handknit shawl in light browns and pearls


Arvia first made an appearance on the coffee table WiPs  in July.

Designed by Anna Nikipirowicz, Arvia is an asymmetrical triangle shawl with a lace patterned edge. It combines, in two row stripes, a laceweight mohair and a 4ply.

The pattern shawl is knitted in a black and white combo which is very striking. But for this shop one I went with a soft neutral look. Using Rowan Kidsilk Haze, a laceweight mohair (shade 590 - Pearl), and an undyed yarn, Tibetan 4ply, in a luxurious blend of merino, silk and yak.

The yarn combo is pure luxury... mohair, silk, merino, and yak!

It is so delicate and fluffy and feels and looks luxurious.

The shawl itself is large, it weighs less than 100g but measures about 80 inches across the top, so you can wrap it like a scarf…


handknit shawl


handknit scarf


Or drape it delicately around your neck...


handknit scarf


Or even wear like a cowl...


handknit shawl


I really enjoyed knitting Arvia.

The body is a simple pattern repeat (like our own free shop pattern Simple Asymmetrical Scarf) and the lace border is written and charted. It's a simple lace motif - it's easy to see where you are putting the holes!

I would say that working with mohair is not easy. You do need good light and you do need to pay attention, making sure you have captured the stitch on the needle and you're not just knitting a piece of fluff (this can happen when watching TV!) 

Mohair is also not easy to rip back, it is very sticky, so it's not the best yarn for a beginner lace knitter.

However this is a simple pattern and by the time you get to the lace section you should be used to handling the yarn so it's a good next steps project.

It is essential to block this shawl, to open up the lace stitches and make the shawl the correct size.

Blocking in this case means:-

  1. soaking your shawl
  2. squishing out the water
  3. stretching and pinning it into shape
  4. leaving to dry

Arvia can be pinned out quite aggressively.

This is the lace edge unblocked - just off the needles!


arvia mohair shawl unblocked


This is the edge pinned out.


arvia mohair shawl pinned


When blocking, lace shawls especially, you often have to make decisions that affect the finished look.

I used blocking wires and went in and out of the garter stitch edges on the non lace sides. On the downward slope I chose to just capture the 4ply row... when stretching this then produced little decorative loops on the finished shawl.


arvia shawl blocking


I could have captured every row and these loops would be less pronounced.

If you want to read more about blocking you'll find some photo tutorials at Tin Can Knits and Ysolda.

And there's some photos of another blocking shawl in the Gallery - Double Edged Shawl.

We have wool wash and T-pins online and in the Pittenweem shop. We do have blocking wires in the Pittenweem shop. Unfortunately they are a bit awkward to post so they are not available online. I use foam playmats from B&Q as my blocking surface.

I do have leftover yarn from this project. You need two balls of Kidsilk Haze but you don't use it all so I've got about 19g of Kidsilk Haze left over and 58g of Tibetan 4ply. I think I'll combine them (two strands together) into a slouchy hat!

Edited to add - we don't stock Kidsilk Haze anymore but we'd recommend My Mama Knits Float Your Goat instead.

Fiona Wright

make your own Arvia

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What do you think of our Arvia. Will you make one?

Let us know if you need any more info.👇