Foggy Sunset

Foggy Sunset
Photo by Aisling Doonan

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Ríoga Shawl

I had a tricky time this year, trying to come up with an eye catching and unusual design for my entry to the RDS National Crafts Competition. I have entered five times over the past 6 years and I have won some prize's that I'm extremely proud of. 

The difficulty was that this year, I have to try and outdo last years project! 2016's entry was my Lusna Scarf and it was extremely fine yarn (ethereal yarn, so fine it almost wasn't there) and I was using a 1.5mm needle, which was the finest I have ever used. How could  I do better than that? I don't even think there is a commercial yarn finer on the market. So I chose not to go with a thinner yarn. Instead, this year, I'm making a gossamer triangular Shetland lace shawl with a beaded focal point in the centre and beads on the edging. 

The yarn is a fabulous coral shade, from Colourmart, a 2/65nm cashmere/silk blend, that is strong and lustrous and beautiful. The beads are Debbie Abraham's amethyst (colour 41), size 8. I think they contrast and compliment each other perfectly.

I cast on with a larger needle initially, but there wasn't enough definition. I thought the airiness looked as if it were one puff of air away from falling asunder! I was terrified that this would just encourage snags and I couldn't bear the thoughts of ruining it in the process of making it, so I swapped down to 1.75mm and everything just came together in the most natural way. I do believe it's perfect.

As I am using such a simple allover for the centre triangle, I added a stitch marker to one side so that I would know which was the right side facing at all times. Otherwise I would be lost. I thought, such a tiny allover would be a pain to knit, especially as this particular pattern can really mess up visually if you get a stitch wrong, but thankfully it has been straightforward so far. 

To break it up and add a little excitement, I am adding a little pop of beads and patterning to the middle of the centre! Sounds a bit Inception-like! Intrigue abounds! Can you guess what it might be?

I am just ready to begin the focal point now and I have my tiny crochet hook ready to bead into the sunset. I cannot wait to see how this part turns out, as my entire design hangs on it.

It has been a soothing knit so far, let's hope I get to the end without any major mishaps.

The pattern is so even and geometric, I could stare at it's perfection all day. I'm sure the original Shetland knitters never had the luxury of basking in the beauty of their creations, but I am constantly in awe of what two sticks and a piece of string can magically turn into.

Back to the crochet hook...

Happy knitting



  1. Beautiful! I can't wait to see the beaded part.

  2. I stumbled here and I'm so glad. Looking forward to seeing this beauty come along. Terry