“Let the splendour of diamond, pearl, and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow. Only let this one tear-drop, this Tajmahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.”
– Rabindranath Tagore (translated from his One Hundred and One Poems)
Shikhar means ‘peak, summit, or pinnacle’ in Hindi. Recognized as one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is an ivory white marble mausoleum built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor during the 16th century, in Agra, India. It is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement of Indo-Islamic architecture.
The Shikhar Wrap is a humble attempt to represent some of the beautiful architectural elements of this monument in a handknit piece.
The wrap uses various design elements including mesh, eyelet lace, chevron stripes, and intarsia colorwork to represent the various design elements such as the geometric borders, the octagonal jaali (or mesh) work and beautiful floral inlay work as seen in the Taj Mahal. The wrap mimics the shape of the minar (or tower), with a wider base like that of a minar and 4 sections (for the floors of the minar). Each section or floor ends with an eyelet section and the subsequent section begins with a slightly lower stitch count, tapering towards the end. The four sections of the wrap are:
• a 3-color chevron striped border
• an Orenburg honeycomb lace section
• an intarsia section depicting the floral inlay work
• an arched final section with an opening depicting the topmost section of minar.
The wrap approximate 60” x 18” (at the bottom/widest edge). The size can be customized by making the chevron and lace sections larger or smaller.
The pattern includes both charted and written instructions.
Eden Cottage Yarns Rosedale 4ply
(80% Superwash Extrafine Merino, 15% Nylon, 5% Gold Stellina; 436 yards 400 meters/100 grams):
MC – Natural (100g); CC1 – Charcoal (25g); CC2 – Rust (40g); CC3 – Green (2g)
Sizes US 3 (3.25 mm), US 4 (3.5 mm), and US 5 (3.75 mm): 24” (61 cm) straight or circular
Or size needed to obtain gauge.
Removable stitch markers, bobbins (optional), tapestry needle or crochet hook to weave in ends, blocking pins or wires.
20 sts and 28 rows = 4” (10 cm) in St st using largest (US 5/3.75 mm) needles
20 sts and 30 rows = 4” (10 cm) in lace st using the largest size (US 5/3.75 mm) needles.
20 sts and 32 rows = 4” (10 cm) in lace st using the medium size (US 4/3.5 mm) needles.
I-cord slipped st edge, intarsia, knit/purl increases and decreases, single and double decreases
About Indian Designers’ Collaboration (InDesCo)
InDesCo is a platform to showcase the works of independent kit and crochet designers of India. The third edition is themed “Taj Mahal” and features 8 knit and crochet designs by Indian designers. The Shikhar Wrap is my contribution to this edition of InDesCo.