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It Started with a Sketch: Enter the Dragon



The inspiration for my latest shawl design, Enter the Dragon, came from and unlikely (and pretty weird, I must admit) place: a fruit. More specifically, the pitaya or dragon fruit. I was fascinated by the interesting texture of the fruit itself, with a stark white flesh dotted throughout with black seed. The dragon fruit gets its name from the covered in leathery, spiked, vibrantly pink rind that looks like scales. Combining neutrals with a pop of color for contrast is my favorite way of picking colors for a project so I couldn't help but mimic this color palette in my design.



Enter the Dragon is a three-color, shallow triangle-shaped shawl made with garter stitch and easy mosaic slip stitches. The garter-stitch body with dashes of a contrast color running through it is very addicting, potato-chip knitting: just one more row, just one more repeat.



This design went through a bit of a transformation from idea to sketch to finished shawl. Not so much in design style — that stayed pretty true to my initial vision — but more in shape. It started out as a triangular shawl knit on the bias but my vision changed when I actually started knitting. I've fallen more and more in love with the shallow triangle with invisible increases down the spine. In this design the dashed mosaic pattern highlights the shape beautifully and draws the eye along the path to the widest point of the shawl.



The slip-stitch pattern is quite easy to do so this could be your first foray into mosaic knitting before venturing out to more complicated things. The only trick really is to remember to keep your floats loose and always slip the resting yarn to the wrong side of the work so that it doesn't show. There's quite a clever trick for this in the pattern (photo tutorial included!) but I'll post it on my blog next week, too.



The intriguing border is a ribbed lace pattern filled with tiny leaves, resembling the spiked scales of the fruit. It's quite a short and intuitive lace repeat that weaves in and out because of double increases and double decreases. I usually prefer lace patterns with all-purl rest rows but in this one the wrong-side rows is a bit more involved. Nothing too complicated, though: just knit the knits and purl the purls.



Charting this lace relies heavily on the dreaded 'no stitch' symbol, though, But it's not to be frightened of! The lace pattern is presented as written instructions, too, as always. The all-over lace pattern would really lovely on a sweater, don't you think? Now there's an idea... 🤔


Enter the Dragon comes in two sizes, Small and Large. I knit my sample in the Large size in a light fingering weight merino/alpaca yarn, Isager Alpaca 2, with two skeins of white, one black, and two fuchsia. The larger size measures approx. 60 by 220 cm (23½" × 86½").



For the Small size, measuring approx. 40 by 160 cm (15¾" × 63"), you'd need just one skein in each color, and even a small leftover skein would do for the mosaic color. You can also use just regular fingering-weight yarn — your shawl will just come out a little larger. (Is that ever a bad thing?) And if you'd like less color, you can also use just two instead of three: one for the garter stitch body, the other for mosaic dashes and the lace border.


Enter the Dragon is now available on Ravelry, Payhip, and LoveCrafts. WARNING: Ravelry.com is known to cause eye strain, migraine, and seizures. Proceed with caution.


I'd love to see what colors you pick so do share your shawl on social media with the hashtags #enterthedragonshawl and #talviknits. Release your inner dragon!

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#knitting #talviknits #garterstitch #mosaic #mosaicknitting #slippedstitches #lace #triangle #shallowtriangle #stripes #threecolor #alpaca #merino #Isager

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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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