Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Shawl by any other name...

I have worn this poor frazzled shawl forever.  It has been to Europe twice, Croatia once, countless dinners here in the valley, a bazillion evenings out with friends and been my constant companion on many a cool summer evening by the pool. I learned this week from my knitting friends that it's technically a Ruana, because of the way it is styled. Call it what you want - all I know is that I wish I would have bought one in every color years ago!

Not wishing to actually KNIT one as suggested by my knitting friends (too much stockinette for this Chicka), it occurred to me that I could probably sew one, if I could find a soft enough fabric - one with lots of drape. Mentally, I put that on my list of things to complete before our France vacation this Fall.

Meanwhile, my daughter and I were "touring" IKEA this week, and I happened upon a soft woven off-white know where this is going, don't you. It was the perfect size, color and feel that I was looking for in a new Ruana. I did note that the display throws in the store looked a little "pilled" from constant fingering, but hey, if it lasts til Paris, I'm good to go.

IKEA's strange product names - Gurli is a woman's name.

I measured the throw against my black shawl, which is slightly smaller than the 47"X 71" of the Gurli throw.

The lengthwise edges of the throw already have a nice tightly woven selvage edge, but the width of the throw was hemmed.
Cut the two hemmed edges at both ends off.

I want my Ruana to have the same long fringe that my black one does, so I will need to secure the loosely woven fabric above the fringe line.  In order to stay on the straight grain of the fabric, I pulled a single thread of the fabric about 6 inches away from the edge.  That will be my guide for the "blanket stitch" safety row.

Because my throw fabric is pretty loosely woven I stitched two rows of blanket stitches at each end of the throw, above the fringe line. Once the security rows were sewn, settle yourself into some major "fringing", which involves pulling out the crosswise rows to create the fringe.

As if the fringing wasn't tedious enough, knotting the fringe is over the top. I used about 10 threads for each knot. Laborious to say the lest, but totally worth it. Knotting also helps keep the fringe from pulling on the woven fabric above.

My IKEA Gurli throw becomes a chic Ruana when it is cut lengthwise up the middle on one end, stopping a little more than half way through the full length. (Refer back to the original black shawl photo above, if that doesn't make sense!)  Finish the Ruana by serging the cut edges and reinforcing
the "V" at the center back.

My new Ruana is just as light, yet cozy as the old black knit one.  The Gurli throw comes in lot's of other colors - red, blue , grey, etc.
May have to go back for a red one.
I love it!!!

Laurel. Working on that Paris wardrobe!!


  1. Love it. Looks quick and easy except the fringing part. Should be the perfect wardrobe piece for travel! Good job.

    1. Fringing is not hard, just time consuming...tedious!

  2. Gorgeous! I have been yearning to crochet but not a piece of yarn in the house!


Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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