Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Keriah’s Pyrennees Shawl knitting pattern w/ @knitpicks Palette

Why I knit this shawl:
I wanted to knit the sunset-colored shawl Keriah was wearing in chapter 5 of my book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker, so I looked for an antique pattern that might have been used during the Regency era. This one caught my eye, even though it was published in a knitting book a few decades later than the Regency era. The Spider-Net border pattern was most definitely in use in the Regency period, but it’s also remotely possible that the Alice-Maud stitch and the lacy border stitch patterns were also in use during the Regency, being passed on from knitter to knitter via hand-written receipts, by verbal instruction, or with knitted sampler squares (like how many Shetland lace patterns and Bavarian cable patterns were shared). My/Keriah’s version of this shawl would have been lacy but warm because it is knit with fingering yarn on small needles. Since Keriah was cold, I think she would have grabbed this shawl rather than something more elegant and airy.

History:
This shawl was published as #63 Pyrennees Square Shawl (Alice-Maud stitch with Spider-Net border) in The Lady’s Assistant in Knitting, Netting and Crochet Work, vol. 3, by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1857, pages 171 - 211. A scanned copy of the original antique book is available as a free PDF download from Archive.org.

Original publication year: The title page of the book called this the “third thousand,” so I think it is the 3rd printing and the first printing was sometime before 1857. This same Pyrennees Square Shawl is mentioned in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, Pyrennees Knit Shawl and Scarf Book, published in 1847. Also, when Volume 1 of this series was reprinted in 1845, on the front cover there is mention of Volume 3 being released, so it’s possible Volume 3 was released in 1845 or before. Therefore the date of this pattern is probably around 1845, and possibly a year or two before that.

Spelling of the name: This shawl is spelled Pyrenees (one N) in the book’s table of contents, but spelled Pyrennees (two Ns) twice on page 171. This Pyrennees Square Shawl is also mentioned in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, Pyrennees Knit Shawl and Scarf Book, published in 1847 (pages 39-40), and it is spelled with two Ns, so I went with the Pyrennees spelling, even though technically that is misspelled.

Other variations of the Alice-Maud stitch: In the same book (The Lady’s Assistant, 1857), the Alice-Maud stitch in the round is printed on page 102 as #41 The Alice-Maud stitch, but it instead has patterning on every round rather than a plain round worked every other round.

In the Pyrennees Knit Shawl and Scarf book, 1847, where the Pyrennees Square Shawl is mentioned, the picture (on page 39) is for the #41 Alice-Maud stitch in the round, not as it’s written in the #63 Pyrennees Square Shawl in The Lady’s Assistant.

This Alice-Maud stitch is also the same as the border of the scarf on page 100 of one of my favorite modern knitting books, Victorian Lace Today (edging 21 from The Knitted Lace Pattern Book, Thompson Bros., Kimarnock, Scotland, 1850). However, for that pattern, the Alice-Maud stitch is patterned every row rather than having a plain row worked on the wrong side, and it is an edging pattern rather than an insert pattern.

I don’t have the book so I’m not certain, but I believe that it is this Alice-Maud stitch, knit flat but with patterning on every row, that is featured in “Carol's Alice Maud Stole” by Carol Rasmussen Noble in the book Knits from the North Sea: Lace in the Shetland tradition, but with a different border than Mrs. Gaugain’s Pyrennees Square Shawl.

The 1840 Pyrenees Scarf: This Pyrennees Square Shawl is also a different pattern than the Pyrenees Scarf (spelled with one N) printed in Mrs. Gaugain’s book, The Lady's Assistant for Executing Useful and Fancy designs in Knitting, Netting, and Crochet Work. Vol. 1 (1840). You can download a scan of the book from Archive.org.

My alterations:
My gauge swatch indicated that if I knit this as written, it would likely be seven feet wide, which is more like a bedspread than a modern shawl. So I decided to alter the number of pattern and row repeats to make this more like a typical modern shawl. I also charted the instructions and adjusted the stitches a little to make it easier to read the chart (see notes section below). I also corrected a couple errors in the printed pattern.

However, at the bottom I have included the original instructions (with errors corrected) for making the entire gigantic square shawl if you’d like to give it a go. I really don’t know how much yarn you’d need, though, so just plan accordingly.

Other versions:
I didn’t want the shawl to be too big, so I used small needles with fingering weight yarn (see below), but I think this would be absolutely gorgeous with lace weight yarn and larger needles, say US 4. While the pattern is pretty and the shawl is very warm when knit here, it would be even more pretty if the pattern were more airy and lacy. Just be prepared for a MUCH larger shawl.

Yarn:
The original pattern used 8 ounces, or 226 grams of wool. If it were lace weight yarn, that would be about 2000 yards, but I have a hard time believing the original square shawl would have been only 2000 yards. If it were a cobweb lace yarn, it would have been closer to 3000 yards.

However I am using fingering weight since I have a bunch of extra Knit Picks Palette fingering weight yarn and I don’t want to buy new yarn for this project. Also the fingering weight will make the shawl warmer than lace weight.

Knit Picks Palette yarn, Fingering Weight (100% Peruvian Highland Wool, 231 yards/50 grams)

My center portion is in Peony, my inner border is Blush. For the outer border, I started with Celadon Heather, then switched to Peony, then Sagebrush, then Peony, then Celadon Heather again, and then Blossom Heather.

Peony: 4 skeins (924 yards) (I used almost exactly 4 skeins so if I were to knit this again, I’d have 5 skeins instead of 4)
Blush: 3 skeins (693 yards) (Could use Blush instead of Blossom Heather (see below), in which case you need 4 skeins (924 yards))
Celadon Heather: 2 skeins (462 yards)
Sagebrush: 1 skein (231 yards)
Blossom Heather: 1 skein (231 yards) (I wanted to use Blush instead of Blossom Heather, but at the time I wasn’t certain how much yarn it would take and I wasn’t sure if I had enough Blush left)

Needle:
The original pattern used “size 12 pins” which is US 2 (2.75 mm) needles. I used the same size needle, even though the original used US 2 needles with lace weight yarn, and I am instead using fingering weight yarn. My shawl will end up being more dense than the original, which would have been airy. It would have made sense that the shawl was so large because the fabric would have been much lighter.

Bottom inner border was cast on with US 3 (3.25 mm). Outer border was bound off using a 3.75 mm crochet hook (same size as US 5 needle).

Gauge:
unblocked, one center 36-st, 40-row repeat = 6.25” wide, 4” long

Size:
I blocked the shawl aggressively to 42” wide and 79” long

Construction Notes:
The shawl has two borders, an inner border that is knit at the same time as the central body of the shawl, and an outer border that is knit around the outside edges.

As was one suggestion in the pattern, I am using a different color (Blush) for the inner border.

For the outer border, the book suggests twelve shades of a single color, going from light to dark, but I didn’t have that. Instead I chose complimenting colors and arranged them according to how much of each yarn I had, and made stripes of varying widths around the outside.

The original pattern says to do each side of the outer border separately and loosely sew the corners together, but I didn’t want to do that since I’m using up almost all of each color in the stripes. Instead, I did the outer border in the round, and all the stitches fit on a 47” circular needle, although they were a little close together for the last couple rounds.

The original pattern says to knit every other row “plain,” which usually means to knit on the wrong side, making this a garter stitch shawl. It would make the original shawl very warm and reversible. However, when I did a test knit, the rows/inch gauge of the stitch pattern in stockinette stitch seemed to match better with the number of stitches that would be picked up from the side for the outer border. (However, with lace weight yarn the rows/inch gauge might have been different.) Also, I liked the look of the patterns when the WS rows were purled instead of knit, so I am doing that instead.

I took the written instructions and charted them into 6 charts.

Change from the original pattern (this doesn’t affect how you knit the shawl, but just FYI): When I was charting the borders, the number of stitches changed on row 67 so I changed the stitches when starting the left border to be 3 sts instead of 4, and included the extra stitch in the center section.

To mirror the left border, I also changed the stitches when ending the right border to be 3 sts instead of 4, and included the extra stitch in the center.

Center is 144 stitches.

I will post all the charts at the bottom of the post.

Chart A (inner border, bottom):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 16 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

Chart B (inner border, right):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 3 times, then work the last 3 stitches before moving to the center pattern of the shawl.

Chart C (inner border, left):
After working on the center section of the shawl, work the first 3 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 3 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

Chart D (center section):
Start Chart D on row 1 when doing row 9 of Charts B and C.
For rows 1, 13 and 27, work the first k1, k2tog, then repeat the 36-st section two times, ending with ssk (74 stitches total in the center section).
For all other odd rows, k1, work the 36-stitch section two times, then knit the last stitch.
For all even rows (WS), purl (in the original pattern, these rows were knit instead).
I think there is an error on the 75th row in the pattern (9th row in chart). For the center section, the last k2tog (T in the pattern) should be ssk (Ts). So instead of “…T, O, T, O, T, O, T, O, P, O, T, P ; repeat from mark 5 more times”, it should be “…T, O, T, O, T, O, T, O, P, O, Ts, P ; repeat from mark 5 more times”

Chart E (inner border, top):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 16 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

About the original outer border: The original outer border was 137 rows, which would have been about 13.5-14” all around. I wanted to keep my shawl width to about 3 feet, so I did not do as many repeats of the outer border rows, and only did a total of 65 rows instead of 137.

However, since I had already charted all 137 rows, I have included the original charts below.

If you are doing the full outer border, follow the original chart F for rows 1-24.
For rows 25-108, and then 109-130, I split the outer border into right, center, and left sides so that the chart wouldn’t become too large and unwieldy. Start with Chart G (right side, rows 25-108), then do Chart H (center, rows 25-108), then do Chart I (left side, rows 25-108).
After finishing row 108, move to Chart J (right side, rows 109-130), then do Chart K (center, rows 109-130), then do Chart L (left side, rows 109-130).
Then follow my written instructions below for rounds 59-65 in place of rounds 131-137, and then bind off.

NOTE: Do not use charts H*, J*, K* or L*, since those charts are for the 65-row version of the outer border.

Row 107 in the book has an error, it is missing P5 before the two vertical line mark.
Row 113 in the book has an error, the first P8 (which is knit 8 sts) should instead be O, P8 (YO, knit 8 stitches).

For some reason, the original had a few strange rows in order to get k2, YO, k3 before starting the pattern, and ending with k4, YO, k2. I’m not sure why the two sides of the outer border are different, but to make it easier to chart, I changed it to be k2, YO, k4 before starting pattern.

Outer border, rows 1-58:
Work the first 4 stitches of my chart F, repeat the next 34-stitch section a total of 9 times for long sides and 4 times for short sides, then work the last 3 sts. Every odd-numbered row increases by 2 sts, so for each side of the square, the beginning stitches and ending stitches gradually increase but the middle section remains the same number of stitches.

For rows 25-36, follow chart H*.

For rows 37-58, I split the outer border into right, center, and left sides so that the chart wouldn’t become too large and unwieldy. After finishing row 36, move to Chart J* (right side, rows 37-58), then do Chart K* (center, rows 37-58), then do Chart L* (left side, rows 37-58).

NOTE: Do not use charts G, H, I, J, K or L, (without the stars) since those charts are for the original 137-row version of the outer border.

Rows 59-65 are written below rather than charted.

Pattern:

Cast on 144 stitches provisional cast on using Blush color yarn (or whatever yarn you chose for your inner border) and US 3 (3.25 mm) needle, then switch to US 2 (2.75 mm) needle.

Bottom border (46 rows):
Work row 1 of Chart A (inner border, bottom).
After row 22, repeat rows 11-22 two more times (a total of 3 times, ending on row 46).

Establish right and left borders and center section (8 rows):
Work row 1 of Chart B (inner border, right), attach Peony color yarn (or whatever you chose for your central color), knit the 74 center stitches garter stitch, attach another ball of Blush color yarn (or inner border color), then work row 1 of Chart C (inner border, left).
Work rows 2-8 of Charts B and C, and knit the 74 center stitches in garter stitch.

NOTE: Even though I’m doing most of the wrong side rows in purl stitch to make a stockinette stitch shawl, I did the plain set-up rows and the plain ending rows for the center section (Peony) in garter stitch to give a more distinct border to start and end the center section

Center section (360 rows):
Work row 9 of Chart B for right border, work row 1 of Chart D for center pattern, then work row 9 of Chart C for left border.
Work chart D nine times for a total of 360 rows of chart D. End after completing row 8 of charts B and C.

Right and left borders and center section (8 rows):
Work row 9 of Chart B (inner border, right), knit the 74 center stitches in garter stitch, then work row 9 of Chart C (inner border, left).
Work rows 10-12, then 1-3 of Charts B and C, and knit garter stitch the 74 center stitches. There will be 3 purl ridges on the RS, and 4 purl ridges on the WS.
(WS row): purl across using only Blush (or inner border color yarn). Break off Peony color yarn (or central color yarn) and don’t use it.

Top border (46 rows):
Work row 1 of Chart E (inner border, top) all in Blush color yarn (or inner border color).
Repeat rows 1-12 a total of 3 times, then work rows 1-2.

Work rows 7-8 of Chart A.
Work row 5 of chart A.
Knit 5 rows stockinette stitch (The original pattern has only 4 knit rows, but then the shawl would end after a RS row instead of a WS row, so I added an extra row.)
(total 468 rows)

Switch color for outer border of shawl:
Break Blush color yarn (or inner border color) and attach Celadon Heather color yarn (or your first outer border color).

The original pattern has each of the four outer border sides knit flat, in garter stitch, and then the corners sewn together, but I did this in the round and in stockinette stitch instead. If you don’t have long enough circular needles, then knit this flat instead. If knitting flat, you can choose to knit (garter stitch) or purl (stockinette stitch) the WS rows of the outer border. You will need to sew the corners together very loosely after knitting the four outer border sides.

In the round: With the right side of the shawl facing you, on the top border where you just finished: (knit 46, k2tog) three times to the end of the row (141 sts), place marker, pick up 311 stitches along the left side, place marker, along bottom border (knit 46, k2tog) three times to the end of the row (141 sts), place marker, pick up 311 stitches along right side. To pick up 311 stitches on the right and left borders, pick up 2 sts for every 3 rows.
(904 sts, this is row 1 of Chart F)

Next round: knit (this is row 2 of Chart F)
Next round: (Start working row 3 of chart F (outer border), slip marker) 4 times around the shawl.

Here are the colors I used for my outer border. I interspersed the two colors for a few rounds so the transition between colors wouldn’t be quite so stark.
Rounds 1-8: Celadon Heather
9: Peony
10: Celadon Heather
11: Peony
12: Celadon Heather
13-19: Peony (7 rounds)
20: Sagebrush
21: Peony
22: Sagebrush
23: Peony
24-31: Sagebrush (8 rounds)
32: Peony
33: Sagebrush
34: Peony
35: Sagebrush
36-42: Peony (7 rounds)
43: Celadon Heather
44: Peony
45: Celadon Heather
46: Peony
47-54: Celadon Heather (8 rounds)
55: Blossom Heather
56: Celadon Heather
57: Blossom Heather
58: Celadon Heather
59-65: Blossom Heather (7 rounds)
Bind off in Blossom Heather

Round 59: K2, YO, knit to 2 sts before corner marker, YO, K2.
Round 60: knit
Rounds 61 and 62: repeat rounds 59 and 60
Round 63: K2, YO, k1, (YO, k2tog), YO, K2 (This eyelet row is to make the bind-off a little more flexible. If you’d rather knit it according to the original pattern, repeat round 59 instead.)
Round 64: knit
Round 65: knit
Bind off using US 5 needle (I used a crochet hook instead of knitting needles).

The original pattern instructs to add white fringe on the outside of the shawl, but I decided not to do that.

Original pattern for the honkin’ huge square shawl:

If you want to knit this according to the original pattern:

Construction Notes:
Chart A (inner border, bottom):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 36 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

Chart B (inner border, right):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 4 times, then work the last 3 stitches before moving to the center pattern of the shawl.

Chart C (inner border, left):
After working on the center section of the shawl, work the first 3 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 4 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

Chart D (center section):
For rows 1, 13 and 27, work the first k1, k2tog, then repeat the 36-st section a total of 6 times (218 stitches total in the center section).
For all other odd rows, k1, work the 36-stitch section a total of 6 times, then knit the last stitch.

Chart E (inner border, top):
Work the first 8 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 8-stitch section a total of 36 times, then work the last 8 stitches.

Chart F (outer border):
Work the first 4 stitches of the chart, repeat the next 34-stitch section a total of 9 times, then work the last 3 sts.

Pattern:

Cast on 304 stitches provisional cast on using US 3 (3.25 mm) needle, then switch to US 2 (2.75 mm) needle.

Bottom border:
Work row 1 of Chart A (inner border, bottom).
After row 22, repeat rows 11-22 three more times (a total of 4 times, ending on row 58).

Establish right and left borders and center section:
Work row 1 of Chart B (inner border, right), attach central color yarn (if using), knit the 218 center stitches garter stitch, attach another ball of inner border color yarn, then work row 1 of Chart C (inner border, left).
Work rows 2-8 of Charts B and C, and knit the 218 center stitches in garter stitch.

Center section:
Work row 9 of Chart B for right border, work row 1 of Chart D for center pattern, then work row 9 of Chart C for left border.
I work chart D nine times for a total of 360 rows of chart D. I ended after completing row 8 of charts B and C.

Right and left borders and center section:
Work row 9 of Chart B (inner border, right), knit the 218 center stitches in garter stitch, then work row 9 of Chart C (inner border, left).
Work rows 10-12, then 1-4 of Charts B and C, and knit garter stitch the 218 center stitches.

Top border:
Break off central color yarn.
Work row 1 of Chart E (inner border, top) all in inner border color yarn.
Repeat rows 1-12 a total of 4 times, then work rows 1-2.

Work rows 7-8 of Chart A.
Work row 5 of chart A.
Knit 5 rows stockinette stitch.
(total 492 rows)

Switch color for outer border of shawl:
Break inner border color yarn, attach outer border color yarn.

With the right side of the shawl facing you, on the top border where you just finished: (knit 43, make 1) seven times, knit 39 (should reach the end of the row), place marker, pick up 311 stitches along the left side, place marker, along bottom border (knit 43, make 1) seven times, knit 39, place marker, pick up 311 stitches along right side.

To pick up 311 stitches on the right and left borders, (pick up 2 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 2 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 2 rows, skip 1 row, pick up 1 row, skip 1 row) and repeat. For every 11 rows, you will be picking up 7 stitches.

Follow pattern for the full 137 rows of the outer border as mentioned above.

Charts:
Clicking on the charts will open them at full size so you can right-click and save the images to your computer.

Charts A through E for center section and inner border:






Chart F for start of outer border:


Charts H*, J*, K*, and L* for 65-row outer border:
(Yes, I realize I skipped charts G and I, but that’s because I combined them into chart H*.)





Charts G through L for original 137-row outer border:

***


Buy Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 1: Archer:
Kindle
Paperback


Sign up for Camy's newsletter

* indicates required

4 comments :

  1. Oh. My. Word. This is incredibly beautiful and complex. I’m having trouble knitting hats and here you are with this crazy pattern! Just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks Linda! It's actually not that difficult, but my explanation might have made it a bit complex.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing. It is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete