Peacock lace


I started Prima’s birthday present with unreasonable expectations. I had a pattern for a shawl which I thought she’d like, and I thought I’d knit it up on the subway going to and from work. Her birthday was three weeks away. It seemed so easy.

But I had picked a terrible pattern, with terrible charts for lace which seemed to mutate constantly making it impossible to memorize. The second day out I discovered the chart I was carrying only covered the first twenty lines. With an hour of knitting time ahead of me and no information about what came next, I abandoned that pattern and started knitting leaf lace, based vaguely on my memory of Aeolian. But I wanted something special, something particularly Prima-y. So for the border I created this peacock feather lace.



I don’t think it would be right to put up a pattern for this shawl as a whole, since the first twenty rows came from someone else’s pattern. But I’ve charted the peacock lace for you to incorporate into your own projects.

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This chart shows only the right side rows. Purl all wrong side stitches. To make a peacock feather from this pattern, work rows 1-2 (first box) 8 times to make the quill. Work rows 3-12 one time to set up the barbs. Work rows 13-16 (second box) 8 times for the body of the feather. Finally, work rows 17-38 one time to make the eye of the peacock feather. In line 17 (the first line of the eye) there are several yarn overs in a row. Wrap the yarn around the needle multiple times to create an extra large yarn over. Then, on line 18, knit into the front and back of this loop until you have formed four stitches (front, back, front, back).

When you block the lace, pin the tip of the feather to form a point, and push around the eye until it has a nice round shape.


Lace weight shawls take longer than I’d planned on, and making up the lace as I went didn’t help. I gave the shawl to Prima for Christmas.

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