Wool Peddler’s Shawl

Since late January, I’ve been slowly working away on a shawl for my mum. It was originally intended for her mid-February birthday but frankly, who wants to be working on a large alpaca shawl at the height of summer? So it was begun. Then it was put aside with a promise to have it done by winter.

Rather fittingly, I gave it to my mum today in Cooma, the gateway to the Snowy Mountains, where it was chilly and bleak; just the kind of weather I love. I’m really happy with this shawl and so, I think you can tell from the photos, is my mum. I was certain she would be too shy to pose for the blog but she declared she hadn’t imagined she’d have a choice in the matter! Nearby, Fee said ‘It’s just part of the package when Bells knits you a gift. You have to pose in it for the blog!’

Wool Peddler's Shawl

I always knew I’d make a large, heavy shawl for my mum. A long time ago she said she didn’t think she’d suit a flimsy, wee thing and personally I’m rather enamoured with heavy, rustic shawls myself. So I bought the book this pattern is from, Folk Shawls, with both me and my mum in mind. It’s full of heavy shawls. Some are almost blankets!

wool peddler's shawl

The yarn is from Bendigo Woollen Mills. It’s their Alpaca Rich and I used just under two of the 200g balls. It’s an incredibly soft, not overly sheddy yarn that I fell in love with throughout the making of this shawl. It washed up so soft and luxurious. Can’t get enough of alpaca, really.

Wool Peddler's shawl detail

The pattern itself is a great knit. Starting with a large garter stitch section, it blossoms out into beautiful shell like lace pattern which is simple and  intuitive once you get the stitch count right. Funny that, huh? Get the right number of stitches and the lace almost  knits itself. Sometimes I think simple patterns and deceptively tricky by virtue of the fact that you think you don’t have to concentrate or work as hard when in fact you do, because complacency is the knitter’s enemy.

I knew it was going to be large, but of course, being alpaca, it grew considerably after washing. Sean’s feeling was that it grew in length by at least five inches. Here’s Mum showing Alice how big it is in wingspan.

Mum, Alice and Shawl

Apparently whatever was on the ground was much more interesting than anything Aunty Bells made!

Mum, Dad and Alice

So I reckon this is the perfect large, heavy weight shawl. But for the fact that it’s pink and we all know I don’t DO pink, I very much wanted to keep this for myself. As it is, mum has made quilts and bags and cushions for me for years so I reckon I owed her a shawl. I hope it keeps her warm.



37 thoughts on “Wool Peddler’s Shawl

  1. your Mum looks very pleased with her beautiful gift – well worth the wait! I can imagine how soft and lovely that alpaca must be too – perfect for the coming months

  2. I love the shawls in that book. They all look so cozy and comforting. The Wool Peddler’s shawl is on my list of things to make for my aunts. It looks easy and comes out so beautiful. And I like that her shawls are not made of laceweight yarns but more substantial ones.

  3. Mmmm…Alpaca. Dreamy. I love it so much I wondered if I could fit an Alpaca in the garage so I’d have plenty to work with. Abandoned the idea, but still love the fiber. And your mum looks lovely in her cozy pink shawl. But then I AM a pink person — in your face pinks especially but also lovely soft shades like this as well. Excellent job as always. 🙂

  4. Bells –
    The shawl is fantastic. I absolutely love this shawl, and pink is such a great color for your mum. And she looks so pretty in her new shawl! I just love her haircut – isn’t it the best to make something for mother? Mine is definitely my favorite recipient 🙂

  5. Oh yes – heavy substantial shawls are fabulous – I’m still dreaming of one for myself. A wonderful pattern choice and love the photos of your beautiful Mum looking so happy – you two have very similar smiles and you’re not afraid to use them 🙂

  6. I was thinking what Madmad said–wow, definite family resemblance! What a thoughtful gift. We’ve come a long way from giving our moms macaroni necklaces (not that I don’t LOVE my beaded necklace on pipe cleaners…I’m just saying!).

  7. Like a Shetland hap shawl!

    Coincidentally, the half-circle Pi shawl that lives on the back of my computer chair is knitted in, I swear, that exact lace pattern! By the end, I had no doubt which way an SSK leaned.

  8. The shawl is gorgeous, Bells, and I’m mad for the yarn. Haven’t tried the Alpaca Rich yet, but it’s going to be added to my dancecard immediately. I love the Folk Shawls book, and as soon as I finish up a dozen or so (!!) WIPs, I want to start something from that book.

    Still in CA, but back in the Highlands on Saturday morning.

  9. Oh the alpaca is so nice, I had just skimmed over it. I wonder if they have green…
    Beautiful shawl, your mu looks so happy and Alice looks like Alice-in her own happy Alice world!!! I just love the edging!!

  10. that’s beautiful, bells. the colour suits your mum. i like the idea of a heavier shawl too, and you’ve inspired me to check my alpaca stash.

  11. Your mum looks quite happy to pose for the blog – and so she should with such a clever daughter and lovely gift.

    It really did blossom after blocking, a beautiful job!

  12. Beautiful job, Bells. As always. And very inspiring. I bought myself some of the Alpaca Rich, for, um, making, um, something with. Time to bring fibre and pattern together methinks.

  13. I love that subdued pinky shade, much better than in your face pink. The shells reminded my of the two Travelling Woman shawl I made last year. Similar but top was stocking stitch an the shells are larger with thicker wool. I’m being tempted by that book… Seeing as my shawl fever hasn’t cleared up, perhaps I should feed it with the book.

  14. What a beautiful shawl! Looks lovely Bells. Suits your mother perfectly!

    And that lace pattern is such a pleasure to knit, isn’t it? I made mum a cowl in that pattern for Christmas… and now I see there’s a shawl using it. I think some book buying is in order… *grins*

  15. This is even more beautiful blocked than it was in the process of your knitting. I think I’ll have to get out my copy of ‘Folk Shawls’ and browse again. Like you, I love solid shawls (and light shawls, and soft shawls, and prickly Shetland shawls, and, and, and…)

  16. It looks so great – it really is a great pattern and you’ve done such a good job with it too, how could your mum not be happy!!

    Wonder if I should make my mum one too?? Alpacky would nice in the cold country air…

  17. it is just gorgeous, and it suits her perfectly. the blocking did bring the pattern out so well didnt it? im thinking i might pick me up some of this stuff myself, perfect for lots of things in that lovely book. nice work bells!

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