Mara Shawl “Seall Na Mara”

Walking along the deserted shore, the cries of the seagulls in my ears and surrounded by thundering winds… the cold water of the North Sea tugging at my naked feet… snuggling up in my shawl… its colors so similar to those of the wild and rough nature around me…. ochre sand… lead-grey storm clouds… the steel blue of the deeper sea and the bright cobalt blue of windswept skies, reflecting in the waves… a view of the sea…

shore ocean sunnyiphotography waves
During the greatest summer heat in August, I had an intense craving for the sea and beach life.

20244400133_be5f0e79c4_o Sparks of Summer (by sunnyiphotography)


As I couldn’t take a holiday at the sea this year, this yarn came to my mind again, as the colors of Madelinetosh DK Yarn in “Earl Grey” match those of a special beach I love very much… not as yellowish as in the photos, the color shifts between a sand-colored grey-beige mingled with different shades of blue (not grey ;)) of the ocean.

After a few days searching for the right pattern, I decided for the Mara Shawl, as it’s a simple knit without many fancy lace stuff and should bring out the beauty of the variegated yarn. I also learned, that in Gaelic, one meaning of “Mara” is “of the sea”… so in gaelic “Seall na Mara” means “A view of the sea”.. isn’t that a lovely coincidence?

(No) Mods:

  • I have been knitting strictly after pattern as I like the lace center and edging, it gives a good contrast to the heavy DK yarn.
  • That means I didn’t replace the yarn overs with M1L and M1R increases (which would read: “k2, sm, m1l, k to m, m1r, sm, k1, sm, m1l, k to m, m1r, sm, k2”) as many other knitters did

It’s an easy, relaxing knit. I used up one and a half skein of Madtosh DK until the first rows of the p1/k1-section and 2.5 skeins in total, as you can see on the picture, the red arrows indicate where I changed skeins (exact amounts  of usage: 2.51 skeins = 564.5 yards (516.2 meters), 276 grams).

I even removed the stitch marker in the middle as I didn’t need it. When you just keep in mind that there’s always a yarnover at the sides and a yo-k1-yo-spine in the middle, the stitch marker is not necessary (in my humble opinion. :))

Mara-apples-detail side 2_klein

Some wrote that they miss instructions for the lace part at the borders during the rib section. Well, that’s true. But you can fix that when you just strictly continue knitting the border as you learned in the beginning: k2, yo on the RS and then continue in k2,p2 (or k1,p1 for the first rib section) so it fits into the rhythm. The k2,yo-pattern on the RS always stays the same and is always done this way, no changes required!

Problem: If there’s just one stitch before the k2,p2 starts, doesn’t matter, just knit for example k2,yo,p1,k2,p2,k2,p2 etc…. Due to the continuing yarn overs, this will get fixed on the next RS row and you won’t recognize afterwards there’s just one p1 stitch… at least – I wouldn’t. So, yes, this requires a bit improvisation but it’s manageable, I’d say. :)

Mara-Detail-front_kleinAccounts the same way for the middle “spine” yarn-overs… just keep knitting the established rhythm of k1/p1 or k2/p2 while sticking to the yo,k1,yo-spine in the middle (for RS).
If your knitting turns out for example k2,p2,p1,yo,k1,yo,p1,k2,p2 etc. do this single p1… on the next RS you will have two purl stitches: the pattern will read then k2,p2,p2,yo,k1,yo,p2,k2,p2… the yarn-over from the RS before turned into the second purl stitch to continue the pattern and rhythm.

I intended the shawl not to become as big as the pattern version, so I stopped knitting the body (before the rib sections begin) by trying it on until it was the size I wanted – adding mentally a broad rib border to it.

And though the knitting stayed relaxing, in the end I almost “ran out of steam”… the final broad rib border seemed endless and had 520 stitches per row when I was half through it. Every row took about half an hour in the end… so… keep up your spirits when you’re there, it WILL finally be finished! ;)


Mara Shawl in Madelinetosh Earl Grey


Feedback welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s