Shannon Cook’s Elfriede shawl is another beautiful design from issue 6. It’s a sideways asymmetrical triangle shawl that is knitted corner to corner. The overall body is worked in lace stitch that mimics small trees. We asked Shannon some questions about the pattern and here’s what she told us:
Where did the idea for Elfriede come from?
The idea for Elfriede came from the pairing of a yarn with a stitch pattern I loved. Ever since I spotted those pretty little trees I knew I wanted to use them on a shawl design. Once I saw the yarn I knew they would go together perfectly. The trees reminded me of family summers spent with my Omi (Elfriede) and my family at her cabin on the lake. I am very close with my Omi and was blessed to grow up in the same town as her for most of my life. She now suffers from advanced dementia and it's been very difficult. Seeing those trees and pairing them with the raised slip stitch patterns represents to me that no matter what happens in life with your health etc. you can always find your path home to your heart and your loved ones. I feel she still recognizes "love" and that no matter what happens, she'll always be with me in my memories and in my soul and I wanted to dedicate this special project to her.
Once I knew the issues name was Heritage I felt it was kismet. I was so thankful to be included in Laine and it truly meant so much to me that the shawl and this issue were together. She would have been so proud and would have loved both the shawl and the publication. It warms my heart and it was such a special experience for me.
What was the most challenging part of the design process?
The most challenging part of the design process for me was charting out the instructions. Making charts for shawls is something I find myself constantly striving to improve on. I'm thankful for tech editors for this reason...lol.
What did you learn when designing Elfriede?
This was the first time I've designed this shape/length of shawl and I really enjoyed it. It's easy to wear and fun to knit.
What's your favourite thing about the pattern?
My favourite thing about the pattern is the story behind it and how the design tells it's tale and knowing that others have resonated with it and enjoyed the pattern themselves. It's soothing to knit and I find in our hectic lives it's meditative to heal our heart while we knit. To imbue our love and memories into every stitch.
How does the design reflect your design aesthetic?
This design reflects my aesthetic because I love all things textured. It's my happy place. I enjoy telling a story so to speak with texture and lines by using different stitches.
Any words of advice for choosing yarn for this one?
I definitely recommend a yarn with good drape. Fibre Co. Cumbria Worsted is made of 60% Merino Wool, 30% masham wool and 10% mohair and with this design it shows off the stitch pattern and drapes beautifully. Finding a yarn you love that has stitch definition but also lovely drape will allow you to achieve a gorgeous finished project.