Saturday, August 30, 2008

Storm Cloud Shawlette Pattern

(This pattern is also available as a PDF document and as a French translation on aufildesenvies)

This airy, half-circle shawl is roughly constructed like Elizabeth Zimmerman's pi shawl. It's very, very simple and can be knit at any gauge and to any size. The two versions here - a plain one in gray mohair and a ruffled one in blue wool - can be worn draped over the shoulders like a small shawl or wrapped around the neck like a scarf.

Here's the intuition behind it (more specific instructions are below): You start with four stitches, which will be in the center of the half-circle. The shawl is then shaped and enlarged by doubling the stitches at increasing intervals. For the stitch pattern, I've used an elongated garter stitch; on the right side, you always do a row of yarnovers, and on the wrong side you usually knit the knit stitches and drop the yarnovers, except when you need an increase row, when you knit all the way across.

-Fingering weight yarn, at least 150 yards (For the grey version, I used about 150 yards of handspun mohair. For the blue version, I used about 210 yards of wool dyed by the Northeast Fiber Arts Center).
- Size 8 circular needle. Length doesn't matter too much.

With fingering-weight yarn on size 8 needles, I got 4.5 stitches and 6 rows to the inch. But this pattern will work with any gauge.

The grey version is 36" wide and about 14" deep. The blue version has a ruffle added around the edge, to make it 41" wide and about 16" deep. Note: I did not block these!

Cast on 4 stitches
Row 1 and all odd rows: K1, [yo, K1] to end
Rows 2, 4, 10, 20, 38, and 72: knit across (this doubles the stitch count)
All other even rows: knit the knit stitches and drop the yarnovers

The best way to remember where to put the increase rows (i.e. Rows 2,4,10, 20, 38, and 72) is to count the number of plain garter ridges between them. The first two increases have no plain ridges between them. The next two have 2 plain ridges, then 4, 8, and finally 16.

For the grey version, I bound off after that 16th plain ridge, which is to say after row 70. For the blue version, I did the final increase at row 72, then knit 12 more rows (still in the elongated garter stitch pattern) for the ruffle. The more rows you knit after that last increase, the less pronounced the ruffle will be.

Use a flexible bind-off, or at least bind off very loosely.

I didn't block either of these shawls, because I like the texture as is. But you could block if you wanted to make the elongated garter stitch look lacier.


kathy b said...

They are both so lovely. Modeling is wonderful and shows off their beauty. Thank for the free pattern!

magnoliasntea said...

I saw your cute Quack pattern on Ravelry and thought I'd see what else you've done. Well, I'm glad I did! Your Storm Cloud Shawlette is very elegant. I love it. Thank you for this lovely pattern.

T4knit on Ravelry

gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Excellent! Love the blue with ruffles , that could make a wintry day more bearable.

jillian said...

Thank you for writing up this lovely pattern!

Estelle said...

Thank you for this pattern. I like how lacey it looks without being so complicated to knit.

I am working on it right now!

You should see all the FO people made on Ravelry from your wonderful pattern!!!

Shay said...

Thank you for the picture and pattern - I am at the last increase for a half-Pi shawl that I'm making and the ruffle is a great idea. I was going to continue in pattern (garter lace) but now I think I'm going straight garter stitch to get the same effect.

Cindy Ericsson said...

Thanks for a great pattern! I'm a little more than halfway through it now and I can't wait to wear it. It's a fun way to test a new yarn.

Franca said...

These are great! thanks for sharing the pattern!

Anonymous said...

Just when I was wondering what on earth to do with the stray (small!) skein of handpainted laceweight I picked up at a fiber festival, I happened to find this. I think it's a winner - simple and elegant! Thank you for sharing it!

Petsura said...

Thanks so much for a wonderful pattern -- as soon as I saw this, I had to make it. I love it and am already planning to make another one.
Thank you so much for sharing!

Die Fadenwirkerin said...

Thanks for this lovely and easy pattern. You can see a foto on my blog under the label "Tuch".

Greetings from Germany

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the Patterns for your Storm Cloud Shawlette.

I love them both and found you by
clicking here & there.

This style of Shawl or Shawlette will make lovely Gifts..

Thank you again..
Happy Knitting..

Unknown said...


I am trying to knit this. BUT...I do not understand how you figure out the next increase row. I am working with very small gauge, and need to take it beyond 72 rows. I cannot figure out how what the next increase row would be.

I would really appreciate help. Thanks so much.

Sweetness and Light said...

Great pattern it's beautiful, thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love this pretty pattern adn have started it. However, this is just my second knitting project and though I do not find it hard to understand what I am having trouble with is that it keeps increasing with every alternate row and now I have just done 20 rows and am already over 1000 stitches and will now have space problem on my needle. Could you please tell me if I am doing soemthing wrong or if there is some other solution.

Thanks you so much for your lovely pattern.


Artediella said...

semplice ma molto bello ciao mariella

lostarts said...

I love your shawlette, and plan to knit one up soon!

In fact, I love it so much that I'm putting a link in a post on my blog with a photo, and a permanent link in the sidebar.

I'm trying to get people to go to your blog with this, but if you have a problem with it, let me know and I'll remove it.

It can be seen at

Scroll down to view.

lostarts said...

By the way, I could put this into a PDF format if you'd like to make it available to your readers or on Ravelry that way.

I have some patterns of my own that I'll be putting into PDF format real soon now, and I could do yours at the same time.

Peinados said...

That is so pretty!Thanks for posting the pattern!

Allison said...

LOVE this pattern! I was able to use a much loved skein of my own 3-ply handspun silk, and it turned out beautifully! Bind Off tip: I simply bound of on a Row Two - knitting the yo's. No need for bigger needles or a stretchy bind off!

Flowers store UK said...

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the pattern. I can hardly wait to get started.

Unknown said...

Great piece
Ruffle poncho

Unknown said...

The distance between increase rows doubles each time. Ex's book, "Knitters almanac" discussed this in detail.