Rail Yard Stitch Pattern

I realized that I should have mentioned yesterday the name of the stitch pattern I’m using from BGW’s book, so I tried to look it up and discovered that I have unvented* a stitch pattern. I’m sure this one exists, but I can’t find it in the book, so for now, it’s new.

The pattern in BGW’s Treasury is Sand Stitch, which is based on K1, P1 Seed Stitch, but with the WS rows done in K only. Because Jackie E-S’s Dolly shawl called for the shoulder shaping to be done on RS rows, I reversed the stitch pattern, so the K rows are RS, and all increases are done there, and the Seed Stitch patterning is done on the WS rows.

However, before I settled on this pattern, I had looked at a lot of others, some of which had Moss Stitch patterning (K2, P2). So, when I finally decided that Sand Stitch was the pattern I would use, I inadvertently combined these, and ended up doing Moss Stitch patterning on the WS.

Since it is temporarily a new stitch pattern, I will name it. Eventually, I will discover its original name, but for now it is, um, Rail Yard Stitch?

… Maybe just Rail Stitch.


Rail Stitch  (mult. of 4)

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Row 2: *K2,P2. Rep from *.

Row 3: Knit.

Row 4: *P2,K2. Rep from *.

Repeat these 4 rows.


* “Unvented” is a term devised by Elizabeth Zimmermann (in Knitting Without Tears?). Its premise lies in the knowledge that when we knitters “invent” something that is new to us — a technique, pattern, etc. — we are probably creating something which has been invented before. To EZ, it seemed like hubris to claim to have invented something, as if it was unique in the long history of knitting, when it had possibly been invented many times before, by many different knitters in many different places.



1st Project: The Rail Yard Shawl

I want a real shawl. I love delicate, lacy things, but in the winter (or in refrigerator-cold air conditioning in the summer) I want a thick, warm, working shawl. And I want it to stay on, without fussing and tugging. Therefore, I want a Faroese shawl. And I need to make it from the top down, because I have no idea whether I have enough yarn.

To complicate matters, I have no instructions handy. I own Myrna Stahman’s book on constructing Faroese-shaped shawls from the neck down, but I’ve had to pack it away in a box with my other knitting books while I do some renovations. So, I thought I’d gather some info online, and then wing it. There isn’t a lot of info available, but enough. Joan Schrouder’s comments on the Ravelry forums have been especially helpful.

The only Faroese-style shawl I’ve ever made was Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer’s Dolly Faroese Shawl (HeartStringsFiberArts.com). This is a delightful little project, intended to help you learn the ropes of Faroese shaping in a quick doll-size project. I highly recommend it to anyone contemplating making a full-size shawl. It gave me a basis of understanding what I’m trying to accomplish, and combining this with the information I gathered from Ravelry and other places on the internet, I hope to be able to create an approximation of a Faroese shawl. Now to decide on yarn and needles.

Dolly Shawl by Jackie E-S