Rachel Atkinson is a daughter of a shepherd, and in 2016 she launched a yarn range spun from the fleeces of the flock of sheep her father shepherds in Yorkshire. I enjoy working with wool produced on a small scale: you know where it comes from, how the sheep are looked after, and supporting small producers and makers in their endeavours. I was very enthusiastic about Daughter of a Shepherd yarn, and couldn’t wait to knit a jumper out of it!
Note: all pictures copyright with Rachel Atkinson/Daughter of a Shepherd, and used with kind permission
Daughter of a Shepherd, volume 1: beginnings
So when Rachel asked me to be part of her first book – Daughter of a Shepherd, volume 1: beginnings – I felt honoured. Little did I realise at the time that my enthusiasm had been so important to Rachel as validation of her project, which, when you read the book, you will realise took a lot of personal investment from her. I’m so pleased to see that Rachel has become a champion of small-scale wool producers. She now not only sells her own yarn, but also collaborates with others; not only limited edition yarns, but also a carefully curated selection of books, hand lotions and totes, amongst others.
My contribution to Rachel’s book: the Beilby scarf
Rachel’s Hebridean/Zwartbles yarn may be of the richest dark chocolate brown imaginable, it still shows up a nice stitch definition, and as I’m still enamoured by the Sequence Knitting technique, I thought it was worth exploring again in this scarf. In sequence knitting you repeat a simple sequence of knit and purl stitches over and over again to create complex textures. As with the Hexa Hap I designed for Kate Davies, I wanted to make something truly reversible, and in addition, strictly stick to the sequence I had devised for this scarf.
A sideways knitted scarf, with increase and decrease sections
The Beilby scarf is knitted sideways, divided into triangular sections separated by garter-stitch columns with a slip stitch to highlight the border between sections and columns. Although sections either end with a decrease in every row, or an increase in every row, the knit/purl sequence is the same for each section.
Cast-on and cast-off edges look the same, as do the slip stitch selvedges for a finished look
I used a cast-on technique that matches the cast-off technique, and these match the slip stitch selvedges, so all edges look the same and give the scarf a professional finish. This also means it takes some scrutiny to work out which way it was knitted, something I secretly take a lot of pleasure in!
Worked lengthways in long rows, a clever sequence-knit pattern repeat forms the triangular segments within this scarf.
One size: 22cm / 8½” deep x 210cm / 82½” long
Daughter of a Shepherd Hebridean & Zwartbles DK (DK / light worsted weight; 75% Hebridean wool, 25% Zwartbles wool; 233m / 255yds per 100g skein) x 3 skeins
• 3.75mm (UK 9 / US 5) circular needle, 150cm / 60” length
• 4mm (UK 10-9 / US 6) DPN or straight needle (for cast- off only)
• 4mm (UK 8 / US G/6) crochet hook for provisional cast-on
• 16 stitch markers – 8 of one type, 8 of another. These will be referred to as MA and MB.
• Smooth scrap yarn for provisional cast-on
• Tapestry needle