Mapes Shawl From Lovin' Knit - Day 1 | Author Allie Pleiter

Mapes Shawl from Lovin' Knit - Day 1

Eight perfect stitches (and some other goodies!)

Mapes Shawl from Lovin' Knit - Day 1 6

Nothing beats the joy of casting on a new project.  Especially in a hand-painted yarn like Shalimar’s Breathless, because you never quite know how the color changes will knit up.  Even the “top down” dynamic--one that ensures your long last rows will go much slower than your short first rows--couldn’t dampen my enthusiasm.

The directions called for the Twisted German cast-on, for which designer Barbara Benson offers a video tutorial on her blog.  For a minute or two my lazy brain argued “it’s just eight stitches, do I really have to try something new?”  After that brief temptation, my better sense prevailed and I decided learning a new cast-on method was worth the extra time.  Did it make a difference?  I’m not sure, but I’m still glad I added the Twisted German to my toolbox of cast-on stitches.

Theres a lot of putting on and removing of stitch markers in this pattern.  While it seems tiresome, it does eliminate the need for counting as you stitch the shawl’s garter edging.  It’s the little touches like this that make Barbara’s pattern such a pleasure to work.

Mapes Shawl from Lovin' Knit - Day 1 7

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!  If you're heading to Vogue Knitting LIVE Chicago this weekend, stop by the MiaBella booth in the marketplace Saturday at noon for a giveaway of my new novel, THE FIREFIGHTER'S MATCH.  Knitted prayer shawls feature prominently in the plot, so I know you'll enjoy the story.

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My Harlequin books are also available through Harlequin’s online store.