b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  Swallowtail Shawl v2.0
Thank you so very much for all your comments on the Pi Shawl Blanket - it really is a special pattern and a very special knit to have around. I highly recommend giving it a shot with any yarn you have lying around - it's very versatile. There were a number of questions that I received via e-mail about the shawl (mostly about the yarn and blocking) that I've done my best to answer at the conclusion of this post. I hope they are helpful!

And since we're already in a lacey state of mind, I figure I'd exploit this opportunity to introduce a finished project that has been waiting for a little blog coverage for months. If you've followed my knitting for any length of time, you know I prefer knitting lace in thicker weight wools - I think the beautiful stitch work combined with something a little more heavy duty is a winning combination and I always seem to come back to it. My second swallowtail is no exception.

Swallowtail Shawl 2.0

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark [Ravelry]
Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Materials: Queensland Collection Uruguay DK (70 ex.fine merino, 20 alpaca, 10 silk) [Ravelry]
Amount: about 4.5 skeins (approx. 225 grams/560 yards) in "Mint" (#10)
Needles: US7/4.5mm Addi Turbo 32" Circulars

Started: April 2007
Finished: May 2007
Blocked: August 2007
Gifted: December 2007 (Phew!)

The color in this photo is the least accurate - a touch too green. The other photos are more true to actual color

This is a wonderful pattern and quite a popular one. I knit my first one in October '06 with lace weight and ever since wondered how those lacey bobbles would look in a dk weight. Of the two I think I prefer the thicker one, but they're both beautiful and have their own unique charms.

Thicker yarns give a great stitch definition but don't have as good a blocking memory as lace. I see this as an added advantage because it makes them that much more thick and snuggly. I'll often add a couple repeats in the lace pattern if possible when working with thicker yarns to compensate for this.


The yarn is wonderful - I snatched it up from a WEBS sale last year and had a great time working with it. It's not the wooliest of wools but it's got a bouncy, soft feel and a light sheen because of the silk that provides both elegance and warmth.

This was gifted in December an I'm happy it's getting some wear now that the daily temps here in New York are in the low 30's.

Pi Shawl Queries: A few additional details about my Pi Shawl to answer e-mails I've received.

First, more specifics about the color of the wool. I received this yarn as a gift from a friend in Iceland. She purchased the yarn there in person. Schoolhouse Press does sell this yarn, but in a limited palette - which I should have mentioned earlier - and does not currently carry the color that I used.

The color of my wool is titled Sea Green Heather and listed as product #1422 on the Istex official color card - viewable here. You'll notice they have a lot of wonderful colors! Don't say I didn't warn you.

In researching, we think that the best bet for possibly acquiring this yarn by mail order would be the Handknitting Association of Iceland, but can't say for sure. All of their contact information is available behind the link. NOTE: it seems that the colorcard listed on their site is an older version and sites Sea Green Heather as #9736.

Blocking: Yes, blocking was quite a challenge in our hardwood-floored, tiny apartment. I was hoping to be able to block the shawl on the queen-sized bed but realized very soon that this would not be possible. After some creative brainstorming, we tried a rather unconventional but nonetheless effective way of blocking - involving the box spring. The picture says it all.

And finally - a few of you asked if I worked with the unspun Icelandic wool single stranded or held it double stranded. I worked single stranded.

I hope that helps - I'll add this information as a post-script in the original post so everything is in one place. Happy knitting!


That's beautiful.

Lovely work as usual, Jared. Your promotion of lace in larger yarns is starting to get to me -- I may just have to make a DK or worsted-weight lace shawl. . .

Lovely, it looks super snuggly.

Ultra-gorgeous, I love the muted color. I'm thinking some Silky Wool would be amazing for the Swallowtail...

Simply gorgeous!! I love the way Swallowtail looks in that yarn.

The nupps look like pearls in the first photo.


Your swallowtail shawl is amazing! I'm sure whoever received it is thrilled. Nice work.


Your shetland triangle shawl in 2006 got me interested in lace knitting. It was the first time I had seen someone use something other than lace-weight for lace knitting and I loved the look of it. Your swallowtail is beautiful.

I love this shawl, but I have loved everything you have shown us. I am always inspired by your knitting, spinning, and photos. I agree about the beauty of lace in heavier weight wool and that your shetland triangle shawl was lovely. That's how I got hooked on Sundara yarn!

It's such a great pattern I'm really itching to start it. I like what you've done with it, it's always interesting when you modify something.

Beautiful shawl!

Good gracious, where did you sleep while that monster was blocking? :D

I always thought this shawl was pretty but definitely not for me. That was...until I saw this! The heavier weight yarn just makes it so much prettier (in my opinion) I think I will definitely give this pattern a go now...in DK weight. It's beautiful!

Just a small comment concerning the Icelandic unpsun. An online shop in Italy sell it and will order if necessary:
The website is in Italian only and I am not sure about shipment outside Italy but the owner speaks english as well so try to contact her if you are interested!

Wow.. this is lovely! I've got to show Mum this. And we love your photos too!

The swallowtail is beautiful. I've been umm'ing and ahh'ing over the pattern for a long time and just couldn't put my finger on why I haven't knit one yet. It's the yarn. Saw yours and it's made up my mind for me. Something heavier than laceweight definitely! Thanks for the idea! :)

I love the look of lacier shawls, but I'll be the first to admit that I always reach for the one I made with heavier yarn first. Your Swallowtail looks indeed very snuggly and warm. Were the nupps as much of a pain with a heavier yarn?

Simply gorgeous! Like you, I prefer the thicker yarns because they just seem to cling better and with the larger project, can be shown off better, too!

Stunning, Jared! Absolutely stunning!

What a gorgeous shawl! I am totally with you on preferring lace in heavier-weight yarn...I actually started my future sister-in-law's wedding shawl over again recently to switch it from laceweight to fingering weight for that reason. I'm planning to knit a Swallowtail Shawl for me in Silky Wool, at some point. Hooray for heavier lace!

I love the heft your shawl has and will have to remember that I don't need to use laceweight for each lace project. It's just so easy to get drawn to the lace weight yarns with their heavy yardage.

Love it!The things you make are beautiful!

wow, thanks for sharing the blocking information! u rule : )

I've made the Swallowtail in both a very fine, slightly wirey yarn as well as a heavy sportweight, and the heavier version was much better. I've wanted to make it again and now am really interested in the DK wight - it's beauitful.

It never occurred to me to make the lace in a heavier weight ... brilliant! I much prefer the look and substance to the finer weights. Thanks for the tip about extending the repeats to compensate. Now, where did I stash that magazine ...!

Lace in heavier yarns is SO yummy! Thanks for sharing that one, it's beautiful, and thanks also for your very-informative break-down on the Pi shawl! I can't believe you had to block it on the box spring! Too fun ;)

that is stunning. I love it when you make lace nice and big. Makes me want to knit lace. Almost.

by the way, you're one of those people who make my day. award for you on my blog.


Thanks for all your helpful advice. I've made shawls from fingering weight down, but I've been contemplating using a heavier yarn because I want something cozier to wear. It's good to know that you favor lace in heavier yarns--it will give me some confidence in selecting a stash yarn and swatching it.

Yet again, another gorgeous finished object! Nice work.

Jared, I have come to the conclusion that your blog is like comfort food for the eye...the colors, the photography, your knitting...everything is so gorgeous. I can appreciate how much work and artistic savoir faire goes into it.
As always, all the best to you.

Very pretty.. I have been wanting to make that shawl, I will have to try it in a heavier weight :-)

The shawl is beautiful! I just wanted to add that Schoolhouse Press has just added some lovely colors to their Unspun Icelandic collection, so if anyone is interestd in ordering this yarn they might want to check out Schoolhouse Press before going to the trouble of ordering from overseas.

jared, the shawl is absolutely gorgeous (as is everything you knit!)...lace knitting is my favorite, and i'm loving the idea of lace knitting in thicker yarns!

Well...now you've inspired me to take another run at the swallowtail shawl with some worsted weight cashmere. The lace weight one is okay...but yours is over the top.
BTW, I've given you a "You Make My Day" award at my blog...just so you know. No strings attached. I just hope others will enjoy your blog as I do.

I love this pattern. I've knitted it myself, and just this evening tried to convince a friend that she needed to do the same (I think I've succeeded).

You know, I am with Valerie - I've given you a 'You Make My Day' award on my blog too.

I've been lurking for well over a year now and I regularly check your blog to see your work, read your commentary on your pieces and enjoy your stunning photographs.

This piece is no exception!

You're lovely knits and beautiful photography always make my day! =D

I, too, have been waiting for a reason and a prompt to knit this shawl. I promptly ran out today and found a perfect DK weight, hustled up the pattern and am settling in. My grandma deserves something in a muted purple.

Thanks for all the gorgeous eye candy you give us.

So inspiring! I've been dreaming of lace knitting for a while. Maybe soon I'll get up the nerve.

Beautiful! I really admire your passion and your skill. You are certainly a role model for me. By the way, I met Luigi today, I'm at FIT and as soon as I saw the Koolhaas hat he had on it's what we started to talk about.

I appreciate your pictures which help me immensely with my knitting.

Both are gorgeous!

Just wanted you to know I am passing on the "You make my day" award to you. You've probably gotten a bunch of these, but hey, toss another on the pile!

Your photography is beautiful.

See my blog for details, and pass this along if you want to.


I love it even more than your first!

As usual, you really deliver! The shawl is really lovely and I totally agree about the heavier weights. Just gorgeous.

And on an unrelated note, I award thee a blogger who makes my day, you can see the post about it on my blog if you can be bothered.

You’ve probably already received at least one, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve given you a “you make my day” award over at my blog!


All the best,


Oh, wow, comes this Swallowtail Shawl--and I thought the deep red one was the most beautiful thing I had seen. Seeing that shawl showed me that using larger yarns for lace patterns makes all the difference in letting the beauty of the pattern pop. I have also found the actual wearing of the piece in the more substantial weight to be more enjoyable. Your work is stunning; I appreciate your showing it and sharing the information about it with us.

Gorgeous, gorgeous! Just wanted to also let you know that you've been awarded a "you make my day" award! Thanks for always making me smile with your gorgeous photos!

Allow me to be the billionth person to hand you this virtual Valentine of sorts...


Your knits are always beautiful.
Thank you for the tip on the blocking on the round blanket/shawl. I think I am going to have the same problem with mine. Perhaps that is why I haven't picked it up in about 6 months! I really need to finish it. I am so close!

beth (big geek)

Your Pi shawl/blanket is gorgeous--the color just sings. The Swallowtail isn't bad, either.

Hi, new today to reading your blog. I enjoyed your interview on Webs podcast. I'm a fellow lace lover. Hope to cross paths some day and compare notes. Carry on!

hey... ive just finnished reading your hole blog, and i must say im impressed!!! i wish i could knit as you do...
or that my husbond could.
keep up the good work!!

delurking here to say that I love your blog, your knitting and photos. I always check in with what you're doing and I feel a bit silly saying this because I'm sure that half the country has done this, but I've tagged you.

I love heavier lace, it's always so strong yet delicate. Beautiful work!

So lovely. The nupps make more sense in that yarn.

The shawl in heavier weight is beautiful! I love the look of thicker lace shawls, how do you go about translating a lace pattern into a thicker gauge?

You are such an inspiration! MERCI !

I am a new blogger and have just come upon your site--it is great!! Someday when my blog "grows up" I hope to have one equally as nice. Love the EZ Pi shawl; so much that I will HAVE to make one also. Julierose

I can't imagine what to say that hasn't already been said by the other 58 commenters. But still I feel the need to say how absolutely beautiful these shawls are. And that you have trigged me to perhaps try to make one, allthough I am scared to death since I am a very unexperienced knitter. But it is too beautiful not to try....eventually.

where can I get the pattern for that great shawl?

looks fantastic. I've been meaning to knit this again myself. Such a pretty pattern. The last time I left off the bobbles.

Fabulous! I've been wanting to make a heavier lace shawl. I love the lace knitting, but really wanted a warmer shawl. This is great.

I'm also excited about the prospect of getting to take a class from you in June in Blacksburg. Hooray! Thanks to Gina.

I've wanted to try lace knitting but always found the lace weight yarn so scary, not to mention needles the size of toothpicks!! Your work is exactly what I needed to see - now maybe I will have the courage to give it a try with the dk yarn. Any suggestions for a first timer?
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