For the Love of Ishbel

Ishbel turned out to be one of those projects that was impossible to put down.  Once I cast on last Sunday, I was a knitting fiend, putting in some time on a row or pattern repeat whenever possible.  It must have been the perfect storm of yarn and pattern, because both were equally pleasing to work with.  Ysolda writes a wicked clear pattern that was a joy to follow, and the Madelinetosh sock yarn kept me smiling throughout.


  • Pattern:  Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

  • Yarn: Madelinetosh sock yarn in Lettuce Leaf, approximately 300 yards

  • Needles: US size 6/4mm Addi Turbo Lace

  • Mods: None.  I knit the size small as written.  See my notes on Ravelry.


When I finished binding off it seemed small.  I knew that it would grow during blocking, but I wasn’t sure it would be big enough to wind around and wear like a scarf.  The pre-blocking measurements were 13 x 35 inches (depth x wingspan).  I soaked it for a few minutes, then pressed it in a towel and pinned it out on my yoga mat.  The dimensions grew to 18.5 x 38.5 inches.  It’s still a bit skimpy as a scarf, but I am really enjoying it as my new spring accessory!


If I were to knit this again (as I am feeling wont to do) I would probably knit the large stockinette pattern with the small lace section, or vice versa.  First, I only used about 3/4 of the skein, and I loathe having that much yarn left over.  Secondly, it is just a little bit shy of wrapping around so that the ends dangle without sliding off over my shoulder.


I love this scarf and would totally marry it if I weren’t already spoken for!

This was my first lace shawl, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience.  In the past when I saw lace charts I would instantly feel intimidated.  But there was just something about this pattern that spoke to me and said: “Don’t be afraid.  You can do this!”.  Maybe it was that the pattern called for sock yarn and started out in stockinette.  Or that I knew what all the symbols meant and simply needed to pay a little bit of attention every other row.  Most likely I’m just a more experienced and less fearful knitter than I once was, especially when it comes to lace.  Now I’m looking at some of my sock yarn with a certain lace lust that wasn’t there before…


Now that it’s off the needles I can admit this out loud without ramifications: when it came to the lace section, I didn’t count stitches or use life lines!!!  ‘Cause I like to live on the edge like that.

19 thoughts on “For the Love of Ishbel

  1. That is positively beautiful! I love the colors. I say this over and over – you have the most even stitches I’ve ever seen. I want to watch you knit sometime!

  2. On your recommendation, I may just give this a try with some yarn I am nearly done spinning! My three ply came out a bit heavy for socks, so it should make up nicely as a scarf/shawl. Stay tuned.

  3. “I love this scarf and would totally marry it if I weren’t already spoken for!”

    Funniest thing I have read today!! It looks fabulous, well done. Very impressed 🙂

  4. Oh that turned out just gorgeous!

    You can count on other knitters to understand how you feel – I saw a vest pattern in a catalog last year and declared that I wanted to “marry it and have it’s little cable babies”!

  5. By golly….that could have been me a little while back….I feel exactly the same about my Ishbel! It gave me the courage to attempt things I never thought possible…hence last night I BO on a Gail (aka Nightsongs) the notoriously ‘difficult’ pattern – but I had no issues with it….thanks to the confidence I got from Ysolda’s Ishbel 🙂 LOVE LOVE LOVE your green yarn too

  6. oh you sound so pleased, sizing issues notwithstanding. It’s so lovely to see you!

    I did my first lace with sock yarn (Forest Canopy shawl) and I couldn’t agree more with what it’s like to step into it feeling somehow like yep, it’s something I can do. You have described my experience exactly!

    And I agree so much with the 3/4 of a skein left over. It’s not helpful is it?

  7. Your blog came in SUPER handy at CT sheep and wool. I am hoping to make this same pattern out of one of my finds (check out my blog, it is from a shop in Colchester that becca and I are going to be stalking a LOT their stuff is SOOOOO nice, and the owners are very cool)

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