Does your yarn speak to you? Have you ever had a skein tell you what it wants to be? Does it stay in your yarn collection until it knows what it wants to be knitted into? Or perhaps it’s the opposite – sometimes yarn tells you what it doesn’t want to be and that’s what happened with my Bamburgh Shawl design.


I started designing this shawl with a clear idea in my head of what I wanted it to be: a design that involved sections where the yarn was held double, but I couldn’t get it to work. It wasn’t coming out like I’d envisaged. The yarn didn’t want to be that particular shawl – merging the yarns together wasn’t really highlighting the differences between the fluffy mohair and the woolly Cheviot yarn, but rather showing what happened when you put them together.

I went back to the original basic premise of the design – showcasing the contrast between these yarns and how wonderfully the textures could play together. I found a slipped stitch cable in one of my stitch dictionaries that I thought might work and played about with the yarns and the patterning until I had something I was pleased with; something that let each yarn shine and show off its unique characteristics.

I wouldn’t exactly say that the yarn told me it was happier being a slipped stitch cable. There wasn’t a little voice saying “Yes Maddie, we love being all stripey and tessellated” but I definitely had that excited feeling about the design and I hope you do too.

Find out more and buy your copy here(Ravelry link)

Bamburgh Shawl sample is knitted with one skein each of Whistlebare’s amazing Yeavering Bell 4ply (orange – Castle Keep) and Cheviot Marsh 4ply (blue – All At Sea). See more Whistlebare yarn here