Truly Tasha's Shawl

By Nancy Bush

Truly Tasha ShawlThis shawl was inspired by a visit Nancy made to Tasha Tudor's home in Vermont. Tasha, an illustrator and writer of children's books - Corgiville is one of the great ones - wraps herself in shawls similar to this one, just to cover her shoulders and keep away a chill. It is a useful and fun project to

I find a wrap like this one very useful, if not totally necessary, for traveling. I use it as a blanket, as a pillow and as it should be used, over my shoulders, to stay warm on an airplane, bus, or walking through foreign woods. Having just returned from France, this shawl 'dressed me up' in Paris and was quite suitable for market day in the small villages I visited in the South.

Materials:
•  4 skeins heavy worsted weight (100% wool, 200 yds/183 m in 100 g.)
•  #4 (US) needles. Double Points are handy to start and long circulars (to be used working back and forth), 29" or 32" or longer will be needed as the shawl grows.

Gauge: 18 sts and 40 rows= 4" in Garter Stitch. A tighter gauge will make a smaller shawl and a looser gauge will make a larger one.

Finished Measurements for given gauge - @ 60" across the top (the long side), 40" on the 2 other sides and 28" from the tip to the top.

Notes on Splicing:
To splice you must use wool, not a blend or synthetic, not super wash, not cotton or silk, but wool. Begin by splitting open the plies of both ends of yarn about 1 to 2 inches down. Overlap these ends, allowing them to mingle. Now, wet these overlapping ends by spitting on them. I simply put them in my mouth and get them good and wet! Place this wet bit of yarn between the palms of your hands and quickly roll your hands back and forth with the yarn between. This rolling, coupled with the wetness, will slightly full the fibers, making them stick and hold together. Make sure all the ends are 'glued' down. You can continue to work through this splice right away. Your join should hold firmly.

Body of Shawl:
CO 3 sts.
Row 1 — Yo, k3.
Row 2 — Yo, k4.
Row 3 — Yo, k 2 tog, yo, k3.
Row 4 — Yo, k2 tog, yo, k4.
Row 5 — Yo, k2 tog, yo, k5.

Continue in this manner, working a yo, k2 tog, yo at the beginning of every row, splicing in the new skeins, until you have used up 3 skeins of yarn. Splice in the 4th skein and finish the row.

Lace Edging:
The lace edging is also the 'bind off' used to stabilize the live stitches at the top of the shawl.

To begin edging, CO 5 stitches with a backward loop or Wimpy cast on. Turn work. k4, k2 tog. This is a set up row. The k 2 tog is made up of the 5th cast on st and the first live st from the top of the shawl. Turn work.

Row 1 — Yo, p2 tog, k1, yo, k2.
Row 2 — K2, k-p-k into next stitch, k1, yo, p3 tog (this p3 tog is always made up of 2 edging sts and 1 st from shawl)
Row 3 — Yo, p2 tog, k6.
Row 4 — K6, yo, p3 tog.
Row 5 — Yo, p2 tog, k6.
Row 6 — BO 3, k2, yo, p3 tog.

Repeat these 6 rows as you work across the top of the shawl. When 2 live body sts remain to be attached to the edging, work into each one twice - in other words, as you come in towards the shawl, pick up the stitch from the shawl edge that was part of the last P 3 tog and use it in the next P 3 tog.

When you have used up all the live stitches, pick up into the yo sts at the shawl edge and continue attaching the edging to the shawl using the yo sts as you did the live sts earlier. Work the first of these twice as you did the last 2 live stitches. Continue with edging until 1 yo remains. Work into this st twice (as before). Pick up 1 st at the point and work it twice as you did for the last yo stitch. Continue on the next side, working the first yo st twice. Work the final 2 yo sts twice, to finish the last corner.

When edging is complete and all the stitches have been worked, Bind Off. Sew the cast on sts of the edging to these bind off sts to 'close the circle'.

Shawl can be blocked under a damp towel or gently steamed with an iron and a damp cloth.

Wrap yourself warmly and enjoy!

* Note, this shawl pattern also appeared in the Web Magazine, KnitNet, in their 2nd issue. Many thanks to Sally Melville for her input and suggestions.

©Nancy Bush 1998