Siren Song

Siren Song

Siren Song

This elegant shawl develops in beautiful Art Deco waves. Yes, Siren Song is the long-awaited shawl version of Song of the Sea cowl.

Worked lengthwise, in long, rhythmical rows, this is an intermediate lace project. It is a great first project to try working lace on right- and wrong-side rows, since the lace itself is easy. (Note that this isn’t a first lace project – for that, try Song of the Sea.) It’s a slight parallelogram (squashed rectangle), finishing in elegant points.

The size is flexible, so you can make the size you want, in the yarn you love. There instructions so that you can easily adjust it for the amount of yarn that you have. I know this is something people have enjoyed with Song of the Sea, so I approached this scarf-to-shawl pattern the same way. Whilst I think the design will work well in lace weight to DK/worsted, I’ve kept it to 4ply/fingering for the samples. As with Song of the Sea, Siren Song works beautifully in a wide range of yarns.

I’ve admired many beautiful Song of the Sea projects in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% Superwash Merino, 384m/420yds per skein), so I really wanted to try it for this shawl. I chose two skeins of Tosh Merino Light in Mandala, since semi-solid yarns since have a lot of life to them. It amazes me how this stitch pattern works so well for anything from solid through to really rather variegated yarns. Mandala is barely semi-solid; there are flecks of pink and purple on the turquoise, so it’s edging into multi-colours, but the overall effect is turquoise. It’s light and airy.

2014-10-16 04.49.25
2014-10-16 04.49

You can block the design with straight edges (as shown above), or keep the gentle scallops along the biggest waves. I kept the curves along the bottom of this next shawl sample in Fyberspates Cumulus (74% Baby Suri Alpaca, 26% Mulberry Silk, 150m per 25g) in 5 balls of appropriately-named Water. The softness of the yarn seemed to call for a soft edge. I did minimal blocking – just wetted and laid it out unpinned, coaxing it into shape. I wanted to keep the texture of the waves and the yarn.

Shawl blocked gently, to keep the scallops along the bottom edge.

Shawl blocked gently, to keep the scallops along the bottom edge.


The shawl size (shown above in Cumulus and Tosh Merino Light) is substantial 40cm/16″ wide x 170cm/68″ along sides (so it feels a generous 185cm/70″ when measured to include its angled points).

If you’ve a smaller amount of yarn, there is a mid-size stole or shawlette. This is around 33cm/13″ wide x 160cm/64″ along sides (which comes up as 180cm/68″ including points when worn, so it’s a good size).

This is perfect for a Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply Toes Gradient Set (100% Superwash Merino, 5 x 121m/133yds, total 605m/665yds) in tonal Pleiades. I love the dark, moody breakers at the bottom, moving up until you reach the light froth of tiny waves. It was hard to choose a colour since there are several beautiful options available. I can see this versatile size being worn all year round, opened out flat in Summer or scrunched up more like a scarf in Winter. Either way, it’s an elegant project.

Mid-size stole, made using a gradient set.

Mid-size stole, made using a gradient set.

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The smallest size is a one-skein scarf. You’ll need at least 400m/440yd skein for this, and you’ll need to take care of your tension since there is only just enough. It’s shown below in unbelievably soft Skein Merino Cashmere Fingering (80% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 400m/440yds per 100g skein), in one skein of shade Organic. The scarf is 20cm/8″ wide x 150cm/60″ measured along the sides (which makes it 160cm/64″ including the long points, so this is how long it feels to wear). I think this is smart enough for the office, or day-to-evening.

Scarf size - neat, elegant and just one skein

Scarf size – neat, elegant and just one skein

Now, as I mentioned, instructions are given for adjusting the pattern to make it as wide and long as you like. I thought we should try an over-sized version in Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico. We kept the length the same, but made it deeper with more repeats. We used 1072m/1176yds, so this isn’t a small project! But it’s a gorgeous, snuggly shawl at 56cm/22″ wide. When I see the scarf and this oversized shawl together, it surprises me that they’ve come from the same pattern; I’m pleased it’s so versatile and customisable for each knitter.

2014-10-16 04.56.02

Oversized luxury: wrap yourself in alpaca & silk.

Oversized luxury: wrap yourself in alpaca & silk.

There is a pdf with all the details about these samples available as a download with the Siren Song pattern, or you can download the Siren Song SAMPLE DETAILS v1 here.

One of the hardest things was choosing yarns from all the possibilities. Instead of single-spun Tosh Merino Light, you could use Countess Ablaze Tia Merino or Softrope Soft Singles. Instead of silky Metalico, I’d love to try Scrumptious 4ply/Sport, Baby Long Legs Semi Precious, or Nature’s Luxury Farouche. I’ve seen beautiful gradient sets from The Unique Sheep and The Knitting Goddess, and I suspect you could make up your own with The Little Grey Sheep’s mini-skeins. It’s hard to find an alternative for the light cloud that is Fyberspates Cumulus, but Handmaiden Maiden Hair or Rowan Kidsilk Haze will give a similar halo.

On a technical note, I loved using the crochet cast-on for this design. It makes a little chain along the edge. It means the cast-on edge matches the slipped stitches up the sides and the bind-off along the top edge. It’s completely optional, but it is easy so I do recommend you give it a try. You don’t need to be a crocheter (I’m not) to be able to do this. I love Knit Purl Hunter’s youtube video on crochet cast on.

We’re having a knitalong in the Inspiration Knits group through November, so come and join us. I think Siren Song makes a perfect treat for you or a beautiful gift for the festive season. What do you think?

4 thoughts on “Siren Song

  1. Could you please tell me what size needle you used for the Madelinetosh Merino Light yarn for the Song of the Sea Cowl. Thanks so much.

    • I made Siren Song in MadelineTosh Merino Light, and I used 4mm needles. There are a lot of projects on Ravelry by knitters who’ve made Song of the Sea Cowl, which is why I wanted to try the yarn for Siren Song.

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