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Spice Road

I can't believe I've never done one of these before: a shawl designed for a color fade.

My latest shawl pattern is Spice Road, an asymmetrical triangle-shaped shawl knit in light fingering or fingering-weight yarn. The shawl features big color blocks of one-color garter stitch and a textured two-color pattern done in slipped stitches.

Holst Garn Supersoft in the colorways #21 Goldcrest, #22 Ember, and #23 Bokhara.

To knit the shawl you need three colors. The two-color slip stitch sections blend the colors so it looks like more than three! In my shawl I used three solid colors — Holst Garn Supersoft in the colorways #21 Goldcrest, #22 Ember, and #23 Bokhara — going from curry yellow to burnt orange to deep, rich red. But you don't have to use just solid colors: the stitch pattern looks really nice with variegated or speckled yarns, too. Or you could use a colorful yarn just as the middle color.

The two-color slip stitch pattern is knit entirely without purl stitches.

There are a couple of really cool things about the slip-stitch pattern. For one, it's done entirely without purl stitches! In fact there's not a single purl stitch anywhere in the shawl. And it's knit with using just one color per row so you don't have to worry about floats. Second, no charts are needed! The stitch pattern is dead simple: slipped stitches on the right side, all knit stitches on the wrong side.

Speaking of the wrong side, the stitch pattern looks really nice on the back of the shawl too. Completely different to the crosshatched look in the right side but really nice nonetheless. All three edges of the shawl are surrounded by i-cord edgings. You can both carry yarns up the side of the work inside the i-cord and weave in all yarn tails inside it, too. Once the shawl is finished, you won't be able to tell where those tails are! Take a little time to hide all the yarn ends invisibly, and your shawl becomes reversible and can be worn either way.

Sawtooth bind-off on the Spice Road shawl.

The shawl ends with a sawtooth bind-off edge that's done in a combination of short rows and i-cord. Each tooth is worked back and forth, getting narrower and narrower to a sharp point. It takes a little more time compared to a regular bind-off, for sure, but I still found it less tedious than a picot bind-off. Or the dreaded bobble bind-off. 😅

The pattern comes in two sizes: Shawlette and Shawl. To knit the smaller size, you need approx. 160, 165, and 225 m (or 175, 180, and 245 yd) of yarn. You could do a little stashbusting and use minis, scraps, or partial balls for the shawlette size. For the larger size, which I did, you'd need full skeins of fingering-weight yarn: approx. 215, 300, and 360 m (or 235, 330, and 395 yd).

As always, the pattern is written using both metric and US terminology. But here's something new: this pattern is ambidextrous. This means it's written using neutral handedness expressions (such as working needle and holding needle), making it suitable for both right- and left-handed knitters alike. Just be mindful that if you're knitting left-handed, your shawl will be a mirror image of my sample. But it doesn't matter because it's reversible!

Spice Road is now available on Ravelry (seizure warning!), Payhip, and LoveCrafts. I'd love to see what you're making: share your shawl on Instagram with the hashtags #spiceroadshawl and #talviknits.


Pick a trio of colors and start your adventure!

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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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