Musternixe in Englisch, Pattern Nix

Short explanation regarding the yarn used

The yarn is not plied – it’s what’s called “gefacht” in German, a multi-strand non-plied yarn where gradual color changes are achieved by exchanging one of the strands for a different color.
This means the strands are arranged parallel to each other, but not twisted around each other,
which makes for a very neat stitch definition.
At every color change, there is a small knot with two ends, which are not meant to be cut off, but left in. The little knot will tell us when to change the stitch pattern.

It took me 3 weeks to knit mine, which I deem a reasonable time for a shawl like this one.

The idea:
I wanted a shawl to be combined with jeans, nothing too fancy, and no garish colors. It was supposed to look sophisticated, but also fresh and sportive at the same time.
Not too easy to accomplish ;).

Finding yarn proved to be easy. Mondscheinnacht  by Lady Dee fit the bill. It has 4 strands, and any substitutions should also have exactly four, otherwise the individual stitch pattern sections will turn out too large.

Now the next decision: what type of shawl – inspiration was needed. First, I started out making a “Virus shawl”, but five rows into it, it became obvious to me that the result was too girly for my taste. Thus I unraveled that attempt.

That left me with knitting, but knitting up 1000 meters [1094 yards] seemed so daunting, I thought I would never finish.

How could I motivate myself???
Working every day to the next little knot!
Starting a new stitch pattern at every knot!
That’s the way I did it.
Finished size of the shawl 230 x 70 cm [91 x 28 in] on 3 mm [US 2.5] needles.
I wrote down for you how I made my MUSTERNIXE (stitch pattern mermaid), which doesn’t pretend to be a real pattern, rather an inspiration for your creativity. However, in case you pass on the idea, it would be nice if you mentioned me. :).


Cast on 4 sts.
Knit 4 sts.
Turn work, and in every other row (in every wrong side row), always on the same edge, work a kfb increase.
If you wanted to, you could now continue this way until you run out of yarn:) I did as described below. If using a solid-colored yarn, you could follow rigid row-by-row instructions, changing the stitch pattern when you start a new color at the begin of a new row. Always!! knit the first and last 2 sts in every row, so the edges won’t curl – in some rows, there will be 3 selvedge sts instead of 2, depending how it works out with the stitch pattern.

Begin of work > knit stitches only (Garter stitch)

1st Little Knot> Eyelet pattern (Worked in knit stitches only. Knit 2 sts together, make a yarn over, knit 2 sts together … and so on, the last 2 sts should be knit, to prevent curling. Knit for 3 rows over all sts.
Knit loosely, that’s easier on your fingers.

2nd Little Knot> Double Moss Stitch

3rd Little Knot> knit for 2 rows, work in stockinette stitch (k on RS, p on WS) for 6 rows, work in reverse stockinette stitch (p on RS, k on WS) for 2 rows
4th Little Knot> eyelet pattern
5th Little Knot> work in “k2, p2” ribbing for 8 rows, then „p2, k2“ ribbing for 8 rows etc
6th Little Knot> knit for 2 rows, work in stockinette stitch for 6 rows, work in reverse stockinette stitch for 2 rows
7th Little Knot> eyelet pattern
8th Little Knot> regular Moss Stitch (seed stitch)

9th Little Knot> knit for 2 rows, work in reverse stockinette stitch for 6 rows, work in stockinette stitch for 2 rows

10th Little Knot> Knit all stitches.

If using a solid-colored yarn, there could be rigid row-by-row instructions, such as “in Rows 30, 60, 90 etc, use a different stitch pattern”. Owing to the fact that color changes in the multi-strand non-plied yarn occur in regular intervals, pattern sections will gradually turn wider (with more stitches per row) and shallower (with fewer rows height-wise per pattern section).

All I still needed for this shawl was a name when somebody told me how they like “those pattern mixes” (Mustermixe), which I misheard as “pattern nixes” (Musternixe)… and what do you know, the shawl is now entitled Musternixe = Pattern Nix or Pattern Mermaid. Men like it, too; I would categorize it as UNISEX. 

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