knit/lab/variations on an African theme

A vibrant boomerang-shaped shawl with three variations on a stranded parallelogram motif, inspired by African strip-weaving and Moroccan embroidery. The stranded intarsia sections are linked by bands of ribbing and edged with sawtooth borders. Techniques include intarsia, stranding, ribbing, and simple lace stitches.


I’ve made a Pinterest board with textile and color inspirations for this shawl.


This pattern was originally published in four instalments as knit/lab Mystery KAL 7 in April & May 2020. There is a thread for the KAL on Ravelry.


Knit on 3.25mm/US3 needles

Dimensions: approximately 190cm/74ins x 60cm/23.5ins

Gauge: approximately 20 stitches & 24 rows = 4ins/10cm in stranded intarsia

Yardage: approximately 210g/900m/975yds of Jamieson’s of Shetland Spindrift in lots of colors including lights, darks and some neutrals. I used approximately five balls of MC, three scarlet and two crimson. My CC shades include green, turquoise, light pink, apricot, browns, dark gray, yellows, blues and lighter grays.


This is a mainly charted pattern with written commentary on the charts, concise notes on techniques and a phototutorial on splicing yarn ends.

There is the added option to improvise your own colorwork motifs on blank charts.




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The back of the shawl