Eccentric and non-conforming, Lunatic Fringe is an off-kilter shawl that grows asymmetrically from the bottom up, and sprouts digit-like fringes on one side. The fringes are knit in as you go along by repeatedly binding off and casting on, while the body features alternating textural stripes. Cast on with a few stitches, Lunatic Fringe grows by increasing unequally along both sides to the long top edge, which is finished simply with a stretchy bind off.
I chose a slubby merino/ alpaca/ silk blend which is weirdly iridescent in duo-tonal colors, to accentuate the erratic nature of the shawl; handspun would create a similar effect. Any yarn and any amount may be used.
The Fibre Company Terra [40% merino, 40% alpaca, 20% silk; 100 yd/91 m per 50g skein]; color: Butternut; 4 skeins.
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
1 40-inch US #9/5.5mm circular needle
2 stitch markers
14 sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, after blocking
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
k2tog tbl: knit two together through the back loop
M1R: Insert left needle, from back to front, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then knit into the front of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
M1L: Insert left needle, from front to back, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then knit into the back of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
M1P: Insert left needle, from back to front, under the horizontal strand which lies between the stitch just knit, and the following stitch; then purl into the front of this loop. 1 stitch increased.
Instructions for the Long-Tail Cast On can be found here.
This shawl is cast on at the bottom tip, and worked to the top edge in alternating garter stitch and stockinette stitch stripes, with a 2 stitch garter edging on each side.
Every RS row increases 1 stitch at each side, while every WS row increases 1 stitch on one side only, inside the 2 stitch garter edging. On Bind Off rows, after binding off 15, one stitch will remain on right needle as part of the garter edging.
When casting on stitches for the fringe, use medium tension; a death grip will make it difficult to knit those stitches on the next row. Knit the edge stitches and make the increases loosely, to prevent the shawl edges from pulling in.
CO 5 sts using long-tail method. Setup Row [WS]: K2, pm, m1R, k1, pm, knit to end; CO 15 sts using backwards loop method. 2 sts between markers.
Garter Stripe: Row 1 [RS]: K17, sm, m1R, knit to marker, m1L, sm, k2. 2 sts increased between markers.
Row 2 [WS]: K2, sm, m1R, knit to end. 1 st increased between markers.
Row 3 [RS], BO Row: BO 15, k1, sm, m1R, knit to marker, m1L, sm, k2. 2 sts increased between markers.
Row 4 [WS], CO Row: K2, sm, m1R, knit to end; CO 15 sts using backwards loop method. 1 st increased between markers.