Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ja'ali Stole

When I was seven, my parents moved my brother and I from Deepest, Darkest Cleveland, OH to New Delhi, India. My dad had a Fullbright scholarship, so we spent a year in a far off and very different land. More then thirty years later, I went back for the first time, with my own seven year old (plus her younger sister). In some ways it had changed completely, but in others, it was just as I remembered it: the light was the same, the sounds of the birds in the early morning, the cows wandering through the city streets, and monkeys sitting on fences, waiting for the opportunity to snatch what ever they could right out of your hands.

We went and saw all sorts of sights in the Golden Triangle, and it was an incredible source of inspiration for my designing. The first design that came out of that trip was the Delhi Beanie, with a border inspired by a series of tombs in Delhi. The second one is in Issue 35 of Knit Now - the Ja'ali Stole.

Photo credit Dan Walmsley for Practical Publishing

This pattern grew directly out of my trip to India: one of the almost ubiquitous features of the numerous palaces and tombs that we visited were pierced stone structures called ja'ali. These were basically the Moghul version of window curtains, and served to let in light and air while making it very difficult for anyone outside to see inside.

This picture makes it pretty clear where the stitch pattern came from! I swatched in a number of different yarns, but finally settled on a mohair blend, in two colors to emphasis the eyelets and the solid hexagons.

The perfect finishing touch? A beaded fringe.

The finished stole is a lovely, lightweight wrap that is perfect for summer evenings, or days when you need a bit of extra warmth.

This issue of Knit Now is on sale starting today, Thursday, 29th May, in craft stores, newsagents and supermarkets across the UK. Outside the UK, you can get a paper copy from, or a digital edition from You can also get it digitally via Apple Newsstand. 

As a little celebration of the publication of this pattern, I'm going to give away the yarn and beads needed to knit the stole - that includes 5 balls of Wendy Air (70% mohair/30% nylon) in two colors, and approximately 75 faceted glass beads for the fringe. Please leave a comment on this post between now and midnight BST, on Sunday, 8th June, telling me which pattern is your favorite from Knit Now Issue 35*. I'll use a random number generator to pick one lucky winner. Good luck!

* Note: saying that this is your favorite pattern does not increase your chances of winning ;-).


Rachel said...

I really liked that shawl when I was reading my Knit Now yesterday, the combination of colourwork and lace was unusual. I was wondering how it might look in a yarn with less of a halo, but I think it might lose some of the effect.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Rachel! Such a beautiful pattern, looks really effective in the fluffy yarn.
I'm really into patterns for tops at the moment, so the Luxury 2 skein top on the cover caught my eye, however, I would have to make the body a lot longer as I don't like cropped tops. But I really like the plain-ness of the body with the lace saved for the trims.
Keep up the great work. x
Steph (craftymizz on Ravelry)

scienceknitster said...

Congrats for being published in Knit Now! Your shawl is beautiful, but I have to say that I'm also drawn to the simplicity of the Lady Lillith Shawl. (Possibly a sign that I'm in a rut that I need to get out of!)

Linda said...

I love this shawl and I also like the Felicity Bunny. Thanks for the chance to win the shawl kit!
Lmecoll on Ravelry

Jacqui Harding said...

I bet your shawl would be perfect for a holiday cover up, or as a lightweight blanket on a long haul flight. I think this is an awesome issue. I love the Rocket Boy jumper. Kind of want one for me! I think I'll try to carve out some time to make the fishtail mitts with some handspun too. Don't enter me for the comp - I won't get the chance to make the shawl for sooooo long. But it's really pretty :)

Sulander said...

Wow - I found you while surfing Ravelry, and I'm glad I did. Congratulations on publication. This is a beautiful shawl. Will the pattern be release individually? Knit Now isn't available here.