The knitting adventures of a French Canadian girl in exile

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Devil's mistress shawl

My latest shawl, Devil’s mistress, is a top-down small shawl with a garter stitch body and a very easy lace portion. The name of this shawl is a conjunction of 2 things: the lace portion of the shawl is based on a stitch pattern named ‘Point de Diable’ or Devil’s stitch, and comes from my favorite old French stitchionary. The second thing is that I actually worked on this whole shawl watching the 4 episodes of ‘The Devil’s mistress’, an English Civil War mini-series. I was really in love with this historic mini-series and I decided to give it the name of the shawl, particularly with the idea that the 2 options makes a bit of the dichotomous way the main character lead her life: a rich looking version with a lace edging and a rough, rustic looking version with the picot bind off.

The design features 2 options: the first one is a ruffly picot bind off and the second one is a beautiful vintage attached edging that looks more complicated than it really is (pictured above). 
The picot bind off option of the design requires less yardage than the attached edging and can be made out of most 100gr (about 420yds) skeins of fingering weight yarn. It is also perfect to showcase the beauty of variegated yarns, and was the first sample I made of this particular design.


I needed to find a suitable project for this particular skein I had of Knitpicks Stroll Hand Painted in color 'Playtime'. As my usual design process often start with the yarn, I found myself putting this lovely skein of yarn on my 'to design with' pile. It did stay there for quite a long time, was thrown back into my shawl yarn box, retrieved from the box, thrown back in, and so on for a few months until I decided I needed a new shawl for this upcoming Fall 2012.

Playtime - now discontinued!

After working the picot bind off version of Devil's mistress, I had the idea of working the same body but with a vintage lace edging attached to the bottom of the shawl. I love how these attached edging are 'eating' up the live stitches while adding a very delicate touch to the bottom of the shawl. In this particular case, because the lace portion of the shawl has more dramatic increases that the garter stitch body, the large lace edging takes a beautiful rounded shape that makes for a very nice face-framing neckwear.

The attached edging is large and dainty with pointy claws and large double yarnovers. A slip stitch border defines it well from the body of the shawl and the overall effect is both refined and extremely feminine (in my humble opinion!).

The attached edging is also quite simple, and would make for an excellent first time use of the technique, which I describe in the pattern. The attached edging version requires more yardage than the picot bind off option, about 460 yds of fingering weight yarn.


For the attached edging option of this design, I chose to work in a solid color luxurious yarn, Knitpicks Capretta, a merino and cashmere blend in a rich dark brown color. I truly loved working with this yarn and I dream about wrapping my neck in this amazing softness!

Knitpicks Capretta - color 'Topaz'

Click this link to see other projects made of this design:  

The Devil's mistress is now available in my Ravelry shop :

In my Craftsy shop, here

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Adagio is the third open front cardigan from my series started with Allegro, then Andante. Following the series, it worked seamlessly from the top down.

For this cardigan, I chose to work with Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed, a nice, budget friendly, Peruvian wool tweed yarn that works up quickly and is makes for a beautiful tweed fabric that shows texture and lacework very well.

This cardigan is the most feminine of the series and has a beautiful classic diamond lace on the back, and the tweed yarn was perfect to add just the right touch of rusticity to the classic look of the diamond lace.

It makes for a fast and rewarding project, using worsted weight wool and US 7 (4.5mm) needles, an easy top down construction that allows you to try it as you knit (worth the time and effort: you are sure your cardigan will fit you perfectly!). 

It is very flattering for a wide range of figures and the lace on the back gives it a little touch of feminity that is just perfect to dress up any ensemble.The hem, collar and cuffs are worked in a ripple pattern, for an original finish to a classic cardigan. 

Overall, this cardigan follows the spirit of the series to create a classic wardrobe staple that is sure to be well loved over the years.

Useful links for this pattern:

KRL increase : Knitting Help has an excellent video about making a KRL increase.

Adagio is now on the Knitpicks Website, here.

Adagio can be purchased at my Craftsy Store, here.

Or from Ravelry