Black Death

At long last the plague on my leg is healing, I’m up and about once again,  and eagerly planning blogs and podcasts. Whilst this episode of trench foot has been unpleasant (and, apparently, somewhat bizarre in a healthy person my age) it has at least provided some knitting inspiration. Even the foulest medical maladies can lead to delightful woolly wonders.

I had noticed that my wardrobe was lacking a warm scarf in a colour that would go with everything. My grey Damson is lovely but, in a fingering weight yarn, not substantial enough for sub-zero temperatures. I also wanted some comfort knitting. Something soft and cosy that would sooth my antibiotic-addled, house-bound mind. Naturally, I reached into the stash for a skein of Malabrigo. I had one in Black Forest, a great colour that is a sort of washed-out black, with a hint of greyish green about it. It’s dark and semi-solid enough to match almost any outfit, but not so black as to be difficult to knit or harsh against a pale winter face.

So, I had my yarn, but what of the pattern? I couldn’t cope with complicated lace charts and I didn’t want anything too fussy – what I was really after was something more geometric than flowery, if you know what I mean. I also wanted a shape that would be easy to wear as a scarf. Searching high and low through Ravelry, I came up empty handed, so I decided to try something a little more freestyle and ended up with this:


I wanted a very simple texture, and given the delightful abscesses covering my ankle, eyelets seemed the perfect choice. I knit a basic, top-down shawl, increasing at the edges every row, and in the centre every right side row, to create a gentle triangle that would easily wrap around as a scarf.


(Apologies for the ancient, and not very photogenic, towel on which this was blocking).

For the edging, I could have left it straight with some garter ridges or something, but I wanted to add a bit of interest to the shape and liked the idea of the cobweb effect points would give in this colour.  However, I didn’t want to detract from the simplicity of the body, so I settled on a very simple lace section, with pairs of double decreases and double yarn overs.


I’m really pleased with how it turned out and in the snow and freezing weather we’ve been having lately, I’ve been wearing this almost every day. Perhaps, rather than a plague, my Black Death will help to ward off future ills…

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22 Responses to Black Death

  1. Kristin says:

    Hoxton, I know you say it is simple, but it is STUNNING. Any plans to post a pattern on Ravlery?

  2. myriam says:

    Beautiful shawl!! Glad to hear you are on the mend!

  3. lydia says:

    you must write it down and share-it is really lovely.

  4. This is gorgeous! I would love to see this pattern sold/shared if you ever feel so inclined. I hope you are recuperating swiftly!

  5. moleymakes says:

    Oh my goodness!! I had no idea you were ill. Trench foot?? I thought that was a WW1 or a Glastonbury thing, not a 21st century Peckham condition.

    I do so hope you make a speedy recovery x. Get the Sheep to bring you Gin every 4 hours 😉

    The shawl looks great!

    • Hoxton says:

      Luckily it’s not literally Trench Foot – unlike those poor soldiers I have the wonders of modern antibiotics to see off this particular infection. Medicinal gin has also been an important part of my recovery 😉

  6. Jan (jcoop on ravelry, twitter; coopcomp on pinterest) says:

    So sorry to hear about your foot. I hope you’ve been keeping it warm in something wooly and covered with pompoms!

    I too admire your shawl greatly and hope you will post a pattern someday. I would pay for it. A little something to support the sheep’s fondness for gin?

    Take good care of yourself! Looking forward to reading/hearing more HH/ES soon.

  7. Michelle says:

    I love how it looks wrapped around your neck!

  8. Lorna says:

    It looks gorgeous: well done! Count me in as another request for a written pattern: I’d love to knit that, and I’d never have been able to work out a pattern on my own. I hope you’re feeling better, and that the medicinal gin is taking the sting out of things.

  9. Satu Ranta says:

    I, too, would love to see a pattern for this! I could’ve used that exact scarf at work today.

  10. Sarah (spider-chook) says:

    Gorgeous! I would love the pattern if you ever get the time and inclination to write it. it’s a bit hot here (Oz) for scarves but perfect weather for G&Ts – with lemon today because we’ve run out of limes :(
    Hope your ankle recovers soon, and remember that to help it heal you will still need lots of sit-down feet-up knitting time!

  11. Oh, that is a really lovely scarf – I love the simplicity of it, using thicker wool. Looks extremely cozy and elegant. Hope you are on the mend and back on your feet soon.

  12. Kerry says:

    Thanks for this pattern, it’s really lovely. I wonder – do you know if anyone has charted the pattern? (Which is funny coming from me, because until about a year ago I was terrified of charts!) I’ve just started one in Debbie Bliss cotton angora, and plan to add beads to the border (as has been done before on Rav).

  13. Lois says:

    In the glossary of this pattern, SKP – some references say to knit ONE stitch. Is knitting 2 stitches correct? Love knitting this pattern!

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