A very special article today – a replikate DIY project! Lady Sarah, Duchess of Stockbridge reviews and knits her very own of Kate Shopping Shawl using the pattern by WeeSandy on Ravelry!
Here’s Lady Sarah’s first article:
For any CopyKate’s who have the hobby of knitting, a whole new world of making your own Kate fashions opens up. If you do not yet knit, the recent quoted fact that Kate has taken up knitting might inspire you to start! With this in mind, we are going to be creating and reviewing some of the knitting patterns available based on Kate’s wardrobe.
We will begin with making a copy of the elegant green shawl Kate was spotted in while grocery shopping in 2011. Her shawl is said to be from the American knit design company Minnie Rose and was made out of 100% cashmere. Only the best material for a Princess!
The company still has a very similar one available for sale if you’d like a closer look:
There are endless patterns available with many variations of material budget and knitting skill level. There is “Milk Run Shawl” by Cat Wong. This pattern has a very simple garter stitch body, offers multiple design options, and is made on US 8 circular needles from Aran or worsted weight wool. It is a simple to memorize pattern which does not involve picking up stitches. There is also the “Kate’s Shawl” pattern from Red Heart yarn. This yarn is affordable and easy to find at Michael’s Craft Stores, JoAnns Fabrics, and even Wal Mart. This pattern is created on US 8 circular needles with Red Heart’s Soft Yarn, and has as a very pretty stripe pattern throughout the body. Both of these patterns were available for FREE download.
I am looking for Princess quality and authenticity for this project, so I continued seeking patterns. I then discovered the Kate Shopping Shawl pattern by WeeSandy on Ravelry.com. This pattern was painstakingly researched to stay as faithful to the original as possible, and designed for lace weight yarn just like the original. These qualities made the $5 price well worth it.
Kate’s Shopping Shawl is a triangle worked side to side without seams, and features the ultra-fine horizontal herringbone stitch pattern, long points, and simple stockinette ruffle of the one worn by the Duchess. It is constructed in a 16-row repeat pattern, and would be easy to adapt to fingering or even worsted weight yarn by reducing the number of repeats before reaching the center back of the shawl.
To create this shawl you need between 1800 and 2300 yards of lace weight yarn. Err on the side of caution and be sure you purchase the larger quantity of the same dye lot. The yarn I chose is a delicious blend of 70% alpaca and 30% silk called Silky Alpaca Lace from Classic Elite Yarns. Each skein is 460 yards, so to be sure I had enough material I purchased five skeins. Due to the yarn’s high quality fiber, it is $11.95 a skein. This yarn creates a lovely softness and halo, subtle sheen, and is warm while still being airy and light. You will also need circular needles in size US 1 and 2. The needles I always work with are Dreamz made by Knitter’s Pride. They are a lovely and smooth, and each size needle is one of eleven unique colors to make size identification easy and knitting just a little bit more fun.
Creating the shawl begins with casting on 6 stitches, and then, once the basic number of stitches is set, the dense fabric is made by repeating the same 16-row pattern until it measures 20 to 24” deep. I rank myself at an intermediate level of knitting, and I have found the herringbone pattern to be perfectly fine to execute. Getting used to lace weight yarn and such slim needles has been the most challenging, and I would recommend making a swatch at first to adjust your tension.
After repeating these 60 rows four times, I now have a very small triangular shape on my needles, measuring about 2.5 inches. Depending on your level of patience and need for immediate sense of accomplishment, you are able to make the shawl, instead of side to side, from the center back outward, down one point, then the next – a chart is supplied for this method if you desire.
For a truly novice knitter, I do not recommend working with lace weight yarn. Your project will turn out much better, and you will enjoy making it much more using a heavier weight yarn and larger needles.
And so begins our first Kate project together! I look forward to our craft journey together, and hope that this will inspire you to pick up your needles and join me in RepliKating this beautiful shawl. Please feel free to contact me with project questions and any of your own experiences with Kate projects.
~ Lady Sarah
We can’t wait to see how the project turns out!