The Urchin Shawl pattern is finally ready! This was my big design project of 2006, the largest piece I've ever knit. I hope it gives you as much joy as it gives me every time I look at my finished shawl.
This shawl was inspired by the beautiful delicate pattern on the shell of the Red Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotrus franciscanus), native to the northern Pacific coast of the United States and Canada. Covered with 3-inch-long spines while alive, and growing to a diameter of 6 inches, these animals hide their lacy inner beauty. The shawl is worked in the round from the center out and then a lace edging, reminiscent of gently waving seaweed, is knit on sideways.
It requires ~3750 m (~4100 yds) of laceweight yarn, approximately 40 wraps per inch, and 3mm (US #2) needles. As with most shawls, gauge is not critical, but after blocking there are 7.5 stitches and 9 rows per inch, in stockinette. Techniques used include increasing, decreasing, reading a chart, working in the round from the center out, provisional cast-on, knit-on edging, and grafting lace in pattern.
After blocking, the shawl is 84" in diameter, measured from point to point.
This pattern, though not difficult in the execution, is quite a large piece of knitting. A healthy dose of patience is suggested, and enjoyment of the journey. The results are worth it!