My latest design, the Sea Urchin Shawl, was inspired by the dainty, pink sea urchins I once saw in the Galapagos Islands. You can find the pattern in Knit Today (Issue 82) under Sea Urchin Shawl using Skein Queen Elixir. This Knit Today issue is still available in the shops or by subscription.
The design inspiration really comes from the happy memories I have of the time I spent in the wonderful Galapagos Islands, as a young environmental volunteer many years ago. Here’s a picture of me with a giant Galapagos tortoise!
One of the islands has a beautiful, white sandy beach on which thousands of sea urchin shells wash ashore and I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this unspoilt natural environment.
When Knit Today asked me to design a triangular shawl at the end of last year, specifying that it should be ‘extra-long’ in the width so it can be completely wrapped around the body, I started to think about my new design.
And later, when I saw Skein Queen’s Elixir yarn and its beautifully subdued colours, I remembered the delicate pink of the Galapagos sea-urchins and ping! I had my inspiration! Needless to say, I knitted my Sea Urchin Shawl design in the Elixir shade called Shell
Skein Queen Elixir Yarn
Skein Queen is an independent, U.K. hand-dyed yarn brand owned by the very talented, Debbie Orr. Elixir is a DK weight yarn, made from a mixture of 40% Superfine Alpaca, 40% Merino and 20% Silk, which is lovingly and expertly dyed by Debbie. One skein weighs 100 g and measures 230 m.
As you can imagine from the fibre content, Elixir yarn is light and soft and has a beautiful, natural shimmer. Every stitch I knitted looked like a little jewel passing through my fingers and the finished shawl drapes beautifully!
So I can highly recommend Skein Queen yarn dyed to perfection by Debbie. I’m telling all of my knitting friends to pop into her online shop to see lots more of her gorgeous, hand dyed yarns at www.skeinqueen.co.uk
Sea Urchin Shawl
Triangular shawls are often knitted from the centre outwards and you would usually increase an equal number of stitches on either side and at the centre.
However, in this design I added more stitches on either side of the triangle than the centre, to make the shawl longer in the ‘width to height’ proportion than is usual in other patterns.
The eyelet pattern of the stitches was inspired by the pretty rows of holes on dried sea urchins and the eyelets are sandwiched between rows of knit and purls, so it isn’t complicated. The edgings are neatly finished in crocheted chain stitch.
I hope you enjoy knitting and wearing my Sea Urchin Shawl design, and hope it will make you remember happy times you’ve spent by the seaside, too!