When I first started knitting, I took a class on knitting Orenburg shawls. These shawls (and scarves) have a few defining characteristics:
- They are designed with integrated lace borders that are knit in unison with the body of the scarf.
- They rely on yarn-overs, and the knitting of two stitches together with simple return rows against a garter stitch background, to create lacy patterns.
When knitting an Orenburg shawl pattern the lack of patterning in the return rows makes the actual knitting of the garment rather simple. However, despite the simplicity this technique results in a wonderfully lacy pattern. Traditionally, Orenburg shawl designs are also very geometric, which is great for some designs. Diamond and snowflake patterns are very common motifs.
However, I found most of the Orenburg shawl or scarf patterns that I found online limiting – and somehow disappointing. Therefore, using the knowledge learned in the face to face knitting class, coupled with what I learned by reading various books, I designed my own, more exciting Orenburg shawl pattern.
I decided to leave more traditional designs to others. In the pattern below I embraced the feel of my favorite style, Art Nouveau, and injected that style into the Orenburg knitting structure. The result is a wonderful, unique yet traditional scarf. The motif of my scarf has a very organic feel, but the structure remains a garter stitch background with the center and border knit together. This pattern takes a little patience in the beginning phase, but once you get the lace border set and the center of the scarf started it is a very simple pattern. The simply knit return rows also make this pattern faster to knit than other lace scarves.
For a truly luxurious shawl you can knit this pattern in the Jade Sapphire 2ply Mongolian Cashmere. Because I used the 100% cashmere on a previous Orenburg scarf, I decided to use the Silk Cashmere for this new pattern. It knit up beautifully and resulted in a slightly lighter feel. It was also easier on the budget. All the Jade Sapphire yarns are easily available on the Internet, but most fingering weight yarns would work with this pattern.
My Art Nouveau, Orenburg Shawl pattern is available at my Craftsy store online. The pattern includes the complete materials list and a mix of written and charted instructions. Because the scarf motif does not have a repeat,it is charted. This will also help you to visualize the design as you knit, so that you can catch any mistakes soon after you might make them. The chart is simple and is a great introduction to using charts as it only uses 4 stitch types. The pattern also includes clear written instructions for setting up the integrated lace border and turning the lace corners.
This is a great pattern for experienced knitters and beginning knitters ready to expand their skills set. And this pattern will result in a scarf that is sure to impress!
Best regards and happy knitting,