Amy Antler loves to flip through her many knitting magazines for design inspiration. She can look at the same issue again and again, and each time, something different catches her eye. Her love of mixing and matching stitch patterns is especially evident in her newest design.
Amy’s Effloresce Shawl is full of texture and interesting details. In this case, she started with a center panel – the Dayflower stitch pattern borrowed from Barbara Walker’s “A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns” – and worked her way out. The shawl features two additional lace patterns, each separated by mini cables, and a garter stitch border. It is worked from one end to the other, starting with a provisional cast on, which is later finished with a pleated ruffle edge. All these details knit up beautifully in Berroco Ultra Alpaca.
Did you design this for anyone in particular?
My mom asked me to make a shawl for her dear friend who recently had a stroke and was in a rehab hospital. She wanted something that would be warm but not too heavy. I wanted it to be soft and something beautiful to look at during this difficult time.
How did you decide on the yarn?
Three years ago, when I decided to knit the Great American Aran Afghan, the owner of my LYS suggested Berroco Ultra Alpaca. She raved about its softness, drape, stitch definition and durability. I wasn’t disappointed! So when I thought about this shawl, there was no question as to what I would use.
Any knitting disaster stories?
I once spent two months knitting and frogging three completely different sweaters using the same exact four skeins of yarn. Each outcome was worse than the previous one. The yarn was stunning and I was determined it would not go to waste, that it WOULD be something exquisite. Several sad fraying balls are now resting at the bottom of my stash. When I get the urge, I will try again. It won’t defeat me.
What’s your favorite thing about knitting?
The repetitive process of creating stitches quiets and clears the mind. The sensory experience of different textures, colors and harmony of stitch patterns is incredibly satisfying to me. It never ceases to amaze me that there is a form of relaxation like this, which results in an infinite number of delightful objects.