Finished: Dotted Rays Shawl

Even though I've been knitting for about 9 years, I still find it hard to get away from the negative connotations of the word 'shawl'. It still conjures up an idea of an ugly, lacy, frumpy, fringed item, which is so far away from the myriad of vibrant and interesting shawl patterns now available.

I first saw this pattern on Franca of Oranges &Apples' Instagram (and blogged here) - it's the Dotted Rays shawl by Stephen West. It seemed like a fun project, and as I felt a bit mired in a cardigan knitting project, I gladly put that aside in favour of this shawl. Since then, it seems like the pattern has been all over my Instagram as there has been a knit-along for it.
What attracted me to it was the simple shape and flexibility to use up stashed and scrap yarn. I used a beautifully soft Skein Queen yarn in the colourway Hollowgast, along with some beautifully vivid Yarn Yard indigo for the stripes. Both of these were in my stash, though I had to buy an additional skein of the Hollowgast from a Ravelry user for about £17, so it wasn't a completely virtuous project! The first skein was a bargain 99p purchase from my best haul of charity shop yarn ever, so it wasn't too expensive overall. This is probably not a colourway I would normally choose but I think the muted green and vivid violet work together really well.

I found starting this project really hard as the instructions are really terribly written. I have never used a Stephen West pattern before, but I have been assured that his projects are not normally so hard to follow. Happily another Ravelry user had written some excellent instructions, so with the help of those I was able to get started.

Overall it was enjoyable to knit and an easy pattern to memorise and follow, although I was getting fed up of those long rows by the final stages.

The finished shape is different from the usual triangular shawl shape and is really just like a scarf with tapered ends. As a result, I end up wearing it bundled around my neck just like any old scarf. Not particularly elegant but I'm happy that the yarn is so beautifully soft and warm. The pattern has great potential for vibrant multi-coloured versions, so maybe next time I will try something a bit more daring!
K x


  1. Love those two colours together. Shawls definitely aren't frumpy but I end up wearing mine bundled up round my neck too! Really like yours, hope you get lots of wear out of it this winter.

  2. Very cute, and those colors look well together.

    I don't like the "shawl" work either and have seen so many butt ugly ones at myriad fiber festivals. I too scrunch them up and shove them in a jacket, well I think I do as it's still super hot here :-0

  3. I know what you mean about the connotations of the word 'shawl' but I've seen so many lovely examples knitted up, hopefully the connotations are changing! This is lovely Kerry, such gorgeous cooours together!

  4. I know what you mean about the word "shawl", it's a bit little old lady-like. This one is lovely though, very modern pattern and the colours are lovely together. I just downloaded a Stephen West pattern to try (it was a freebie) and I have to say that the instructions weren't the most comprehensive to my basic knitter brain either. Still it gets an easy rating so we will see. Do you think that you will knit this again? It is definitely starting to feel like the weather for one in Glasgow. :) I think it looks gorgeous on. Xx

    1. I probably would knit it again as I have seen some gorgeous multi coloured ones. However there are SO many lovely shawl patterns around I might try a different one next

  5. I find many newer patterns poorly written or just vague. Or they make up abbreviations as they go along! And don't get me started on the current popularity of charts for lace patterns! I cannot follow them for the life of me.

    Charts to me are for intarsia projects.

    The colour scheme you chose is fantastic.

  6. The question that triggers your mind is how to get a shawl to stay in place when you are out. The answer is using shawl pins in varied designs and colors to choose from.


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