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This is my Ishbel.

I was never going to make one of these.

There are 12,958 of them on Ravelry.

wine red lace shawl over grey clothing - front

wine red lace shawl over grey clothing - back

By chance, last October, I discovered that I could buy a KnitPro wire blocking kit at a yarn shop near my parents. The charming Mei of Be Inspired Fibres announced on her Facebook page that she had a few sets. I was booked to fly to Edinburgh the following week. How serendipitous was that? Mei pointed out they might not fit in my suitcase. I measured my suitcase and she was right. But once I got to Edinburgh I decided it was the perfect excuse for going to say ‘hello’ and to check out the shop anyway. My dad came with me: he was very curious about what I wanted and whether or not they could be transported back to Germany. He  declared he could wrap them up so I could hand them in as an additional piece of luggage. Perfect. Of course that meant I had free suitcase space!

Mei has wonderful yarn that I’ve not found locally in Cologne. I’d already looked at her website but the shop has more. There was some lovely Scottish Shilasdair wool but I wasn’t sure how much I’d need for a jumper (not having a particular pattern in mind) so I decided to be cautious and just buy a shawl’s worth of delectable 4 ply (fingering).

The colours of the Fyberspates Vivacious were all delightful. The yarn is 100% merino and wonderfully soft and squishy. I clutched a skein of Spiced Plum close to my heart and gazed adoringly around the rest of the shop. Mei had several shawls hanging up – one of which I really liked and guessed to be Liz Abinante’s Travelling Woman. Travelling Woman was the fifth pattern I ever added to my favourites on Ravelry. The name appealed for one thing! But I had guessed incorrectly. It was actually Ishbel designed by Ysolde Teague. Yes. That shawl. The one I was never going to knit because there are so many of them.

Mei told me about the pattern. It has clear instructions for adapting the size – both of the plain stocking stitch body and the lace border. A skein of Fyberspates Vivacious would give me a decent-sized shawl. So that was that. Decision made. Shawl knitted. I’m smitten.

wine red lace shawl - back-lit

wine red lace shawl - close-up