Dotted Rays Shawl by Stephen West

stephen west shawl

This shawl is a special gift knitted for a precious friend as a 40th birthday present.

What do you give a gal who has everything and always looks so fabulous and stylish? We’d just had two kids birthdays and other commitments so I didnt have the time before my friend’s birthday to commit to a handmade gift.  However when we went shopping for gifts nothing seemed worthy so I said to my husband that I’d make her something over the Christmas holidays and have it ready for when they returned from an overseas holiday in January.

A knitted gift is a very personal thing and for someone of immense style, so the pattern, yarn and colour choice had to be perfect. I earmarked some pink Madelinetosh that was left over from another shawl I’d made last year and then double checked that my friend liked her pink hot hot hot! When she explained “the hotter, the better” I knew it would be perfect.

garter stitch shawl

Next came the pattern which I discovered through Instagram on one of my many trawls through knitting hashtags. The designer is the flamboyant Stephen West of Westknits and the pattern is called “Dotted Rays“. To me the pattern really suited a bold solid colour like this Fluoro Rose Madelinetosh yarn. Stephen has one shawl featured on his pattern page in bright green which is also stunning. Speaking of his pattern, the photos he took for it were very unusual and had my daughter in stitches (haha) every time she saw it. When I’d finished the shawl and wanted to take some photos (so that I could blog it) I suggested we replicated some of his pattern photos and Miss 11 being the darling outgoing daughter that she is jumped at the chance of dressing up and clowning around with a dinosaur etc.

These photos are going to be extra special to keep and remember as my daughter Trinity cut off over 5 inches of her beautiful long hair the following week!

dotted rays shawl

It seemed the perfect choice for Trinity to feature in the photos as the shawl is actually for her Godmother! As you can see from the photos you can wear this shawl many different ways.

dotted rays by stephen west

I printed this photo out and made a little card to pop in the mail with the shawl. It’s actually been finished for over a month and I was trying to find time to deliver it in person however after realising that would not be possible for a while I popped it in the post.

arched shawl

The pattern is easy to follow and memorise after a while and easier if you use markers at the point you will need to turn in the following row so that you don’t have to count backwards. After knitting two shawls with this colour in the one year I was glad to have a break from the hot pink for a while until it’s cold enough for me to wear my Nardoo Shawl again.

hot pink shawl

The arched holes stretch out further and further with each row to create interest and the garter stitch short rows make it a great travel project.

modern shawl knitting pattern

The shawl has a built in i-cord edge which produces such a lovely neat finish and it was an interesting technique that was new to me. For me knitting is an educational journey as there is always something else to learn or try which gives me such a great sense of satisfaction.

I can’t wait to hear what our friend thinks and to see a picture of her wearing it. I’m certain she’ll find her own groovy way of styling it too. Happy Belated Birthday beautiful friend. xo

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