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Introducing… Askingfor Roses

June 9th, 2011


It’s TNNA Day, and I’m thrilled to be able to announce this new pattern. “Asking for Roses” is a shawl with a crescent shape, knit with short rows and just enough lace to keep things exciting.

You know by now that I have a lovely relationship with the folks at Lorna’s Laces. When they let me know they’d be introducing a new series of tonally dyed colourways, I knew I had to get my hands on whatever I could, as soon as possible.

This color immediately jumped out at me as a must knit. Called “The Skyway”, it reminded me of deeply planted vines in a shady yard.

It took me awhile to figure out what to do with it. I mean, the yarn is just gorgeous and sometimes it takes a bit of mental marinating to determine what it wants to be.

I decided on a crescent shawl shaped with short rows because I wanted a vine-like effect when worn. I didn’t want the more standard shawl shape that hangs down to the waist (or longer). Rather, I wanted something that could hug the shoulders, or be worn more scrunched up around the neck.

And I wanted to use just 400 yards.

To me, 400 yards is kind of the magical number in my stash. I have lots of 2 balls of this, 2 balls of that. Sock yarn often comes in giant 400 yard hanks too. Not that I have much of that. Ahem.

400 yards is also exactly 2 skeins of Shepherd Sport. Personally, I think this is an under-appreciated yarn from Lorna’s Laces. It’s buttery soft, machine washable, and holds up so well to wear. It’s also the perfect gauge for accessories like this; thin enough to drape but just a wee bit thicker than sock yarn, allowing the knitting to go wonderfully fast. (Seriously, if you haven’t yet tried it out, what are you waiting for?)

IMG_1561 copy

The name of the shawl has a story too. I generally cast off and have a name already in mind, almost as if the project names itself.

But for this one, and maybe because the idea had been so strong, I felt it was nameless.

Last week, I was interviewed by Lee Ann Dalton from Vogue Knitting for a future column. We got to talking about the new project, and I sent her some early photos. Her first reaction was to point out the two paths; the shawl has a lower lace border and a top eyelet and icord edge, and to her, it looked like Robert Frost’s poem about two paths diverging in the woods.

I loved it.

You know I’m a writer. And a reader. And so the literary link would be appropriate.


But the construction just doesn’t lend itself to the ‘two paths diverging’ metaphor. After all, the shawl begins with the cast on at the lower lace edge, then works itself up in short rows before working the final top edging.

I began looking through Robert Frost’s body of work on Wikipedia. It didn’t take long to find what I needed.

The title “Asking for Roses” stuck in my head. Have you read the poem? If not, go read it now. I’ll wait.

Are you back?


I hadn’t read this poem before, but I felt immediately that it was the right aesthetic for this design. To me, the shawl feels like overgrown vines on an abandoned house, like the one in the poem. It also feels like something Mary could wear on the romantic walk that led her there.

I hope you enjoy this one. It’s a fun summer project; not too involved, not too dull.

Of course, you can see all the details – and far more photos – on the Pattern Page.

The pattern is available in both written and charted formats, and is $5.00 US for PDF download.

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10 Responses to “Introducing… Asking for Roses”

  1. AnnieBee Says:

    Love it. Love it, love it, love it. The shawl, the yarn, the name, the poem… Trust Robert Frost to supply such perfect imagery!

  2. Tall Kate Says:

    I am crazy for this shape of shawls right now (and have the Rav favorites page to prove it, lol) … but this one just shot to the top. I LOVE IT!!

  3. April Says:

    That green is something to fall in love with. Beautiful pattern. I can definitely see it wrapped around my shoulders.

  4. Benne (feathersong) Says:

    I love this, all the way from the yarn, the design and the poetry! Beautiful!

  5. Deb @ knitstamatic Says:

    Love it! Love it! Love it!

  6. Lee Ann Says:

    The draped photo there…ohhhhh, wow. I can’t thank you enough for letting me be a part of the naming. That’s a STUNNING design, Amy.

  7. Claire Says:

    This style of short row shaped shawl is so “in” at the moment and I love it. The poem is beautiful and makes me think of the Waterhouse painting, “The Soul of The Rose”.
    I am heading off to buy the pdf and know that this will be a favourite for years to come.

  8. Carrie Says:

    Nice! and a lovely color in the yarn. this definitely goes into the queue… Glad you are designing again.

  9. Kathryn Says:

    It’s absolutely gorgeous! I love that it’s not massive and that it takes the perfect amount of yarn 😉

  10. Alex Sand Says:

    This is so beautiful! I love the variations in the yarn along with the rose pattern along the edge. And combining it with Robert Frost is marvelous.

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