This pattern is currently only available as part of The Knitting Salon Yarn and Pattern Club 2022
Nightingale is an unusual shawl, which with some simple folding becomes an elegant easy-fitting jacket. The Nightingale design owes much to the traditional 'Nightingales' popularised in the late 1800s, which were worn over the shoulders in bed. These textile pieces were usually a basic rectangular shape with additional details created by clever manipulation of the fabric. I have long wanted to recreate a particular Nightingale which can be found in the third edition of the Knitting & Crochet Book written by M. Elliot Scrivenor, needlework correspondent to the 'Queen' newspaper and manageress of the Technical Institute of Needlework, London and published by John Paton, Son & Co of Alloa, Scotland in 1903. The Nightingale wrap in this collection was crocheted but I wanted to create a knitted version and for this I used one of my favourite knitted lace stitches - Horseshoe Lace - to create an open but linear fabric, with 'peaks' to replicate the zig zag shapes in the end papers of the Persephone book, Diary of a Provincial Lady by E. M. Delafield. Edged with a simple garter stitch border, the knitting itself is simple, rhythmical and will hopefully prove to be an enjoyable and restful knit. On completion of the knitting, there is the added fun of turning this two-dimensional flat wrap into a three-dimensional garment by simply folding and stitching in place. Very quickly, the wrap becomes a jacket suitable for wearing over a silk negligee, a cotton nightdress, an evening gown or even with jeans.
Nightingale is knitted flat on either circular or straight needles with the garter stitch edging worked at the same time as the central lace panel. If the intrigue of the construction is not for you, instructions are also included for a narrower, longer stole to be worn as a wrap.
The pattern includes both written and charted instructions.
The yarn for Nightingale is truly special. It is knitted in Miranda, a 2 ply lace weight yarn in a luxurious blend of alpaca, cashmere and silk, which we have hand-dyed and hand-painted in-house in a stunning blend of shades of red and gold, inspired by the endpapers of our chosen book, which though published in 1930 was very much influenced by the early decades of the 20th century. The colour palette was blended to create a soft but warm, variegated fabric, suggesting faded silks exposed to light and water. As these are hand-dyed skeins it is recommended you knit two rows from each ball to blend the two skeins together perfectly. The resulting piece will be light but warm, the colour rich but soft.
Susan Crawford Miranda 2 Ply Lace weight yarn
70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere (800m / 875yds per 100g skein)
2 skeins, shade Delafield
One repeat (9 sts by 6 rows) = 7cm by 2.25cm over lace pattern knitted flat, after blocking.We obtained gauge using 5.5mm needles. Full instructions on how to work your gauge swatch are included in the pattern.
If necessary use an alternative needle size to obtain the correct gauge.
5.5mm (US 9 circular needle (80-100cm in length) or pair of 5.5mm (US 9) straight needles.
Stitch markers; tapestry needle; 135cm ribbon for wrap
- Working lace stitches; Blocking to size; Construction techniques.