Thistle inspiration

378px-Onopordon_acanthiumThistle on Handa IslandAfter my trip to Scotland (see here ) I have been inspired to create a shawl based on the Thistle of which I saw many on our hardiest birding excursion to Handa Island.

On the far left is “botanical” drawing from Wikipedia; on the right is my photo from Handa Island.


“The common name Cotton thistle derives from the cotton-like hairs on the leaves; the name Scotch thistle comes from a legend that the plant's thorny thickets helped protect Scotland from the Vikings. Oral folklore holds that as Vikings attempted to sneak up at night to attack and raid Scottish villages, they were stuck by the thistles' thorns and cried out in pain, alerting the townsfolk to the attack and allowing them to fight back and drive back the invaders. Following this the Thistle was adopted as the floral emblem of Scotland.”

from Wikipedia

So last night at our first weekly knitting (more later) I started to swatch (but first made a mess of one ball) and finished later (watching NIGHT SHIFT – a new spinoff of General Hospital – now don’t judge me!)


Thistle Lace swatch on size 4 with Elann Baby Cashmere color 1575
Based on the pattern in Scotch Thistle Lace Stole by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer

You are seeing two repetitions of the pattern – see the two flowers on either side on their long stems. I want a shawl and not a stole and so have compressed the pattern to a smaller motif for repeating.  

I checked on Elann and of course this color is not available and I only have about 6 balls of it so I rooted in the stash and found this


Elann Peruvian Pure Alpaca in a gorgeous purple  (#1742). and I have 30 balls !

So I will reswatch and see how it is – I think I will like it though – because I want a little thicker, heavier shawl than the cashmere anyway.  more to come.


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