Ch 192: The Familiar Shawl, and a wonderful time at Berlin Knits.

On today’s episode I’m introducing a shawl that might just be my favourite of this season’s Shawl Society, and reviewing the wonderful Berlin Knits festival and all the lovely classes I took there, along with a few announcements and some cameos from a few of my favourite knitters…

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Alongside an eclectic yarn range, which includes Hazel Knits, Icelandic Lopi & CoopKnits, we stock a carefully chosen selection of needles and notions. We’ve also recently launched ‘hand dyed by meadowyarn’, our very own in-house, hand-dyed yarn range. Working in our tiny dye studio, nestled in the Suffolk countryside, we are able to indulge our love of colour, producing complex tonal, kettle-dyed shades across a range of weights and bases. With regular updates our collections evolve and grow, inspired by the landscape and people around us.

AYS is a wool boutique specializing in hand dyed yarns and luxury fibres from around the world. You’ll always find a well curated collection of yarns and colors on the shelves and a friendly knowledgeable staff on hand. Some of our favorite brands include Hedgehog Fibres, SweetGeorgia Yarn, Julie Asselin, Shibui Knits and The Fibre Co. You can find A Yarn Story on Walcot Street in Bath or online at

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Yesterday was the launch of our 6th and final pattern, the Familiar Shawl


Companions of wise women and magicians down the years, these helpful household beings took the form of a loyal animal: a black cat was the most traditional, but your familiar could be just about anything. A dog, an otter, a raven, a discreet little mouse or fleet brown hare.

Some say these magical animals could change shape to suit the task at hand. They could deliver messages, assist with magic, defend their human, but most of all they were company.

The life of a magic-maker can be a lonely one, and having someone by (and on) your side is important, even when it’s “just” an animal. Harry Potter’s beloved Hedwig, the beautiful snowy owl, is an updated interpretation of a familiar. More than just a pet or a mail carrier, she was one of his very best friends.

Anyone who has ever formed a bond with an animal knows that friendship is one of the strongest kinds of magic we have here in the real world.

Our sixth design for this season, the Familiar Shawl, taps into a little of that magic. Familiar will be a cosy companion on frosty days, offering warmth and comfort when the wind blows wild.

Texture plays a strong role in this design, which features unusual soft cables, inspired in part by Hedwig’s downy feathers. It has a “familiar” favourite shape: a crescent, and is finished with a simple ribbed border. The yarn, a fluffy, luxurious bulky weight, is soft enough that your first instinct is to stroke it affectionately.

Familiar knits up so quickly some people might suspect you’ve used a helpful household spell in its construction.

The Familiar shawl is a tribute to companionship and loyalty wherever we find it: furry or feathered friends, close human confidantes, or a tribe of like-minded makers scattered across the globe, connected by technology. As such, it seemed like a fitting end to this magical season of The Shawl Society.

Making, like magic, can be something of solitary pursuit. Familiar reminds us to reach outside ourselves into the rich world of camaraderie and connection that waits for us, closer to home than we might imagine.

I used a familiar friend of a yarn for this one, Tundra, from The Fibre Co, which was also our sample yarn for Sonder, last season’s final shawl. I’m such a fan of the amazing yarn that I really wanted to revisit it this year.

The Familiar Mini KAL will run from October 5th to November 2nd. The Shawl Society Season II Grand KAL will also be ending on November 2nd, so be sure to post photos of all your finishes TSS II shawls in the FO threads by then! I’ll be drawing winners for a range of wonderful prizes. By the way, it’s never too late to jump in to The Shawl Society…Familiar is such a quick knit you could easily whip it up before the Grand KAL!

LouLeigh Project Bags

Berlin Knits Yarn Festival

Kunibag Project Bags

Yarn Over Berlin

La Bien Aimee Yarn

Paris in Berlin Colourway La Bien Aimee

Paris in Berlin Cowl by Joji Locatelli

Laine Magazine

The Walk Collection Yarn

Nature’s Luxury Yarn

Joji Locatelli’s Website

Veera Välimäki’s Website


Garn Stories Yarn

Tieke Garn

Norne Yarn

Hand Dyed Berlin

EvieandLily’s gorgeous Instagram

Hue Loco Yarn

And that wraps up our notes for today! I hope you have a wonderful weekend of knitting ahead of you and I will see you next week!





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