It has been some time since I released a pattern – and I’m really excited about this one! It was a Yarn Support Program collaboration with The Fibre Co., who sent me this luscious Canopy Fingering yarn in three shades. These purples inspired the final name of the shawl, which is a reference to the quahog shells that used to be used as gifts and currency by New England native Americans.
Canopy Fingering has alpaca, merino, and bamboo rayon in it, which gives it warmth, softness, drape, a slight halo, and a little bit of silky sheen. So lovely! My idea when it was first birthed was about shells, waves, and the beach, which informed my choice of stitch patterns. These colors remind me of the striations in wampum beads and shells.
I knitted the original version about three years ago, when I was seeking the perfect destiny for some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock! yarn that I’d picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool a number of years ago. The pattern flowed off the needles, but I neglected to write it down. I even did a photo shoot near my friend’s town in Vermont, at the Von Trapp Family Lodge.
And then I did ANOTHER photo shoot in Back Cove, Maine, proving it can serve as a Man Scarf as well.
I also worked up a version in another colorway, trying to get the pattern down correctly, which has proven to be a challenge.
And then the final one, in Canopy Fingering, for which I sought out my former model as well as a new one, and also went in search of beaches.
The shawl is challenging because the way that the original stitch patterns were written, they did not appear to be chart-friendly. I will experiment with charting for this pattern in the coming months – because I am generally a chart lover! And should I have success, any purchaser will receive a notification that charts are available.
I hope some of you try out this pattern this summer. It can be knit in non-wooly fibers to be a lighter garment, or in two or three colors of your favorite solid or tonal sock yarn that you’ve been saving for the perfect project. If you post photos on IG, tag them with #mercenariashawl so I’ll be sure to see them and repost!