Hello, Shaelyn


A while ago, I did a post about all of my works-in-progress. In truth, nothing much has changed with most of them, but the act of getting them all out so I could take fresh photos sparked a renewed desire to see them finished. I have since picked Grace back up and, to my deep satisfaction, finished the longest-standing WIP in the pile, Shaelyn.

I'm not sure what L was doing with the camera here, but I was definitely standing upright.

I’m not sure what L was doing with the camera here, but I was definitely standing upright.

I cast this on over a year ago, and it is a prime example of a project being the victim of its circumstances. Mainly, that the yarn I used (Handmaiden Casbah in Lupins) was awful to wind. Both skeins had switchbacks that required cutting the yarn and untangling it on the swift. I think I ended up winding the skeins by hand (each one in two halves) before re-winding them into cakes. I probably shouldn’t have cast on right away, because I was ticked off, which made it really easy for me to put down this shawl at the first moment it became less than intuitive (by which I mean, my stitch count was off and I couldn’t be bothered to figure out why). We’ve all had these projects, right?

Anyway, after I finished Flukra and found myself wearing it pretty much every day, I decided I wanted another big shawl immediately. I could have cast on for something new, but Shaelyn was three repeats in, so figuring out where I went wrong seemed faster — and since Leila Raabe offers a little guide to figuring out where you are in the pattern, it only required me to rip out a couple of rows to get back on track.


I knit on Shaelyn steadily before putting it down to start New Girl, and then last weekend I decided to finish it. I was nearly finished the seventh repeat when I put it down (I wanted a big shawl, after all) and the remainder of the repeat, plus the edging and the bind-off took most of Saturday (the rows were all 300+ stitches), but it blocked out beautifully and dried over night, in time to take pictures of it with New Girl. I really wish I’d measured it before blocking (we had friends over, so after finishing the cast-off over drinks, I just put it in to soak), but I’d guess it blocked out 12 inches are so larger in both wingspan and depth.

It’s huge, but the loose and drapey fabric make it light and easy to wear, and it needs no adjusting to stay put around my neck. I love it, and I am so glad that I both waited so long to finish it (I was annoyed with it originally, so might not have pushed ahead with the extra repeats) and that I picked it back when I did — it’s perfect for spring!

Finished measurements: 66 inches across x 36 inches deep. Enormous.

Finished measurements: 66 inches across x 36 inches deep. Enormous.

Pattern: Shaelyn by Leila Raabe
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah Sock in Lupins
Needles: 5mm
Notes: I had two skeins of the yarn, so I added two extra repeats of the chart before the edging. With one skein I would have been fine to have knit this as written (the extra two repeats + edging took about half the second skein). I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which gives a nice edge especially for blocking out the slightly-scalloped edge. Ravelled here.

18 thoughts on “Hello, Shaelyn

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Thank you! I was worried it would be too big to wear easily, but it turned out to be the exact opposite – I never want to take it off!

  1. Andrea

    Wow. This is beautiful. I’m struggling through a very simple lace shawl pattern (and had a hard time with the lace panel on Grace) so I have tremendous respect for anyone who undertakes a large lace project. Despite your initial frustration, the end result is lovely – and well worth it, I bet!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Thank you! This is sort of a pretend lace shawl, since the lace is broken up with stripes of plain stockinette. The loose gauge gives it the look of all-over lace, though, as does the lace edging. It’s sort of like gateway lace, and it’s making me want to knit an all-over lace shawl for real.

  2. Julia M.

    Amazing! Purple is a beautiful colour (since a few years … 😉 ) and is suits your teint so well, especially with the white shirt!

    I am sorry that I forgot to comment on your skirt – but I looked at the posting and thought “wow”. REALLY well done!!! And I’m glad to see that the weather has been better at your area – finally. 😀

    Have an amazing weekend!!!

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Thank you! I love this purple especially since it’s shot through with black, giving it a sort of moody quality that makes it surprisingly easy to wear.

      I am thrilled that spring is here! Even if we get a few more cold-ish days, the warm ones more than make up for it 🙂

  3. Audry

    Even if the yarn was a pain to wind, it sure looks beautiful when it is knit up. I might be extra biased since Casbah is one of my more favorite yarns at the moment.

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      You’re definitely right. And I think I just got a couple of bad skeins (same colourway, purchased at the same time, etc.) since the skein I used to knit my mum’s Christmas shawl was no problem at all to wind. Casbah is such a pleasure to wear that even if every skein was a pain to wind I’d probably still buy it!

  4. kiwiyarns

    Haha, I was right! It is a Shaelyn! 😀 Very beautiful job. I bet you’ll find you use it a lot. Yes, I’ve had projects like that where the yarn was such a pain to wind that I then decided not to knit the project. It has also put me off buying that yarn ever again. I should probably get over it, I’m sure not all skeins were tangled like the one I had. As Audry said, Casbah is delicious… I am in envy of your beautiful and lovely, cuddly shawl.

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Thank you! Casbah really is delicious to wear (and knit with!) and entirely worth any frustration I suffered while winding it.

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      It makes me want to cast on another shawl immediately! I definitely go through phases with shawls, but the I’ve been wearing the last two so much that I think I need a few more. For me, the key seems to be size, so as long as they’re big, I’m game.

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