I know Halloween is still some weeks away, but I simply could not resist this. And really, this is a beautiful piece, not at all limited to visions of its namesake.
Here is how Susanna IC, this amazing designer, describes Dracula, which was originally published as part of the Victorian Writers Knitting Club from Woolgirl in October 2011:
Dracula – the horror, the shock, the revulsion, the gore, and the underlying romance of it all…
Man/Woman, Day/Night, Good/Evil, Death/Life, Love/Hate – these enduring themes of contradiction and opposition continue to draw new readers into the realm of vampires. You imagine yourself there in the darkened world where he swoops in and embraces you in his large diaphanous wings making you feel safe and secure in a fleeting moment of ecstasy.
This shawl retells the original story in yarn.
The lace pattern starts with the Mina’s heart section, which echoes the romantic undercurrent of the entire novel. The eerie gothic castle setting is reflected in the shapes of flying buttresses which evolve into fluttering bats. The final edge sections are designed to look like actual batwings, so that the wings will embrace you completely when you wrap the shawl around you.
I hope you’ll enjoy your journey into the Count’s fascinating world: “Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!”
Yarn and Colorway
Now Susanna knit her original with a lace yarn from Madelinetosh --- this is not the yarn we have here in these kits. Our yarn can be seen in the inset photo on the top picture and again below it. The other photos are there to show you the marvelous design and allow your imagination to "see" how it will look.
The yarn we chose is a delicious light fingering weight yarn. It is from Ella Rae, their new Heathered Merino Superfine with 80% fine superwash merino/ 20% nylon and 457 yards (412m)/ 100g.
The colorway is Beetroot, a lovely red-violet that has a wonderful richness and depth to it. This will make for a Dracula that can be worn year round.
What is required per Susanna for this shawl is 825 - 850 yards (754 - 777 m) of yarn, either fingering weight or lace weight. So each kit will include two skeins of this Ella Rae and thus 914 yards, more than enough to make a very substantial piece.
The design also has optional beads.
Susanna suggests about 1500 of size 8/0 though she does mention that fingering weight yarn might require the larger size 6/0s. Well, I tried out both sizes on this yarn and as it is a light fingering weight I found that 8/0s were a tad tight but overall worked just fine.
The kit will automatically include these smaller size 8/0 beads. However, if you'd prefer the larger 6/0s, that option is also included.
Make sure the drop-down menu is set as you would like!
Susanna used red ones on her original (and again I quote): Blood drips along the length of the shawl in form of bright red beads (1500 8/0 3.1mm glass seed beads), starting with a few droplets at the center of the shawl and ending with veritable blood pools along the bottom edges.
To be honest, for this yarn I would go with a deep purple or smoky amethyst to suggest the dripping of the blood perhaps but not belabor the point nor limit the whole to Halloween.
Note also that the kit will not automatically include the pattern nor has the cost been factored in.
I know some knitters prefer to get it directly as a PDF file of the pattern from Susanna via her Ravelry web page. In that case, set the Pattern drop-down menu to "No Pattern Needed."
Alternatively, if you would like a printed copy, please make sure the drop-down menu is set to that.
We also can email the pattern to you via email (just be aware that it is not automatic; I have to manually send it to you so it might take a bit of time for me to get to it). Just make sure that drop-down menu is set as you would like before you check out.
A really beautiful design. A great yarn. Strikingly lovely beads. What more could a knitter ask for? :-)