Julia Farwell-Clay


A Plan B Rhinebeck Shawl: Picket Fence


Easing (as they say over at Mason Dixon Knitting) into Fall, I’m still knitting in blurbs and blobs on that little whim I had a few months ago when I thought I’d have plenty of time to just crank this thing out in a day or two. When it comes to time and knitting, I am like a famished shopper wandering through the grocery store, piling more and more things in my cart believing I actually need to have them to feel satisfied. So when someone commented online that they wished they could see the Picket Fence Afghan from the Ease Field Guide worked up as a shawl, well wouldn’t you know it? Even though the Picket Fence is my design for the Metronome Shawl writ small (one square at a time, dear knitters), I thought why not make another shawl using the old idea, but more like the newer idea, possibly an altogether NEW idea? It won’t take me long: I’ll just knit this to prove a point (the intended point being perhaps a little different from the actual point, that is: It’s PRETTY versus it’s NOT FAST).


And yet, I did. This is a rendering of the afghan square, but worked continuously minus one stripe (to avoid doubled stripes). If you follow me on Instagram (which is so much more likely these days than the possibility of your actually reading what I’m writing here, but if you do follow me over there, THANK you so much) you are likely familiar with my incremental updates of the Picket Fence Shawl I’m knitting. It’s just such a lovely thing to drone away on, super easy since the pattern is designed to be that way once you grasp the concept. I’ve knit it both in highly distracting environments and on the long trans-continental flights that took me to San Francisco and back last week. I was equally productive and entertained in both situations. I’ve knit through three skeins of Spincycle Dyed-in-the-Wool (color Kimono) and two big skeins of Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering (color Cumulus) by now. I’m going to have to dig into one more skein of the Sincere Sheep I think before I am done and if I play out what remains of the Spincycle – well – I’ll see what I want to do at that point. Not worrying about it until I have to worry about it. I have another color in the stash. It’s pink, but it could be an interesting addition. A picked-up-from-the-edges three needle bind-off will join the strips together when all is complete, just like the afghan.

I have started a third width, since I see now two were not enough. I’m one repeat along, hoping to get it done perhaps in time for Rhinebeck this year in case the weekend trends too warm for actual sweater wearing. Given the variable weather in recent years, I think a Plan B Rhinebeck Shawl should be a thing.

Julia Farwell-Clay