The piece measures eight inches wide by about 41 inches long, just perfect for wearing in the open neck area of my winter coat. It's long enough to keep out cold wind, but not long enough to be bulky in the body area under my coat. The width is REALLY nice when the wind is stinging! Lace is notorious for being exceptionally warm, and this scarf has made me a full believer in that!!
The pattern is thought to be the original one used by the women of Shetland. It is designed to have flow in knitting, so that it can be knitted on the go, without having to think much, or having to look back at a pattern. I found that to be a hidden delight as I got going on this piece!! It truly has flow. It would not be hard to walk along with a pony on my arm while knitting this....just like they did....
The cat's paw pattern has many variations to it that can sometimes be subtle. It is GREAT fun trying out these variations!
My scarf has four repeats of the pattern in it, with some garter on each side to prevent rolling. On the bottom, I knitted a separate border trim on straight needles, just for fun! I had first learned this trim at the beach with my toes buried in warm sand, with Iris's yarn (my favorite ewe....no wait! They are all my favorite ewes!!) The trim was simply sewn on to give the ends a bit more weight. The weight helps keep everything in place while I knock out and smash yet more frozen water from water buckets in winter....sigh. I like the line of transition inbetween the cat pattern and the trim, for I think it looks more professional and finished, with clearly marked boundries where the patterns break.
Even more fun, I was not the only one to work on this piece. I love to get others interested in knitting real Shetland wool by asking if they'd like to knit a bit. One person did, a young family member who is currently taking tough classes at a high ranked private university. After studiously working on it, and finding a whole row quite exhausting, she declared, after another row or two, that this was harder than anything she'd worked on in her classes at school!!! Giggle, giggle! I hope she was hooked! After handing it back to me, she watched with much interest, as I continued the knitting. We followed the chart together so she could see what I was doing. It was another fun moment of sharing that I think we'll both remember for a long time to come.
I hope you enjoyed seeing Wooly Bear's Cat's Paw Shetland Lace, and reading about the special memories that come with this piece! Now it's your turn! Give Cat's Paw lace a try!