September 13, 2023 in Brown Sheep

The True Blue Shawl: A Review

Tonia Lyons True Blue Shawl in hot pink, navy blue and cream hanging on a gray wall

The Brown Sheep Spring Mystery has wrapped! It’s safe to finally reveal Tonia Lyon’s gorgeous shawl design, the True Blue Shawl.

We want to thank all of our MKAL knitters for joining us these last few weeks. The Brown Sheep community made some truly beautiful shawls in Nature Spun Sport. We encourage a search of the #BrownSheepSpringMKAL2023 hashtag to see more.

We’d also like to congratulate our winners of the two $50 gift certificates to! We’re thankful for random number generators as it would have been extremely difficult to choose a winner.

The winning True Blue shawls from Knitting Mom of 7 and Julia

We decided to do things a little differently this year after the MKAL wrapped. Something fun happened as we were knitting through this mystery knit along. It inspired a review of the experience and a desire to share it. We also wanted to give knitters who participated in the MKAL a dedicated space—whether they were on Spinning Yarns or our social channels—to take a peek at each others’ finished True Blue Shawls.

The Right Shawl for the Season

This year’s mystery knit along launched on April 25, and as I worked my way through the first clue, I noticed something interesting…

First, I should set the stage. The weather in late April was still fairly cool and rainy—if not snowy!—in many places in the U.S. We were still in that liminal space between winter and spring, waiting for the world to warm up and things to turn green.

So it was really interesting to cast on a dark colored shawl and watch flurries of a lighter color begin to emerge…

Flossie’s shawl, shared to Spinning Yarns


The early rows of Daisy Chain stitches actually felt reminiscent of snowflakes.


First clue in the True Blue shawl in navy and white with yellow flowers
True Blue Shawl in the Midnight Garden colorway knit by @treeswift19 on Instagram


The first clue of the True Blue shawl in blue and white on a table
True Blue Shawl knit by Kathleen, shared to Spinning Yarns


The first clue in the True Blue Shawl in purple and light blue
True Blue Shawl knit by Amanda and shared to Spinning Yarns


Interestingly, knitting the True Blue Shawl at that particular time of the year felt like a reflexive act. As I knit through clue 1, winter slowly gave way to spring. It wasn’t intentional in the way the temperature scarf project purposefully charts daily temperatures via a system of matching colors to degrees. The knitting and the seasonal change simply coincided, progressing together in a very pleasing way.

And then clue number 2 showed up on May 2.


True Blue Shawl knit by Flossie


Shawl from shared to Instagram


Clue 2 introduced the third color in the True Blue Shawl. When we designed the color kits for the True Blue Shawl, we intentionally made the third color a bright pop of color. It mirrored designer Tonia Lyons’ color scheme; per her color choices, the third color in Midnight Garden is Magenta, a vivid, striking pink.


Clue 2 by Tonia Lyons


As we worked our way through clues 2 and 3, and the light grew brighter and the weather warmed, suddenly we all had very vivid, spring-forward colors on the needles. It wasn’t intentional, but I couldn’t help but feel like knitting the True Blue Shawl was helping to usher in some warmer weather. As I knit along and took a look at other knitter’s shawls after the first clue, it felt prophetic.


True Blue Shawl knit by Amanda, shared to Spinning Yarns


True Blue Shawl knit by Karen, shared to Spinning Yarns


There was one exception to this trend of dark winter colors moving into bright spring hues. With the Sunset at Sea color way, something a little different happened. We found it just as thrilling, so it’s worth pointing out.

Sunset at Sea


When we chose the different color kits for the True Blue Shawl, we weren’t 100% sure how the colors would turn out. We knew we liked the colors we paired together, but it’s always a fun surprise to see what they do once the knitting has begun.

We also choose the names after we’ve chosen the color pairings. Looking at Nature Spun Sport in Blueberry (Color 1), Nectarine (Color 3), and Tropical Surf (Color 2), the first thing we imagined was a sunset at sea. And as Spinning Yarns knitter Esther began sharing photos of her shawl, a really fun thing happened…


Esther’s shawl, clues 1-3. shared to Spinning Yarns


Her shawl looked exactly like a sunset at sea. From the first clue as the light sparkles on the water to the second and third clue watching the tide send waves of sunlight mingling with dark ocean water. Again, it wasn’t intentional, but it was really fun to see!

Working on the True Blue Shawl at this particular time of year with these particular colors produced a knitting experience unlike any other I’ve had before. I was anticipating the inclusion of color 3—the brightest of the bunch—with every row. And I was so excited to see the light shift outside my window as I knit along, as if I was making a wish for warmer weather with each stitch. It felt like a really special, unique experience that would be hard to duplicate, especially since it happened organically.

As per the pattern, every knitter worked the final round of Daisy Chain stitches in clue 4 in color 3. With summer on the horizon, our snowflakes had become flowers. Is there anything more magical than that?


True Blue Shawl knit by Julia, shared to Spinning Yarns


True Blue Shawl knit by Karen, shared to Spinning Yarns


True Blue Shawl knit by @curiouspurplepig on Instagram


True Blue Shawl by shared to Instagram


Flossie’s finished True Blue Shawl



True Blue Shawl knit by Esther, shared to Spinning Yarns


True Blue Shawl shared by @1stipple.2stitch to Instagram


If you’d like to make a True Blue Shawl of your own, the pattern is free to download until November 4, 2023. Sign up for the Brown Sheep newsletter now to receive a copy by email!


Tonia Lyons in the True Blue Shawl in Midnight Garden


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