I’m a ﬁber-centric spinner. My greatest joy in creating textiles, whether knitted, woven, or embroidered, is in learning about fibers and what they do best. I’m always on the lookout for projects that allow me to combine fibers and different yarn structures in an intentional way.
Megi Burcl’s Beacon Shawl is made in separate sections rather than using an intarsia technique. This makes it easy to change to a different needle size, as I did, to accommodate a different yarn structure, fiber character, and grist. The bouncy combed-but-still-crimpy Merino could then be a finer, more ephemeral yarn for drape, and the gradient border could be a denser, less-elastic yak/silk blend to add weight and luster to the finished edge. I can’t wait to remake this shawl again with another fiber combo!
The original pattern instructions are included in the Fall 2019 issue of Spin Off along with a modified version that accomodates the differences in MC and CC yarns.
Fiber Handspun version: Abundant Earth Fiber Hand-Dyed U.S. Merino, 31/2 oz (100 g) in Moss (MC). Greenwood Fiberworks 50% yak/50% silk combed top, 1 oz each of five colors in Arizona (purple [CC1], blue [CC2], green [CC3], olive [CC4], and brown [CC5]).
Yarn Handspun version: MC: 2-ply; 550 yd; 3,150 ypp; 21 wpi; laceweight. CC1–CC5: 3-ply; 25 yd each color; 2,000 ypp; 20 wpi; fingering weight.
Needles Original version: U.S. size 5 (3.75 mm): two 24" circular (cir). Handspun version: U.S. size 21/2 (3 mm): 24" cir. U.S. size 2 (2.75 mm): 24" cir. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Tapestry needle.
Gauge 24 (23) sts and 48 (42) rows = 4" in garter st with MC on larger needle.
Finished Size 46 (52-1/2)" wide and 15 (19)" tall.
This shawl is worked sideways in garter stitch. The large solid triangle is worked first. An ombré border is knitted onto the straight edge, and another is worked on the live stitches at the end of the triangle. Solid edgings are added last.
This pattern is written with the original version as the first “size” and the handspun version as the second “size” (in parentheses). The original version uses only one needle size, so ignore references to larger and smaller needles if making the original version.
Optional slipped-stitch edge: Sample shown includes a slipped-stitch edge on the longest side of the triangle. Sections 1 and 3: Slip the first stitch of every wrong-side row as if to purl with yarn in front and continue in pattern as stated. Sections 4 and 5: Slip the first stitch of every right-side row as if to purl with yarn in front and continue in pattern as stated.
Kate Larson is the editor of Spin Off, author of The Practical Spinner’s Guide: Wool, and shepherd to a bouncing flock of Border Leicester sheep in Indiana.