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Shirred Capelet

Lark Burger

This capelet is a nice way to show off hand-painted yarns, and is also effective with solid colors. Because you knit from the hem edge to the neck, color variegations take on a vertical alignment that is flattering. The blue capelet takes 3 skeins of hand-painted Alpaca/Angora/Wool yarn from Angora Cottage (750 yards) and a size 8 needle. The orange capelet used 1-3/4 skeins of mohair from Mountain Colors and a size 10. Angora Cottage also has a hand-painted mohair that would work well.

In the second part of this article, I'll show you a couple of other some other stitch patterns you could use tell you how to adapt them to knitting the capelet.
Blue Capelet Front Blue Capelet Back
Orange Capelet Front

These are general guidelines rather than a stitch-by-stitch pattern. Don't worry overmuch about your gauge, it's an easy fit. If you hit approximately 3 st/inch, these instructions will work. Feel free to alter this "recipe" to suit your own yarn and desires.

Gauge: 15 st over 5" in the lace pattern. The capelet measures 18" from neck edge to lower edge and 32" along the neck edge.

Pattern stitch- Multiple of 6 stitches over 4 rows
Row 1: K3, YO, SL 2 tog knitwise, K1, psso, YO
Row 2 and 4: Purl
Row 3: YO, SL 2 tog knitwise, K1, psso, YO, K3

Using your favorite provisional method, cast-on 58 stitches.
Row 1: K5, work 48 st in pattern, K5
Row 2: K5, purl 48, K5
Row 3: K5, work 48 st in pattern, K5
Row 4: K5, purl 48, K5

This gives you borders in garter stitch of 5 st, with 48 stitches in pattern in between. If you want less distance between the top and bottom edges, simply cast on fewer 6-st repeats of the pattern.

Continue to work 5-stitch garter borders and 48 stitches of pattern for a length about equal to the distance from one bra strap across your back to the other strap. End with a wrong-side row.

Next comes the short-row shaping that makes the capelet lay flat around your neck with enough flare to fit over your shoulders and around your body.

NOTE: If you're unfamiliar with short-row shaping, try this site: Short-Row Tutorial
It's unusual to turn two short-rows on the same stitch but in this instance you need to do it so the lace pattern works out correctly. I turned on the next stitch after the K3 in this pattern.

K5, wrap and turn, knit back to what will be the lower edge.
Work back across approximately 1/3 of your stitches, wrap and turn, work back to the lower edge.
Repeat this short row, turning on the same stitch as before.
Now work about 2/3 of the way across, wrap and turn, work back to the edge.
Repeat this short row, turning on the same stitch as before.
Do 1 more short row, turning on the first stitch of your garter stitch border at the neck edge. Work back to the lower edge.
Now work all the way across in pattern and back to the lower edge.

You've just made a pie-shaped wedge that has added 2 rows to your neck edge and 14 rows to the outer edge. Continue repeating the rows between WEDGE BEGINNING and WEDGE END until it's time for the front bands.

As you work, you'll notice your piece is acquiring a curve. Drape your knitting around yourself every now again and you'll see how the shape is developing. Work until you think you're "about" to the center front. Thread your stitches onto a string or stitch holder for now.

Pick up the stitches from your provisional cast-on and start working from the shoulder around to the front. You'll need to make 1 extra stitch somewhere to bring your count back up to 58. Echo the short-row shaping you did before and work the second side to match the first.

Now it's decision time. Drape the capelet around yourself and look in the mirror. Slide the stitches together on the string and on the knitting needle to gather the ends of your knitting. Allow about a 2-inch space between the two ends of the capelet for the front bands. Is the circumference enough to drape nicely about your shoulders? If so, it's time to knit the front bands.

From the right side:
Work 1 row as established, but omit the YO's. This will decrease about 16 stitches.
Knit back on the WS.
K5, then work K2tog to the last 5 st, K5.
K6, work K2tog to the last 6 st, K6.
On the remaining 20 stitches, knit 8 more rows.
Bind off. (If you have a few more or fewer than 20 stitches, don't worry.)

Repeat the instructions for the garter stitch band on the other end.

Sew on your clasps, and darn in the any yarn ends. Steam lightly if you desire.

If you prefer buttons to clasps, work buttonholes on the right-hand end appropriate to your chosen buttons.
copyright- Lark Burger, 9-17-05