The Grandma Shawl

Okay, once upon a time, about a year ago, I went home to visit my family because my grandfather was in the hospital. One of the things I decided to do during the trip was design and knit a shawl for my grandmother. I played around with some designs involving cabling and dropped stitches. Reviews here were promising. And so I bought a pile of Koigu cast on a bazillion stitches and went home.

I knit and knit and knit. It seemed to go forever and consumed more Koigu than any project rightfully deserves. Seriously, I had to go buy more. And when that looked like it wouldn’t be sufficient, I bought even more. I honestly have no clue exactly how much Koigu I used. More than 10 skeins and maybe less than 20. Maybe.

But I was decreasing on all the right-side rows, and I was dropping stitches, and the end started to appear. And finally, I cast off the last stitch. And then life when into freak-out mode. I did a lot of work travel, and the divorce loomed, and then we had to put the house on the market, so the shawl got hidden away. Until mid-July.

After we accepted an offer on the house, I went back to my storage space to bring home the things I’d just stashed there for lack of a better plan to decide what to do with them for real. And some of them were languishing knitting projects. Including Grandma’s shawl. I also realized that I was heading home for my cousin’s wedding and that Grandma would be there, so I needed to finish the darned thing!

First, I blocked the biggest thing I’ve ever blocked.

I did a quickie job of it and didn’t use my blocking wires. I figured the points on the top would be hidden by a crochet border, and the points on the bottom edges would just be decorative. Then I had to find the remaining yarn I had to do the crochet and the fringe. But where the hell was my yarn?! I looked everywhere. In all the yarn bins I had at the house. In all the yarn bins I had in storage. I found a few scraps, but I knew I had at least one full skein left. Where the hell was it?! I finally found it in a bin I had at the house as I was loading it into storage and checking them all one last time. Of course, it was sitting right on top, sticking it’s tongue out and making fun of me.

At my parents house, I did the crochet border and started cutting up fringe. I worked on it during our long car trip north. I worked on it in the hotel room with my sister and her boyfriend looking on. And I finally finished it:

When I arrived home in Michigan, I took a run over to Target to get some tissue paper and a gift bag. So when we went over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house that day, I brought the gift and presented it to a very surprised Grandma. Who loved it and put it away so that it wouldn’t get dirty. But brought it out to show every person that stopped by the house.

Here she is modeling it:

And the back view to show you how huge it is:

So, once upon a time, I promised people that I would write up the pattern and distribute it. But Grandma’s wishes prevail. She’s tickled about having a unique and exclusive design. And so I won’t be writing it up. But I’ll give you some hints. It’s an adaption of Clapotis. I cast on all the stitches at the beginning. I did 4×4 cables that mirrored across the center. I decreased on each edge and at the center on right side rows, and I worked it out so that the center where the cables merged was interesting and smooth. And I used about 2 miles of Koigu. Seriously.


  1. Laura:

    Beautiful - both your grandmother and the shawl!!!!

  2. Frarochvia:

    That’s seriously pretty!

  3. nancy:

    Wow - that is a beautiful shawl! Amazing work!

  4. cori w:

    oh, i love it!

    i remember way way back when you started this and so wanted the pattern when you wrote it up. :)

  5. Jeanne:

    Beautiful shawl!

  6. aija:

    Wow, wow wow wow… It’s awesome! Good for grandma wanting an original, too :)

  7. Romi:

    I love it! And it looks lovely on her. :)

  8. Sherry:

    Aww, your grandma is too cute!! She does the shawl justice!!

  9. Lucia:

    Yay, Grandma! That is one awesome shawl, and you are one awesome knitter. I am properly awed.

  10. AlisonH:

    She’s beautiful! Well loved in that shawl, and loving it.

  11. asas:

    how much does it cost to make this?

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