Billie Holiday Shawl

I’ve never knit a u shaped shawl. I’m not even sure that’s a technical term. All my shawls have been triangular, rectangle and or circular. By far I prefer the triangle shape (on the larger side) for wearing but I had a sneaking suspicion that a u shaped shawl would be both interesting to knit and good to wear. I was right. Here, at last, is my Billie Holiday Shawl. She took about six weeks, knitted mostly on Tuesdays when I was at home watching the classic 70s period drama, Poldark. (thanks to Olivia! In a way this shawl feels like my Poldark shawl. Isn’t it wonderful how what we’re doing seeps into our knitting?)

Billie Holiday shawl

I’m so used to starting on a small amount of stitches (like 3!) and building up to the long edge of a triangle. Not so with this shape. i started with over 300 (I think!) and knitted 28 rows of beaded lace before doing the plain section. The plain section took only one day because it’s all short rows, which is what gives it the U shape, I think, bringing it all together nicely. Here’s how it looks on.

billie holiday shawl

We’ve just been away for a few days to a family wedding (not my family; Sean’s) on the Bellarine Peninsula and I wore this to the pre-wedding family dinner the night before. Ok, so black beaded lace doesn’t say casual family dinner, does it? But I was dying for a chance to wear it and over a black t-shirt and plain denim skirt with flat shoes, it didn’t look like I was over dressed. At least I don’t think so. It was just a fun bit of sparkle.

The yarn was given to me by a friend who made the same shawl from the same yarn. It’s Lotus Yarns Miya, which is a Mink/Merino/Silk blend (emphasis on the mink). She had some left over and sent it to me with beads. Knitting with, and wearing mink seemed so luxurious but it’s not unlike possum and I’m assured from my research that no minks died in the production of this yarn. The days of mink coats are long gone, I believe.

And it’s a great shape to wear – the added weight of all those beads means that it stays on even better than I thought. Here’s how it looks from the back.

billie holiday back

I have a feeling I’ll be looking around for more shawls in this shape. As much as I love the triangular shawls (and boy doesn’t it sound unfashionable to say that – there’s an undercurrent of triangular shawl backlash in the water, I think) I do have quite a few and don’t need any more right now.

I’m almost afraid to mention the Crown Prince Square Shawl I’m supposed to be knitting for myself for my 40th. I might have to discuss that one with you all in a few days. I’m conflicted.

But I’m very happy with my Billie Holiday and her dark, sparkling elegance. She’s a winner.



25 thoughts on “Billie Holiday Shawl

  1. Pingback: Between the Two of Us « Black Rose

  2. It looks wonderful on you. And I quite like the idea of mixing fancy and casual clothes – you have to get the balance right but it’s an interesting creative challenge.

  3. I LOVE that shawl. I think it was perfectly casual with jeans.

    It’s a pattern that scares me, as I have yet to try knitting with beads and I do not understand picking up the wraps on short rows. Maybe one of these days…

    Also, yarn with mink? I bet that feels so soft!

  4. It’s very “U”!

    Apologies for the awful pun, but I couldn’t resist 🙂

    You’re looking very well, love the new hair colour.

  5. Very pretty! And I love the way you put together an outfit around it. I need to do that more – I can never figure out what to wear with my shawls!

  6. I love it, especially over a black shirt–how that must make those beads stand out, but not in an overly sparkly kind of way. Wish I could see it in person!

    Also, this: “there’s an undercurrent of triangular shawl backlash in the water…” I don’t think I pay enough (any?) attention to the knitterly water to even know, but this sort of stuff always confuses (and amuses) me. Designers should design what they like, and knitters should knit what they like, and the idea of a backlash against patterns nobody is forcing anyone else to knit? Strange.

    • I’ve seen comments around the place about there bring a glut of them. I don’t mind really because I love them and it just means there are plenty to choose from.

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. it looks absolutely stunning. I guess the fact that it’s relatively small means it doesn’t look to formal. Seeing this has reminded me that I’ve got a half-finished black Myrtle stashed away somewhere that was inspired by yours – which I can’t finish until I find my book again! x

  8. I think the technical term for this shape is “crescent”. Although yours does seem to have a much more pronounced “U” shape than many of the crescents I’ve seen.

    I like triangular shawls but I think rectangular stoles are my favourite. Having said all that, you can’t turn around at the moment without tripping over a pattern for a small triangle shawl using one skein of sock yarn. I am a bit over seeing new patterns for those every day! (but I still want to make a few in my queue, heh!)

    Mink yarn sounds very very lush! And if you want to see if fur coats are gone, just go to New York in winter – they are everywhere! (well, especially on the upper east side!). They might not be new though, I have no idea!

    • Actually you’re not wrong about the small shawls with one skein. They’re breeding! But ultimately tempting and fun to make.

      Sent from my iPhone

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