May 16, 2013

New pattern: Biratu, a cabled shawl

Cables!  Shawls!  Cabled shawls!  Let’s go!

Biratu shawl

Biratu is here!  Using the same basic construction as Betiko, all modular, no picked up stitches, no seaming, just short rows, increases, and decreases.  And cables!

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

If you like it, and feel up to the possible knitting challenge (it’s not exactly hard, really, just a lot to keep track of!), you can knit the fully cabled version…

Biratu shawl

…but if you prefer a more simple style, or you want to ease into the design, or you want to use any weight yarn, or get a different custom shape, there’s the simple variation!

Simple Biratu Shawl

The simple one has cables only around the edges, with stockinette and seed stitch worked in the body, and it can be made in any weight yarn with more custom sizing options.  My sample here is in Quince & Co Lark worsted weight yarn (3 skeins frost with 1 skein split pea for the edging):

Biratu shawl

This sample is the medium size, as given in the pattern – the pattern gives small{medium, large} sizes, and then explains how you can get any size you want, and adjust the shape as well, making it longer or deeper/taller, fitted to your shawl style preference.

Simple Biratu Shawl

For the simple variation, you can work the cables from charts or from written cable patterns, your choice.

Simple Biratu Shawl

You can get really different looks depending on your weight choice – my wonderful test knitters made this shawl in weights ranging super bulky to aran to worsted to dk to fingering, for a range of different cable braid thicknesses and fabric qualities.  Fun!

Biratu shawl Simple Biratu Shawl

As for the fully cabled shawl, that is designed to be knit in aran weight, but it’s definitely flexible.  It’s pretty freaking huge, so you can easily make it in worsted and still get a good size cable-tastic shawl.  In fact, Maria tested it in worsted just to be sure, and it looks lovely.

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

My sample is the standard aran weight gauge, in Quince & Co Osprey (3 skeins in storm with 1 skein frank’s plum for edging), in the medium size.  The pattern gives small{medium, large} sizes (which are different measurements from the simple variation), but you can basically just keep knitting the main body section until you like the size and choose to stop, or until your yarn runs out.

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

The shaping of this one is different from the simple variation, as the first couple sections are not adjustable (since they must be a set stitch count for the cables), so the shape will always be fuller/taller, and the whole thing grows outwards in all directions for as big as you want.  All the cable designs repeat, so there’s no set end point.

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

The medium is pretty darn large, as you can see – this shawl, with all of its twists and turns, is meant to be big to show off the cable designs, big and squishy and warm and fun to wrap up in!

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

The body cables for this shawl are charted only, not written out.  A tutorial is included for cabling without a cable needle (and there’s my new video too!) – the cable descriptions are given as right/left, to make more sense without using a cable needle, and I also included cable needle directions, for accessibility to all knitters.

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed me crowd-sourcing for cable chart advice… I re-did my chart symbols several times throughout the building of this pattern, and I’m really happy with my end result.  This pattern includes lots of uneven cables (not the same number of over and under stitches), which turned out to be really hard to represent with hand-made chart font symbols!  Anyway, here’s a snippet (the grey gives some extra help by representing the number of top stitches in the off-balance twists):

new cable symbols

Want to take a peek at my design process for this one?  Well, I already told you about the chart re-do’s, that was a big (boring) part of creating this pattern, but as for the design itself, that took months of swatching!  Oh man, so much design swatching!  Here’s a look at my pile of swatches, which doesn’t even include alllll the first tries and ideas which failed and got frogged…

Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch

Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch Biratu design swatch

But it was all worth it, because after all the planning through my swatches – figuring out the cable designs, as well as how those cables would relate to the short rows in the construction, and to each other throughout the sections, etc – I was able to make the single samples of each of the two versions, with minimal frogging, and no wasted prototype sample knitting.  (If you follow my blog, you know how I usually always have several prototypes to show you, as I work out a design by knitting it over and over!)

Simple Biratu Shawl

So yeah, I’m really happy with this design!  It’s kind of outside of my normal design style / comfort zone, with all the intense cables, but I enjoyed designing it, and it was pleasing for me to take an old construction and use it in a new way!

Fully Cabled Biratu Shawl

In case you missed the Betiko post, this is part of a collection – there will be two more designs in the future which use the Betiko construction, so you can pre-order that now to get this design, Betiko, and the future slip-stitch colorwork design and lace shawl design.  Both of those will also have complex patterns and simple variations included, like this one.  (They will be more spread out, released in the later part of the year.)

Oh and in case you’re wondering, Betiko is a Basque name meaning eternal, as that shawl is forever customizable, so I decided to stick with a Basque naming theme for this collection – Biratu is a Basque word for twist or rotate, as cables do.

Filed under: knitting — leethal @ 1:28 pm
Proudly powered by wordpress 4.3.9 - Theme by neuro, customized by leethal