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Doris Shawl

My maternal grandmother was named Doris.  She was an excellent lady.  She had 5 kids and 27 grand- and great-grand children.  Those 32 relatives had about 10 different names for her (Mom, Mother, Ma, Nannie, Granny, Grandma, etc.).  To me and my brother, she was Nannie.  And she was the best!  When I was in elementary school, my mom had to tell the administrators that Nannie wasn’t allowed to pick me up if I was sick.  I would go to the nurse and fake it because I knew she’d pick me up and take me to her house to watch cartoons and eat junk food.  It was awesome.

Nannie died about this time last year.  I couldn’t get enough money to go home for the funeral.  I was heart-broken.  Then, when the holidays rolled around, I was still too broke for a plane ticket home.  My mom simply wouldn’t let me miss Christmas with the family.  She found a way to get me home for the holidays.  And it was one of the best yet.  It meant the world to me.


Mom has wanted a fine lace shawl for years now.  I figured it was about time she got one. She lives at the beach now, and has always favored a beachy color scheme.  So I chose some Sea Lace in the Barbados colorway, a lovely seafoam green and cool ocean blue.

I knew I wanted to make a garter stitch based shawl; purling isn’t terrible, but purling across a row of 200+ stitches isn’t my idea of a good time.  I knew I wanted to use some traditional Shetland lace edgings.  And I knew I wanted it to be big.  So I found a good book on Shetland knitting, Heirloom Knitting, and was thrilled to find an edging pattern called Doris!  It had to be a part of the shawl.  I paired it with another edging for a really deep border.

The shawl starts at the center back in garter stitch.  The next panel is a simple 2-row lace, off-set every other repeat; this is followed by another small panel of garter stitch.  Finally, the deep border is knit on sideways, eating up the body stitches along the way.  To ensure the corner is turned properly, more rows are worked between the body stitches.  It turned out not just big, but HUGE!!!  I love everything about this project.  I wish I could be there when Mom opens the package.

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