My inspiration for the stitch patterns that I used for the Meltwater shawl was the diamond window panes in the Gherkin building, as it is familiarly known, in the City of London.
You knit Meltwater in rows as one piece. You start with a crochet cast-on followed by a narrow garter stitch border. Then you follow charted or written instructions to knit a deep panel in the trellis lace stitch pattern. This merges into the diamond stitch pattern (again with charted or written instructions), before merging back into the final trellis lace stitch panel. The small stitch and row repeats of the patterns make them easy to memorise so that Meltwater is a relaxing knit. Finally, you knit a narrow garter stitch border before casting off. Using a crochet cast-on ensures that both the cast-on and cast-off edges look the same.
The pattern for Meltwater shawl was originally published by The Knitter magazine. I have made the following changes before publishing it as a Being Knitterly pattern:
- Edited to match the Being Knitterly style.
- Added a list of abbreviations.
- Added a written tutorial for the crochet cast-on method.
- Altered written instructions and charts to create a left-handed pattern.
- Taken new photos.
- Had the Being Knitterly pattern tech-edited.
The written tutorial for the crochet cast-on is included in the pattern just in case you are unfamiliar with this cast-on method. If you need more detail or you prefer a more visual approach, you can look at my photo tutorials:
- How to knit tutorial: The crochet cast-on method (for knitting right-handed)
- How to knit tutorial: The crochet cast-on method (for knitting left-handed).
My yarn choice
The Meltwater shawl was made using Monarch from Debonnaire Yarns (heavy laceweight; 80% extra-fine Merino, 20% silk; 600 m | 656 yds per 100 grams). The silk in this yarn gives the finished shawl a beautiful drape and shimmer. Erica, from Debonnaire Yarns, sources this yarn in the UK and hand-dyes it in her Rutland workshop. She specialises in rich, saturated colours, such as Peacock which was used for the sample.
Erica always has a good selection of colours in Monarch. I would recommend knitting Meltwater using a solid or semi-solid colour so that the stitch patterns show up.
Meltwater shawl measures 39 cm | 15 1/4 inches wide and 160 cm | 63 inches long.
My sample knitter used 5.5 mm | UK 5 | US 9 and 6.5 mm | UK 3 | US 10 – 11 needles. You will also need a cable needle although you could work the cables without one if you prefer.
If you would like to use a different yarn for your shawl look for one with a similar meterage. Fibres such as silk and alpaca will produce a knitted fabric with a good drape.
Alpaca 2–3 ply, John Arbon Textiles (heavy laceweight; 90% Alpaca, 10% nylon; 600 m | 656 yds per 100 grams. Mill-dyed.
Bliss; Debonnaire Yarns (heavy laceweight; 55% Bluefaced Leicester, 45% silk; 600 m |656 yds per 100 g). Hand-dyed.
Lowther Lace, Eden Cottage Yarns (heavy laceweight; 74% baby Suri alpaca, 26% Mulberry silk; 300 m | 328 yds per 50 grams). Hand-dyed.
Mona Heavy Lace, Triskelion Yarn (heavy laceweight; 50% baby alpaca, 25% silk, 25% linen); 600 m | 656 per 100 grams. Hand-dyed.
Bliss, Debonnaire Yarns (heavy laceweight; 55% Bluefaced Leicester, 45% silk); 600 m | 656 per 100 grams. Hand-dyed.
The swatch below was knitted using Bliss in Stormy.
Using a finer yarn
If you want to use a more traditional lace weight yarn, then I would advise you to knit a tension square to find out which needle size to use. Because the yarn is finer, you will need more stitches to make your shawl to the same dimensions. You should also use your tension square to check how many extra stitches you need. Just make sure that the number of stitches that you add is a multiple of four because the pattern repeat for each stitch pattern is four stitches. You will also need to work more repeats of the pattern. Again you can use your tension square to work out how many extra rows are needed.
These are some lace weight yarns that you could try:
Fine Lace; Rowan Yarns (lace weight; 80% baby Suri alpaca, 20% Merino wool; 400 m | 438 yds per 50 grams. Mill-dyed.
Exquisite Lace, West Yorkshire Spinners (lace weight; 20% Falkland wool, 20% Mulberry silk; 800 m | 875 yds per 100 g). Mill-dyed.
Snaeldan Lace, Snaeldan (lace weight; 100% wool (a blend of Faroese wool and Falklands Merino; 365 m per 50 grams). Mill-dyed.
Meltwater pattern options
The digital pattern is available to purchase and download from the Being Knitterly Ravelry Pattern store. You can also purchase a printed pattern from the Being Knitterly webshop. The printed pattern comes with a Ravelry digital download code.
The pattern is available as the standard version for right-handed knitters, as well as an alternative version for left-handed knitters.