggest knitting loves and knitting dislikes. I answered I could easily spend the rest of my days knitting two-color shawls, especially if they're green. And without even realizing it I was working on just the thing: Grand Fir.



This shawl was true comfort zone knitting for me in more ways than one, not just in color. For me, garter stitch and stripes are very soothing to knit. Pair that with a nice lace border and you've got the makings for an ideal knit. The stripes and garter stitch body is the perfect TV knitting project: mindless with a bit of "one more row" addiction.



The lace border knit in the contrasting color is a looker without being overly complicated; it's easy to get into a nice groove with it. Both written and charted instructions are of course given for the lace pattern.



The shape is something I don't usually go for, though. Grand Fir is a shallow triangle knit from the top down. Most triangle shawls are made with every-other-row increases on both sides of the center spine, usually with yarnovers. I find these types of shawl too deep — and I don't care much for the center spine look. By spacing the center increases out four rows apart the shawl grows more in width rather than in depth. I find this shape easier to wear: you can wrap it around yourself twice or even three times!



And there is no center spine in Grand Fir (despite what my sketch says). Instead, there are hidden increases that run on both sides of the central line. The contrasting colored stripes stand out more without a spine and give the shawl that strong, angular look.



The bind-off is something I'd never tried before, neither in my knitting nor in my designs. And it was a last-minute whim! To match the garter stitch body of the shawl, the bind-off is done with garter stitch bobbles. This type of bind-off takes a lot of yarn, time, and patience, though. That's why I've also included picot bind-off as an alternative in the pattern. It says a lot about bobble bind-off if the picot one is faster and easier!


Grand Fir comes in two sizes: Medium and Large. At first I named the smaller size Small but that would've been quite misleading: it's definitely not a small one! The Medium one uses approx. 350 m (or 380 yd) of the main color and 300 m (330 yd) of contrasting color. The Large, on the other hand, requires approx. 650 m (710 yd) or main color and 560 m (620 yd) of contrasting color. I used a wonderfully soft yet rustic, 100% organic light-fingering wool: BC Garn Bio Shetland.


Grand Fir was the December 3 surprise pattern in my 2019 advent calendar. Join my mailing list so you don't miss the rest!


Grand Fir is now available on Ravelry and LoveCrafts. If you decide to make one, share your project with the hashtags #grandfirshawl and #talviknits.

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#knitting #talviknits #newpattern #shawl #GrandFir #gray #green #BCGarn #BioShetland #garterstitch #lace #bobbles #bobblebindoff #picotbindoff #triangle #shallowtriangle #stripes #adventcalendar #advent

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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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