When the magazine Knitting Traditions planned an issue on the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 a couple of years ago, I knew right from the start what I would like to contribute. I was always in awe of the Crystal Palace, the building to house the show in the form of a massive glasshouse. It was built with a cast-iron frame and glass and was considered an architectural marvel.
For me the key element in this unusual piece of architecture was the 72-foot-wide (22 m) barrel-vaulted roof that stood 168 feet (51 m) high at the top of the arch. And imagine, it wasn't even planned to build it this way! In the intial plans the building was designed enteriely with a flat roof, but the plans got changed to avoid having to cut down elm trees and the design was altered to enclose the trees. I really love this bit of the Crystal Palace's history! So why not use this remarkable builiding as my inspiration?
I desgined a half-circled shaped shawl to mimic the barrel-vaulted roof and alternated between stripes in twisted Stockinette stich and lace panels to symbolize the cast-iron frames and the glass panels. The finishing touch is a knitted border that is finished with a crochet bind off. And this is what it looks like.
I think my sample shows my idea rather well, doesn't it? Should you like it as much as I do and you now wish for your very own Crystal Palace Shawl - the pattern is now available from my Ravelry store, here: Crystal Palace Shawl.