Saturdays are often a great day to start a new knitting project, with a weekend full of time for project plotting, yarn choosing and perhaps a visit to your local yarn shop. Hence the name “Shawl Saturday”!
“Shawl Saturday” started as an occasional video blog, over on YouTube, as a way to record and explain the process that I work through when designing a new shawl. At the beginning of 2019 I launched a year-long subscription club called “The Shawl Saturday Series” which would encompass the idea behind the vlog, alongside four brand new, and exclusive, shawl designs.
All four designs have now been released (plus a bonus fifth design) – read on to find out more and scroll to the bottom to view episode of the Shawl Saturday Vlog.
Enjoy! Maddie x
May 2020: a surprise fifth shawl pattern, Quincythia, is now available for members to download – scroll down to see more or click the link above!
Living in Scotland the changeable weather is often described as being like “four seasons in one day” and I’ve also heard it said that “If you don’t like the weather in Scotland, wait half an hour and it’ll change!”
On the East Coast of Scotland, while we often experience that infamous 24 hours of multi-seasonal weather, it’s not to say that we don’t also have four very distinct seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter, and that in addition to their meteorological differences, each has its own definite traditional characteristics and cultural associations. Spring is the season of regrowth in nature, of spring cleaning, May Day and the Easter bunny; Summer is often holiday time – beaches, relaxing and spending time outdoors (albeit with a woolly jumper safely packed just in case!); Autumn is the season of shortening day-light, preparing for hibernation, and the cosiness that comes with wearing heavier Autumal clothes and jumpers, festivals of light and harvest; Winter is a season of waiting for the light to return, of spending time indoors or well wrapped-up outside and is punctuated by various festivals to brighten up the darkness.
Join me for a knitting adventure through these four seasons with a membership of the Shawl Saturday Series 2019, but don’t worry, we’ll have slightly longer than 24 hours to knit these beautiful shawls in!
The series features a shawl for each season: discover a spring-time shawl fresh in design and colour, giving you just enough warmth for those crisp spring days; a simple summer shawl, ideal for the beach, lake or pool; a rich and cosy shawl for autumn, perfect for hibernating in; and lastly, a winter shawl, made with pops of colour to brighten up the dark days.
Each pattern will also be accompanied by a beautifully hand-illustrated explanation of the design’s inspiration, the development of the pattern and the ideas behind the construction. Think of it as a written and drawn form of my Shawl Saturday Vlog to complement each shawl and for you to keep alongside your pattern.
Wherever you live in the world, the seasons will mean something different for you. Although I have designed the series around the four seasons of the Northern Hemisphere (and in particular Scotland), those of you who live in the Southern Hemisphere or somewhere with more/less seasons, I hope that you will feel free to knit the shawls in an alternative fibre to suit your ‘season’. The designs will still look beautiful and be lovely to wear, and remind you of that particular ‘season’ in the place that you call home.
-Here’s the low-down on SSS19-
- Membership of The Shawl Saturday Series 2019 gives you access to a stunning collection of four beautiful shawl patterns, one for each season, released in March, June, September and December. Plus one bonus shawl pattern added as a surprise in May 2020.
- the patterns will be exclusive to members until the series finishes and will only be available as an ebook collection
- membership is available at £13 (+VAT/sales tax) which saves you over 20% off the cost of buying the patterns separately. Find out more in my Ravelry Store
- all four shawls are designed with 4ply/fingering-weight yarn, and some will be suitable for using up leftover yarn or half-skeins – perfect for shopping from your yarn collection!
- before each shawl is released, I’ll send you some secret yarn information to help you choose and give you some inspiration if you’re looking to make a yarny purchase!
- each pattern will also be accompanied with an appealing sheet of hand-illustrated “Shawl Inspiration Notes” giving you lots of exclusive behind-the-scenes information about how the design came about
- these knitting patterns will be suitable for confident beginners upwards (with a chance to build upon skills as we progress) and there’ll be plenty of tips and help along the way too
- all the patterns have been professionally edited and where relevant, the patterns will contain charts alongside the corresponding written instructions
Surprise! A bonus pattern has been added to the Shawl Saturday Series ebook!
“I bear a basket lined with grass;… And a quince in hand, – not one, Is set upon your boughs below; Not set, because their buds not spring; Spring not, ‘cause world is wintering“
For A Picture Of St. Dorothea, Gerard Manley Hopkins
Knitted in beautiful airy, naturally-dyed yarn from Woollenflower, Quincythia is a light but cosy shawl, perfect for the changing seasons. Named after the spring plants whose flower colour matches the yarn (quince and forsythia), the shawl is mainly knitted in soothing garter stitch, with columns of slipped stitches and a ‘double-pass’ section to keep the knitter’s interest piqued.
Quincythia is worked in three main sections in a modular way: two sections knitted solely in yarn A and yarn B respectively, and then a third section where both yarns are striped, using a ‘double pass’ technique (using a circular needle, the right side is worked twice: once in A, followed by B, the wrong side is then worked in the same way). A simple edging is worked along the top side, whilst a knitted-on triangular edge is worked perpendicular to the main shawl, along the bottom side.
Introducing ‘Winter Lights’, the winter shawl from the Shawl Saturday Collection!
“Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again …In restless dreams I walked alone, Narrow streets of cobblestone, ‘Neath the halo of a streetlamp, I turned my collar to the cold and damp”
The Sounds of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel, 1964
The inspiration for the Winter Lights shawl is the very simple idea of creating light in the darkness and in particular, the darkness that we experience during the winter months. At this time of year, we often turn to lights, such as fairy lights, candles, lanterns and even fireworks, to help us ‘light-up the dark’. Asides from the practical reasons for lighting lights when it’s dark, I think candles and fairy-lights take on a symbolic meaning during winter. They represent the hope that the light will return in the springtime, and there is also something magical about lights and a sort of pre-historic satisfaction at being able to strike a match and create light!
Winter Lights is a triangular shawl knitted from side to side in two halves, which are joined together with a 3- needle cast-off after knitting each half. The shawl is knitted using a main colour along with 3 or 6 mini-skein (or leftover yarn) contrast colours. Tassels are made and attached to each corner once you’ve finished knitting.
This beautiful sample has been knitted in yarn dyed exclusively for Maddie Harvey Designs by Rusty Ferret Yarn. Click below to find out more.
Introducing ‘Loanin’, the autumn shawl from the Shawl Saturday Collection!
“If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we’re all ok. Not to worry, ‘cos worry is wasteful and useless in times like these. I won’t be made useless, won’t be idle with despair…My hands are small I know, but they’re not yours, they are my own.. and I am never broken.” ‘Hands’, Jewel, 1995
Loanin is a Scots word for ‘loan’ or ‘road’: it’s the kind of pathway that would traditionally go through a field or across a farm. I though it was the prefect name for a shawl design inspired by a particular journey down a particular street.
During an especially stressful autumn, my kids and I would walk past an apple tree on the way to school. We noticed that the windfall apples would fall from the branches into the gutter and roll down the hill, stopping on top of the drain at the bottom of the hill. When it rained, the apples actually floated down the gutter and we had great fun ‘helping’ them on their journey.
This small moment of joy is the story behind Loanin: a shawl inspired by finding small moments of joy in-amongst life’s difficult times.
Knitted with two strands of laceweight yarn held together, one wool and one mohair silk, Loanin is a gorgeously cosy autumnal accessory.
Featuring travelling and slipped-stitches, plus little apple-shaped motifs and large eyelets, there is a video tutorial to accompany the design and explain how to work the patterning (click here to have a look).
Introducing ‘Centaurea’, the summer shawl from the Shawl Saturday Collection!
“I’m staying out for the summer, playing games in the rain. The hills and the fortune, got me fooled again…” ‘Staying Out For The Summer’, Dodgy, 1994
How do you know that summer is here? Being able to wear your sandals non-stop? Certain flowers coming into bloom? Late sunsets? Warmer weather? Spending more time outside or going away on holiday?
The Centaurea shawl is partly inspired by the sort of tessellating patterns that you might see on holiday (think swimming pools, visits to historic buildings, cobbled streets) and the geometric patterns seen in nature, especially that of the centaurea family of plants (cornflower, knapweed, and starthistle, just to name a few).
Knitted in a light summer yarn, Centaurea is the perfect drapey accessory for the warmer months, and features a gorgeous lattice fringe, which is both fun to make and to wear.
Introducing ‘Make Anew’, the spring shawl from the Shawl Saturday Collection!
“Yellow daisy, a dandelion, or pussy willow, it’s a different thing … One thing about forsythia, she comes around and I get lost, against her yellow, I’m no longer me.” ‘Forsythia’, Veruca Salt, American Thighs, 1994
Forsythia, magnolia, daffodils, crocus, cherry blossom … all signs that spring is here, or at least on its way. These plants regenerate every year; they lie dormant through the winter (or so it seems) and in the spring they bloom again, just like last year. This process of regrowth combines the familiar with the new: these plants regrow every year, which is familiar to us, and yet each time they do this they are producing new buds, flowers and leaves.
This spring, join me on a knitting adventure where we’ll knit something anew, merging the familiar with the unfamiliar to create a fresh spring-inspired shawl. Combine colours that are new to you with those you’re accustomed with to knit a beautiful shawl using well-known techniques alongside a unique construction. Make anew.
SHAWL SATURDAY VLOG
Shawl Saturday is an occasional vlog series. Each episode will showcase a different one of my shawl designs. I’ll talk through my design process, share swatches and sketches, and explain the construction of each shawl. If you’ve ever wondered how a shawl design comes about, then Shawl Saturday is for you!
Plus, in each episode I’ll share a special coupon code to bag you a discount off that episode’s featured shawl for a limited period. Enjoy x