Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Lisa Souza Dyeworks
beauty shot


I love autumn -- the crisp mornings and cooler days with their promise of change feel invigorating after a long hot summer. I find endless inspiration in the season's incredible variety of colors and textures, so I wanted to design a shawl that would combine leaf shapes with interesting textures.

I decided to use the diamond lace motifs along the shawl's edge because they resemble the shapes of birch leaves and I added a few simple cables with some purled stitches to create more texture.

Beithe got its name from the ancient Ogham alphabet where each letter is named after a tree; 'beith' means birch tree.

The amazing hand dyed colors of this Lisa Souza yarn are a perfect match for the colors of birch leaves in autumn. The yarn is a blend of wool and silk; the wool provides warmth and coziness to the shawl while the silk content enhances the overall drape.

Using just a single skein of this beautiful yarn, Beithe is knitted in one piece starting at the outside edge of the textured border. The shawl's practical crescent shape is created by a set of short rows, which is worked in easy stockinette stitch and bound off with a 2-stitch I-cord.

Editor's Note: Beithe is pronounced "beth". Who knew?

spacer model: Natalie M
spacer photos: Peter C




Length at center: 16.5 inches
Width: 43 inches


spacer Lisa Souza Polwarth/Silk [85% Polwarth Wool, 15% Silk; 400yd/366m per 136g skein]; color: Knitty Deep Fall; 1 skein

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 32-inch US #8/5.00 mm circular needle
spacer 32-inch US #10.5/6.50 mm circular needle (for CO only)

spacer Stitch markers (optional)
spacer Cable needle
spacer Yarn needle
spacer Blocking pins


16 sts/26 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch on US #8, blocked
Correct gauge is not critical for this project, but your final measurements and yardage requirements may vary if your gauge is different.


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

The short rows are worked simply, without wrapped stitches; the short row gaps are closed using ssk and p2tog decreases instead of the usual wraps.

The 2 st I-cord BO is used to create a firm edge to support the crescent shape during blocking to allow the lace points to stretch fully.

sl2, k1, p2sso: Slip 2 sts knitwise; k1; pass slipped sts together over the knit st.

C3/3F: Slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold to front of work; k3 from left needle; k3 from cable needle.

The chart for this pattern is very large and fits on a letter-sized page.
Click here and print the resulting page.

With US #10.5 needle CO 343 sts.

Do not join; shawl is worked back and forth in rows.

Switch to US #8 needle and work Rows 1-22 of the Beithe chart. 271 sts remain on needles.

Shape shawl body using short rows as follows:
Row 1 [RS]: K140, turn work.

Row 2 [WS]: P9, turn work.

Row 3 [RS]: K8, ssk, k3, turn work.

Row 4 [WS]: P11, p2tog, p3, turn work.

Row 5 [RS]: K14, ssk, k3, turn work.

Row 6 [WS]: P17, p2tog, p3, turn work.

Row 7 [RS]: K20, ssk, k3, turn work.

Row 8 [WS]: P23, p2tog, p3, turn work.

Row 9 [RS]: K to 1 st before gap created by turn, ssk, k3, turn.

Row 10 [WS]: P to 1 st before gap created by turn, p2tog, p3, turn.

Repeat the last 2 rows until all sts are worked, ending with a WS row.

Next row [RS]: K1, *p1, k1, rep from * to end.

Next row [WS]: K1, *p1, k1, rep from * to end.

Work 2 st I-cord BO [RS]: With completed knit on left needle, CO 2 sts.

*K1, ssk; sl sts back to left needle; pull yarn tightly across back of work; rep from * to end.


Weave in all loose ends. Block piece to measurements: start with the two short sides (6") followed by the lace center point, then pin out the rest of the points along the edge. When completely dry, remove pins and trim all yarn tails.


After nine years in Europe, Susanna IC now lives in San Antonio with her husband, two sons, one guinea pig and countless balls of yarn.

Besides a background in fashion design, she has a Master's degree in art history and a Bachelor's in studio arts, all of which continue to inspire much of her knitting. Her projects and designs can be found on Ravelry, and at