Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Faroese Shawlette

Two years ago or so I bought a book by Myrna Stahman, Stahman's Shawls and Scarves.  Here's my result:

Faroese shawls have a clever shaping that keeps the shawl from falling off:  they have a center gusset with triangular side pieces. They are traditionally worked from the bottom up and may have long ends so as can be tied around the back.  A good book to check out on traditional construction of these shawls might be   Bundannaurriklaedid which is available from  Schoolhouse Press.   I don't have this book so can't specifically recommend it. Another example is found in one of my favorite books,  Nordic Knitting by Susanne Pagoldh, which includes directions for a garter lace Faroese shawl.

Of course, traditionally they are knit from the wool of Faroes sheep

which is one of the Northern European Short Tail Sheep. A landrace breed, genetically they are related to Old Norwegian and Icelandic breeds.  Natural colors are brown, black, gray, and creamy white.

Here is a map of the Faroe Islands. 

The Faroes are part of Denmark. 

In her book,  Myrna smartly conceived of a way to work this shawl form the top down, allowing one to stop wherever she wants to, with regards to length.  Her shawls also have some additional shoulder shaping.  I'm a lousy blocker and the photo above doesn't really show the proper shoulder shaping.

I worked hard on my shawl, the Barbara pattern, until a summer trip stopped my work on it, and on returning from Scotland my knitting motivations were elsewhere.  I found this particular lace to be a very hard one to memorize.

I decided recently that I should finish this project.  It wasn't too long, but I have also recently decided  that this shape of shawl might be a bit Grannyish looking and isn't really fitting in to my lifestyle.  Not that I don't love Grannies...but anyway, I decided to stop this as a shawlette.

Some words on this yarn;  this is Classic Elite Tapestry 2 ply.  I just love the stuff.  It's bouncy, springy, and crunchy, and great for lace:  a wool-mohair blend.  I bought several colors when I lived near Lowell MA, location of the Classic Elite outlet.  It is no longer being made.  What this yarn has taught me is that I really do love some mohair in yarn for lace as it adds crunch and dimension to lace patterns.  I will be looking forward to more lace knitting with what's left of the Tapestry 2 ply, and with other mohair yarns, including my handspun.


  1. As always-beautiful. Lace knitting and mohair, I have worked that combo a couple of times. However, it is so hard to tink and frog. I wear my shawls at the front, so I can look down and admire my work :))

  2. I would luv to see some of the content of your Nordic Knitting book :-) I particularly enjoy that style of knitting very much!
    I luv kid mohair and someday I hope to knit a lace shawl in Kidsilk Haze yarn (do have any to trade?) I luv the etheral look to mohair lace.