I am a big believer is using little indulgences for self-care. I think it's important to do something nice for yourself every day, just to promote that sense of well-being and comfort. In winter, one aspect of that is staying warm. My husband and I each have our personal blankets and snuggies that we curl up in to read or watch TV or just to sip on tea and listen to music. I think this is in line with the Danish principle of hygge and it makes perfect sense to me. Especially at home. Home should always be about comfort and peace; an escape from the rest of the world that whirls by crazily. This free pattern is perfect for that.
I made a warm, cozy shawl for my sister for Christmas. Big enough that she could wrap it around herself and one or two grandkids. It's not a dressy shawl you would wear to go out. It's cushy and warm and big so you can wrap yourself up in it and stay warm. She really loved it, so I decided to make another. This one is for my 85 year old mother. She is still pretty fiesty and lives alone in her house just one block from my sister. But she is slowing down a little and likes to nap in her recliner in front of the TV on winter days. I wanted to make a shawl that was simple and could be easily washed and dried for someone who is not going to mess with blocking a knitted piece. It needed to be easy to care for and big enough to use as a lap blanket or to wrap around her shoulders on cool mornings. It needed to be really soft for fragile, older skin too.
The yarn I chose is one I found at Hobby Lobby. It is Yarn Bee Fleece Lite in the color "Natural", which is cream with streaks of blue and brown scattered throughout, with a kind of wavy texture. It's very soft and now that it is finished, very warm. It took 8 skeins at about $6/skein, so for about $50 I had a nice shawl that should last for years. If you can find the yarn on sale, you can get it for even less.
The yarn is 110 yards per skein and is a bulky (5) yarn, weighing 5 ounces per skein, 97% acrylic and 3% polyester. I used the recommended needle, US 11 or 8mm, and used a circular needle with a 36" cable because it was just too large for straight needles. I almost always use circular needles for my knitting now, regardless of what it the project is, because I like the convenience and the fact that I am not losing one needle in couch cushions or chasing it under the seat of a plane because I dropped it while flying (voice of experience). You will also need a crochet hook for adding the fringe on each end.
The pattern is super simple and perfect for listening to your favorite audiobook or watching a movie. You don't have to count stitches and really don't have to think about it except when nearing the end of a skein. Then it's just adding the next skein or making sure you have enough yarn to bind off at the end.
I began by loosely casting on 60 stitches, using the long tail cast on. After that, you just knit every row until it is the desired length. Mine is extra long, 7 skeins long, so it can be used as a lap blanket when Mom is sitting in her recliner. I bound off loosely using my favorite stretchy bind off, the Elastic Bind Off from the book, Cast On Bind Off (page 170) (affiliate link). I recommend this book for the library of any knitter who wants to expand their knitting skills. You could also use a regular bind off, just keep it loose or use a next size larger needle to give plenty of stretch.
For the fringe, I cut 248 pieces, each 13" long. I folded two 13" strands in half, and using the crochet hook, added a two strand fringe to each stitch at each end of the shawl. I added an extra 2 strand fringe at each corner for a total of 62 2-strand fringe pieces on each end. So the total yardage you will need for the fringe ([248 x 13"]/36"=89.5) is 89.5 yards or almost a full skein. (See-math is an important skill.) I used 7 skeins to knit the body of the shawl and saved one for the fringe.
I love the way the shawl turned out, and I still have several audio books to go in the Game of Thrones series, so now I am knitting one for myself. I had 5 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun in two different colors in my stash-4 skeins for the shawl, two in each color, and one for the fringe and some pieces of other skeins in varying colors that I will add as stripes for a little extra length. Completely random but colorful. It will be perfect for sitting by the fire in winter, watching the deer, elk and turkey in the snow behind our house while I sip a cup of coffee or tea and knit or sew. Self-care doesn't get much better than this.
Hi there! I am Jeannine.
I believe that a holistic and balanced approach to life is a must when living with an autoimmune disease. I share gluten and dairy free recipes and all the other things I do here. I just like doing stuff and making stuff.
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