Thoughts about the Rockefeller shawl pattern.

Rockefeller is a pattern by knitting pop star Stephen West:

It was a mystery knit-a-long in July 2012. It had four clues:

  1. the neck part with the short row wedges
  2. the lower part with the solid coloured part and the little YO’s
  3. the outer border with the stacks of short strokes
  4. the striped wing tips

 pic by FiberRachel

I’ve knitted my own back in 2014, with some changes:

The borders run the length of the shawl, both at the top end and the bottom end. That last one is done when you knit clue 4 (the wing tips) before clue 3 (the outer border).

I also decreased faster than the pattern says in the wingtips. And between the main body part and the striped wing bits I made sure I didn’t knit a double stripe. I did this by using a prov. cast-on and prov. cast-of at begin and end of clue 1 and by starting clue 4 in sequence with clue 1 instead of just following the pattern.

Today I’m knitting a second Rockefeller. In blue and white:

The blue is Dutch Knitting Design Krokus, a lovely yarn consisting of 65% Merino, 20% Bamboo and 15% Silk. It’s a soft and draping yarn and I’m knitting it on small needles, 2,25 mm, with a firm hand.

The white is a round plied fingering weight which I knit with a slightly gentler hand. Still the white pops up and the blue drapes.

In this Rockefeller I will do the same things as I did in the purple one. The border-thing and the shorter wing tips. But this time I’m also doing lots of other tweaks to please my inner nit picker. For instance, I experimented with different Wrap & Turns:

At the bottom is a standard shadow W&T. Because the blue yarn is knitted with more tension (?) the white stitch that knits together the blue stitch and its shadow is pulled down.

In the wedge on top I knitted the shadow together not with its own stitch but with the previous stitch. I don’t know why but it worked: no more white V’s out of line.

Of course I then had to frog everything and start anew, to have consistency. Another thing I did was not picking up stitches at the outer most ends of the i-cord and also begin and end clue 1 with half a white ridge. These things will come in handy later when I want the i-cord to lie between the garter ridges and not break through it. See at the bottom right:

I’m now in clue 2 and here I don’t cut the yarns but carry them up the sides. I’m also changing the pace of the blue-white because I’m a bit weary of too neat blue-white stripes…. they soon become “Breton”…

From Breton you get to “nautical” too easy. In the Netherlands we have this nautical boasting which grew from our sea faring history, our traditional sail manufacturers, the sailing cloth that’s visible in our daily clothing and the high money sailing events that occur nowadays. It’s very much a clique.

Or perhaps I have too many fashion clique memories of the ’80s to see dark blue and white stripes just for what they are…

 Gaastra sailing clothes and experience

But also! Each Summer wannabe skippers stroll the canals around my house, wearing these shirts and a ridiculous skipper cap. I hear them loudly proclaiming all kinds of nonsense about the harbour and the weather and even my house. Go back to your plastic floatable, you ridiculous man!

 pic by passantenhaven WV de Waterpoort

How different are these tourists from the other guys that dress the same: the shanty choir singers. Now these are boating characters who know not to take themselves so seriously and to make life fun:

'Stuurloos' pic by fritscdejong

Navy blue stripes… probably unfair but I’m not a fan.

Since I have way more yarn of the blue than the white I thought to put in lots more rows of blue in clue 2 before doing a white stripe. Which I also make half as high as the pattern states.

I’m also changing the shape of the shawl. I increase far less than the pattern does because this time I don’t want a circular shawl, I want a shawl that hangs flat on my back. The pattern increases 24 stitches on each of the five increase rows. My increase rows are further apart and have maybe 16 increases, if that.

If you want, here’s my project page of the finished purple shawl, with English notes.

Paperboat by Hamlet&Heimer, a free pattern.


One thought on “Thoughts about the Rockefeller shawl pattern.

  1. Ship ahoy! Put on your boat shoes, wrap this shawl around your neck and you will be sailing off to knitting land!

    LOL joking, I think this color combo is lovely and not nautical at all. I have yet to cast on my rockefeller….

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