Old Maiden Aunt Yarns

Studio 30. Ritchie Street. West Kilbride. KA23 9AL. Scotland. info@oldmaidenaunt.com

coming home – st. andrews shawl

the next pattern to be revealed in the “coming home” book is a gorgeous two-colour shawl by kirsten kapur, the “st. andrews shawl”. i love Kirsten’s use of colour, lace, and tiny cables in this beautiful shawl – it’s even more stunning in person and i’m really happy to have this lovely knit in the book! here’s Kirsten’s thoughts on the pattern and the process:

© Jeni Reid

© Jeni Reid

When you grow up as the daughter of a golf fan, you learn at an early age that St. Andrews is a magical place. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized the town earned its reputation for more than just its legendary course. My husband, a golfer like my father, quickly agreed to my suggestion of a trip to Scotland to celebrate our 25 wedding anniversary. I went off to Scotland dreaming of lochs, sheep, beautiful knitting, and ancient towns, my husband sat by my side dreaming of golf, whiskey, castles, and more golf. He entered the lottery for a tee time on the Old Course, and I agreed that if his number was selected, we could take a day trip to the coastal town. To his glee, he did get a tee time, and so I gave up my extra day in Edinburgh to play golf.

Kirsten’s dad, mid-1950s Arkansas.

(This photo of Kirsten’s dad was taken in the 1950′s in Arkansas, where he was stationed during the Korean War. He was a research scientist and never sent overseas. There was a small golf course nearby where he and his buddies often played. It may have been more of a cow pasture masquerading as a golf course, as you can tell by the way he’s dressed – he was definitely not the flashy country club type!)

I knew little of St. Andrews other than a bit of golf history, so it was a delightful surprise when we arrived to find a breathtakingly beautiful town. Along with the windswept golf course there were narrow, cobblestone streets lined with centuries old stone houses, and the spectacular ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, all sitting picturesquely above the sea. We only had time to visit the cathedral that day, there was golf to be played after all, but we left determined to return someday to explore more of the town and its historic sites (no doubt there will be more golf as well).

© Kirsten Kapur

© Kirsten Kapur

My St Andrews shawl design is inspired by that trip. The arch motif on the body of the shawl reflects the arched windows of the cathedral ruins, and the ripple stitch along the border is the waves rolling up on the shore. Lilith’s colors are a beautiful representation of the colors that dominate St Andrews — they are the colors of faded grass, stormy sea, and lichens on old stone buildings.

© Jeni Reid

© Jeni Reid

Kirsten’s shawl is asymmetrical, worked from the small point through the “cathedral window” lace pattern into the two-colour ripple stich and ending with a contrast border incorporating lace and small cables. It uses one skein each of two contrasting colours of 4ply yarn (the sample used my superwash merino/cashmere 4ply in “kelpie” and “greige”). you can find Kirsten at Through the Loops if you’d like to look at more of her designs!

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