Prism Shawl

(By Tanis Fiber Arts.)

My Sweet Blueberry Shawl (almost done even after undoing more stitches than my heart could handle!) uses the border pattern (and other design elements) from Tanis Fiber Arts Prism Shawl. This is a beautiful design and easy enough for the beginner shawl knitter except, as I discovered when I reached this point in my own knitting, the instructions can cause some confusion.

I'm hoping to help clear up the confusion because, after charting the pattern and doing the maths and reading dozens of comments, I realised that I was over-thinking it all and that there really is a simple way to work the pattern. And it is achievable for any knitter who has managed to get to the border stage without losing their mind.

Basically, once the border is reached, there MUST be a multiple of 15 stitches on both halves between the edge stitches and the centre stitch AND the usual yarn overs that are worked before and after these stitches are still worked but as a part of the pattern - not in addition to the pattern.

Clear as mud?

I'll try and explain ... for Row One of the pattern, work the three edge stitches, then begin the pattern as charted and repeat until the centre stitch. Work a yarn over before the centre stitch (essentially you will start building a new pattern repeat either side of the centre stitch - it will become clearer in the next row). Knit the centre stitch and then begin the pattern repeats again, ending with a yarn over before the last three edge stitches.

All wrong side rows are worked as previously: that is, work three edge stitches as set, purl to last three stitches, work edge stitches.

Row Three, work the three edge stitches, work pattern repeat to centre stitch. This time you will work yarn over, knit one, yarn over before the centre stitch. Knit the centre stitch and begin the pattern again and work to the edge stitches, ending with yarn over, knit one, yarn over as in first half.

Continue in this fashion, working edge stitches, working pattern repeat to the centre, always working a yarn over before the centre stitch. By now you'll realise that you're simply repeating the pattern until you run out of stitches before the centre - i.e. pattern repeated x times, and then partly worked again until no more stiches before centre, but always finishing with yarn over before knitting the centre stitch. The second half is worked the same as the first half, always beginning with the yarn over in the pattern immediately after the centre stitch and ending with yarn over immediately before edge stitches. Don't try and get complicated and chart out both halves. You'll only discover - as I did - that working it the way I have described turns out to be exactly the same as if you'd charted both sides to be worked mirror-image fashion.

Still confused? Check out this PDF file where the pattern is written out fully for the border. (I've checked and double checked and tripled checked so that hopefully there are no mistakes. Typing up knitting abbreviations can result in some unusual auto-corrects!).

Work in progress (and yes, the green yarn is a 'lifeline' and I'm very thankful I put it in) ...

Finished but not blocked (and ends not sewn in yet) ...

Blocking (I can't find my T-pins so quilting pins will have to do) ...

Dry and now just waiting for those loose threads to be sewn in. (I could have blocked more aggressively but this is large enough and I'm happy with the way the lace and eyelets opened up with blocking. I haven't wrapped it around my shoulders yet but I estimate it would be lower than waist on me which was what I wanted) ... 

I'm super happy with the two colours I used in Malabrigo Sock Yarn: Cote D Azure (gorgeous deep blue) and Abril (purple). DH commented that they were old fashioned colours that worked together well. I think that was praise indeed!