Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Saoirse Shawl

Saoirse Shawl

by Norah Gaughan

from Interweave Knits Spring 2009

28" wide (at upper edge) sample garment

The images above are from the magazine.

The images below are of our Interweave Gallery Gals wearing the same sample sweater.


 Interweave Gallery Gals
Allison Annie
Stef, wearing as a shawl


This particular gallery of photos is not as much about fit as it is about style.

Here are three different women, each with a very different "personal style," each wearing the Saoirse Shawl. Each woman chose how to wear the shawl for the photos herself, in a way that she felt she would actually wear the shawl in real life.

With an unusual garment like this, you can get creative and wear it many ways. Do you tie it at the side? Which side? Slighty off-center? Knot, bow, or pin?

The Saoirse is a very playful garment, and everyone who wore it ended up swinging their hips or their shoulders just to see the ruffles sway and dance.

This is a garment that is truly as much fun to wear as it is to knit. Enjoy!


Stef, front view as shawl

Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Some links you  might find helpful:

Measuring yourself and your clothing

About positive and negative ease

Measuring tutorial with photos


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Patterns, Shawls

58 thoughts on “Knits Spring 2009 Gallery: Saoirse Shawl

  1. This looks awsome on Annie.. I’m not sure I see my over 40 hips adorned in such… But it’s fun to see it on you girls.. And the bigger Q.. who do I know that I can make it for?

  2. I can’t imagine wearing this one. Who needs fluffy ruffles on the hips, even if you have a flat tummy? And, I’m sorry, it just looks strange on the shoulders. Guess it’s not my cup o’ tea.

  3. I think to work at all, it would have to be worn by a younger girl-teenager. It’s not a style that seems destined to become a classic, although it is somewhat reminiscent of Victorian capelets with all the soft pleating. A bit fussy. As for me-never! My hips are ruffly enough as it is! Cute though.

  4. I agree you have to be built like a stick to wear it this way, but I like it as a “skirt.” Kind of wierd as a shawl though. What about over one shoulder with the tie part under the opposite arm? The textured yarn shows better in these photos than in the mag – nice.

  5. I don’t really like this at all. It seems too short to really be a shawl, and as everyone else said, if you are not a stick it’s doesn’t work as a skirt. It must be my age, but I don’t get skirts over pants. I look bulky enough wearing one layer of clothing. I do like the idea of the ruffles, and if I were to make it I would probably lengthen it. It would work as a beach cover-up, but I don’t know what yarn I would choose for that. It is cute on Allison and Annie, but in general I don’t “get” it.

  6. This is just not right! No one I know likes it either. I called my daughter in Maine and had her take a peek at the web site; she’s 26 and her laughing gave me a headache. You have to be a stick to wear this! LOL! I would have to put the yarn to better use.

  7. If used by most of us, I could only see as a wrap. Otherwise, as a mini cover, I would leave that for the teenagers.
    It is like looking at an adult woman trying to wear a tween outfit.

  8. I love Anjani’s comment, that is so funny!! ! I think it looks artsy, and so cute. I am in my 40’s…. and heck… I would wear it. Like over jeans or something. It is just adorable. Our bodies are what they are. We should wear what we want.

  9. Sorry, I just don’t see anybody wearing this who is over 17 or over 90 pounds. It just looks goofy on anyone else. With that in mind, I’d choose a brighter color than gray.

    By the way, how on earth do you pronounce “saoirse”?

  10. The Saoirse Shawl is THE main reason I bought the Spring issue. I’m intrigued by the style, shaping and drape. I think it could look quite elegant with the right outfit [like a long black sheath].
    I’m pushing 60 and look forward to wearing it.

  11. Hi there,
    Lots of comments.. But aren’t we to hard on judging our body’s? Out there, there is not every first lady Barbie – type and 15! Of course one can’t disscus the taste – old Latin’s told us that long time ago… I think it is cute, intrigue(ing) and daring, and isn’t fashion all about that? It has like ‘dance of its own’ exotic and artistic idea! I love it, and I will made it for both my daughters -in-law.
    Thank you Norah!

  12. My immediate response to this garment was how can I lenghthen it to work as a wrap…gotta love a swirly skirt. I imagine the movement of it would be fascinating.

  13. This would look very cute over yoga pants which I tend to live in but it wouldn’t work as a shawl for me (I’m in NH and it gets cold). It would be adorable as a cover up for my little ballerina but I’d have to downsize the pattern and I’m too lazy for that 😉

  14. This is just too heavy, awkward, and short to be a shoulder wrap and there can’t be more than a handful of people who are the right combination of age, figure type, and style to pull it off successfully as an overskirt. But most importantly, it doesn’t look like it would be fun to knit at all. How many plain stockinette stitches are in this, ya think?

  15. oh, lots of harsh opinions this time! i’m a fuller figure gal and my instant reaction to this pattern was L*O*V*E!!! second thought: i would obviously NEVER wear it as a butt/mommy-tummy showcaser. BUT i love it over the shoulder, i live in texas so it could work during the spring. i also agree with some other commenters that is meant to be a FUN, flirty piece with nora’s trademark whimsy and imagination. knitting can be ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE!!! i for one never knit or buy the “instant classic” wardrobe piece.

  16. I like it but I doubt i’ll make it. Doesn’t look like it would take long to make but somehow I can’t see making something that I probably wouldn’t wear more than a year or two. When I invest my time, money, and effort on a project, I want it to be a keeper.

  17. I think all the people who immediately said “ew” to this pattern can have your boring classic cardigans. I love this! It’s swingy and fun and full of style.

  18. I think this would be perfect for any dancer! It’s just the type of thing they *love* wearing. I’ve been considering it for my nieces, and keep flipping to it in the magazine.

  19. “When” I get skinny, it will be sooo cute. Right now, if I put that over my hips…well, at least they would see me coming.
    Over 50, and I agree, I wear what I want. The “fashion police” better look out for ME!

  20. Love it, love it, love it! But then I like the Victorian/ruffles angle. My concern is the yardage required – 12(!) skeins of the yarn used. It’s definitely in my queue, though.

  21. Maybe not for the summer (which is when it would be done, if I started today). But I could see this in the Fall or next Spring. How about a long weekend in the city? Capelet to keep the transitional weather off your shoulders during the day, then a fun skirtlet over a bodystocking to club the night away. Definitely a youth culture item. All though, I”m sure DebiR would say, age is just a number.

    For the rest of this comment:
    I’m not criticizing the models, I know they’re wearing what they wore to the office; and they probably didn’t know which samples would be showcased. But the gallery is to emphasize style, not construction; so I’m commenting on the styles shown in the pix. Pls don’t send negative energy out into the universe in my general direction.

    Allison looks great: that little echo of gathering in her top is sweet, looks like she planned the outfit.
    But Annie and Stef, not so much.
    Annie: overskirt + long scarf + chunky beads + chunky glasses. TOO MUCH! imho, the ruffly overskirt implies energy and movement; it’s smothered in an avalanche of overaccessorizing.
    Stef’s top has too much texture; the crinkles and the ruffles are fighting for attention.

  22. It would be fun to try it on and swing it around as Sandi noted, but I agree with others, boy what a pain to make for something that wouldn’t get much wear! Re. mauserati’s comment, I think the galleries are actually supposed to emphasize FIT, not style – how the sweaters fit on different body types, and with Sandi’s expert help, how to make changes to make them fit and look better. Thanks for the galleries Sandi and models, and please keep them coming!

  23. I’m excited about making and wearing this. Any suggestions for other yarns? I priced this with the recommended yarn and it would be over $100. I’d like to keep it below $50.

  24. You know ladies, I just had to play around with this pattern! Most of us did not like it! Yet, those that did forced me to use my creativity… So this is what I came up with! Big needles (13 to 15 no larger)! It comes out lacey. I tried it with a Casco Bay cotton yarn from Halcyon Yarns and guess what you get??? A fun beach cover-up for a breezy day! I played with a ribbon yarn! What drama! Now I just did some samples; I may just complete this one! Would love to hear what you think….

  25. Unfortunately, I suspect this is just another pattern that would be enjoyable to knit, but would sit unused because it’s not flattering or practical.

    The construction’s quite interesting, though. CharleneC’s suggestion to use big needles and floaty yarn sounds very promising. Serious modification might be the key.

  26. Very funky and artsy. Creative piece and even though limited number of people can wear it as an overskirt, its great. If you can’t wear it below its very fun as a shawl. I also like the idea of making it a bit longer for a shawl and also the lacier ideas. I’m almost 60 and haven’t become boring quite yet.

  27. I’m not sure if anyone has responded to requests for a pronounciation guide, but I’m pretty sure the word (a woman’s name) is pronounced “sheer-sah”. A lovely woman by that name lives here in Ithaca.

  28. This non-garment is one of the strangest excuses for selling yarn that I’ve ever seen. The flirty-swingy vibe could be good on a young skinny teen, but that yucky color makes it look like a recycled porch mat. Perhaps in a bright color and thinner yarn it could get interesting – for a competitive gymnast. And there’s much too much fabric for it to work as a shoulder wrap on us older women. I’d need to take out a few ruffles and make it longer. I won’t bother; there are many other patterns more worth the yarn investment.

  29. This is for Lidija and anyone else who is interested in trying this with larger needles: 10.5 works best however, when you are ready for the increase rows—instead of 10 Xs you will increase only 5 Xs(times.) Otherwise the drape becomes too heavy, and the it drags the stitches down. If you notice on the model all those ruffles are centered. In making a more lacey shawl or skirt (which will be a little longer than the original) you want less ruffling in order to show the lacey effect to advantage. Hope this helps. I have ripped this out 3Xs to get it just right! LOL.

  30. I made this in a skinny cotton yarn for my teen and not only does it look cute on her but I can’t get her to take it off!

    Not for my 50+ year old bottom but perfect for her!

  31. Would it not have been interesting and useful to put a bit in the magazine about the origin of the name and how it was pronounced? Thanks to those who have filled us in!
    Wonderful construction, totally unwearable.

  32. hola soy yanet de chile y me encanto esta labor alguien me puede ayudar con el patron por favor es que me encanto y quiero tejerla tengo la instruccion de la revista y no la entiendo por favor se los agradeceria muchooooo