When I saw this design I had to stop and catch my breath. By Mary-Anne Mace, aka The Lace Eater, this is a really lovely shawl. Offered as a free pattern on Ravelry, Mary-Anne asks that you use it to connect to the natural world. She says it so well; I will quote her here:
Biophilia is a term used to describe a hypothetically innate human tendency to feel an emotional attachment to the natural world. The idea that human wellbeing is utterly dependent upon our positive interactions with the natural world and its biological diversity makes conservation of the planet’s ecological systems imperative. This decades old theory is even more relevant today as we continue to transform the planet in our quest for perpetual economic growth.
This shawl, Biophilia is a part of the Sustain the Sea collection. It is a free pattern, and yet it is not free. I ask that you consider your relationship with the natural world around you, and how your activities impact upon it.
Is there something you can do to reverse environmental degradation from your home, in your community? I ask that you actively do something, and continue to do something that benefits the environment. To be effective, conservation and protection of the Earth’s resources and ecosystems must be adopted in the home, and then spread outwards through workplaces, schools, boardrooms, and government departments via policy makers, educators, parents, conservationists, writers, idealists, you and me.
From the home to the sea – while environmental degradation may seem an insurmountable by-product of human activity – together we are many. Together we are so many, many people – ourselves a huge, diverse, and imaginative repository of information, solutions and actions that can benefit the environment, our relationship to it, and ultimately our own wellbeing.
Biophilia is a top-down crescent shaped shawl that represents my own connection to and affection for the natural environment.. The motifs represent filament strands of entangled seaweed billowing in the ocean currents. Beads are worked at the edge and drip from each picot point.
The Yarn and Colorways
The kits we have here use different yarn than what Mary-Anne used to knit her original piece. We show her pictures so that you can get an idea of the design. You can see the yarn we have here in the inset photos on the top picture and again below that.
She writes that the shawl can be knit in either fingering weight or lace weight yarn. The yarn we have put together for these kits are lace weight. Mary-Anne recommends about 655 meters (about 716 yards) of laceweight yarn for the larger size as written.
Breathless Lace is a lovely yarn with 75% superwash merino/ 15% cashmere/ 10% silk. It has 850 yards per skein, which is roughly 777 meters so you will have well more than is needed.
We have two colorways in Breathless Lace to offer for your choice of kits.
1. Blue Raspberry is a lovely medium blue.
(I had to do a bit of research to figure out why it is called Blue Raspberry. I copy here from Wikipedia: "Blue raspberry is a common flavoring for candy, snack foods, syrups and soft drinks. The flavor originates from Rubus leucodermis, more commonly known as the "whitebark raspberry" or "blue raspberry" for the blue-black color of its fruit." Apparently the dye gotten from it is nowhere near the color of the fruit but it does lead to this concept of a rich blue being a blue raspberry.)
2. Passionfruit is a rich rose.
3. Hush in Merino Silk Lace from Sweet Georgia Yarns is our third option. The yarn is a 50/50 blend of fine merino and silk with 765 yards/ 100 gram skein. The Hush colorway is a soft blue, an almost-solid that is a perfect ocean tone. (Sorry, sold out)
For her fingering weight shawl, Mary-Anne used size 6/0 beads, about 245 of them.
For lace weight yarn, I like to recommend 8/0 beads, as the lighter weight suits the lighter weight of the yarn. However, there are not a huge number of beads here so you really could go either way. And for sure there is a special "bling" that the 6/0s would give you. We are offering the option via a drop-down menu above -- just let us know your preference.
The beads will likely be of a color to contrast with the yarn; I like the idea of silver foam on the water. If you have another idea, let me know. A rose bead for the Passionfruit or a blue one for Blue Raspberry will also look very fine indeed. I will choose for you unless I hear otherwise
The pattern has both written directions and charts.
Lace is on RS rows only. WS rows are purl except where a double or quadruple yarn over requires a knit stitch.
Please note that the pattern is not included in this particular Kit.
You can download it directly from Mary-Anne's Ravelry Store which will place the pattern in your Library to ensure you have access to updates and pattern support.