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Pretty as a Painted Parasol

I’m sure you already have some yarn in your stash for this project. Since you can use either DK or lace-weight yarn, and alter the width to suit your needs, it’s a very versatile pattern.

Parasol Stole - Close Up

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I think of this as the pattern for ladies who like Impressionist paintings, strolls through parks, and a bit of peace and quiet while they sip their cup of tea. It puts me in mind, in particular, of this painting by Arthur Hacker, of a lady who’s lost her parasol to the river on a spring walk…

Arthur Hacker - Lost Parasol

The stitch pattern at either end is from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury, and it’s called ‘Peri’s Parasol’. ‘Peri’, as well as being a neat little prefix employed in words such as peripatetic, periscope, perimeter and periphery, also means “fairy” in Turkish (from the Farsi). Quite appropriate to the light lacy version, I think.

To me the lace looks like a repetition of open and closed parasols. Or perhaps open parasols spaced with flower buds.

parasols stole

The ribbing and border lace are definitely reminiscent of the rills and eddies of a gentle stream.

Parasol Stole - Back

And when it’s worn with the edge folded like a shawl collar, the bell-shaped decreases make the ribbing look like flowers. See…

Parasol Stole - Shawl Collar

I can’t help it, I love knitting pieces that have names or references that interest me, even if it’s entirely invisible to anyone else who looks at them. I suppose it comes from being a literature major. :)

Parasol Stole - Wings

There are so so many paintings of ladies with parasols! I think painters must have particularly enjoyed painting them because they can provide a plain splash of colour to set off a pretty face from a busy background. The following two ladies are lovely in their green serenity. The second lady even has her eyes closed, enjoying the spring smells and sounds of her garden.

Frederick Frieseke - Lady with Parasol

Richard Emil Miller - The Pool

Green does seem to have been a parasol colour of choice; even Monet chose it for his lady on the windy moors.

Claude Monet - Woman with a Parasol

I love the expression on this pink lady’s face too. Look at her rosy cheeks!

Robert Lewis Reid - Lady with a Parasol

When I have time to knit another one, and if I can get my hands on some multi-hued art yarn, I’d love to knit a purple or sunny yellow one. Just look at the delicious purples of this lady’s gown!

Richard Emil Miller - Woman with Parasol

Frederick Frieseke - The Garden Parasol

And I do think a lace-weight version in grey would look very elegant when I want to dress smarter. Ahh… so much to knit, so few hands! Do please help me out. :)

Berthe Morisot - Hide and Seek

Here are some details. More can be found here and on the Ravelry pattern page.

‣ Knit flat in one piece,
‣ in DK or lace-weight yarn,
‣ with lace at either end,
‣ and a central section of
‣ bordered by lace edging.
‣ 3 balls Nako Nakolen
[100gr; 50/50 wool/acrylic;
210m / 230yds; 292 Light
Green] or approx. 700m /
765 yds of DK-weight
‣ OR 3 balls Feza Kid
Mohair [25gr; 85%
mohair / 8% nylon / 7%
polyester; 250m / 275yds;
531 Light Pink] or approx.
610m / 667yds of lace-
weight yarn.
‣ Gauge isn’t critical, but It’s
important that the fabric
isn’t too tight, so that the
lace looks open and clear
when blocked.
DK-weight stole:
‣ 12sts / 20 rows
‣ over 10cm / 4in
‣ in blocked ribbing.
1 lace repeat is 17cm x
9.5cm / 6.7in x 3.7in at
widest points after

Lace-weight stole:
‣ 20sts / 23 rows
‣ over 10cm / 4in
‣ in blocked ribbing.
1 lace repeat is 13cm x
6.5cm / 5.1in x 2.6in at
widest points after blocking.
‣ Finished size will depend
on blocking. The lace-weight
sample was approx: 39cm x
145cm / 15in x 57in.

‣ 4.5mm (US 7) straight needles for both versions,
‣ or size suitable to yarn.
‣ Finished size will depend
on blocking.
‣ The DK
sample was approx:
51cm x 155cm / 20in x
‣The lace-weight
sample was approx: 39cm x
145cm / 15in x 57in.

Hope you’re all having a delightful weekend!

Note: Some of the paintings in this post were discovered on It’s About Time.

1st March, 2011  // 5 O'Clock, Inspiration, Neckwear // tags: , , , , , , , .


  1. Angela says:

    wonderful post and gorgeous pattern. i love the simplicity of the lace edging.

  2. Sarah says:

    Oh so gorgeous!

  3. Abby says:

    Lovely! All the impressionistic paintings make me see it in a completely different light. Great job!

  4. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful! Funnily enough, I was looking at that stitch in Barbara Walker’s book just the other day and thinking how it look lovely in a shawl :)

    • laylock says:

      Hopefully I saved you the trouble? :) I do think it’s one of the prettiest stitches in the Treasuries; Barbara Walker is a genius!

  5. Linda says:


  6. […] their 50% wool, 50% acrylic “Nakolen” is my go-to yarn (last time I used it for my Parasol Stole), because it feels nice, doesn’t pill, and comes in a wide range of colours. It’s […]

  7. […] Parasol Knitalong (for the Parasol Stole & Parasol Shawlette) starts tomorrow! Are you in? You can join anytime in May! And don’t […]

  8. […] world recently? I simply couldn’t resist. The Parasol Shawlette is a variation of the Parasol Stole: narrower, and with a single border for the ribbing section. The central section, instead of being […]

  9. Denise says:

    Love the inspiration added with the impressionist paintings! Gorgeous pattern! Thanks so much!

  10. Kathy P says:

    The paintings and gorgeous shawls are a feast for the eyes. I would love to knit like this some day. Beautiful.

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