Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


As a child, my mother had a large garden. In it she grew not only fruits and vegetables, but also flowers of all kinds. Because of my mother’s beautiful garden, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary became one of my favorite nursery rhymes.  I would imagine how beautiful her silverbells and cockleshells were when they were in full bloom.  But I most especially loved the idea of the pretty maids. I could see them in their blooming finery, dancing in the breeze. 

The Pretty Maids shawl is a way to carry the warmth of summer sunlight into the chilly days of fall.  In a season-crossing blend of alpaca and cotton, it is great for not only the warm days of early fall, but also the chiller nights of deep fall.  

Pretty Maids is a triangular shawl with a garter stitch border that is knit from center back to the bottom edge.  Yarn overs at each end and along the center stitch are used to form the triangle shape.  Increases are worked on the right side only. 

spacer model: Kimberly Schaeffer spacer photos: Micheal Lang



Width: 62 inches
Length at center: 31 inches
Note: Measurements given for shawl after blocking.



spacer Manos del Uruguay Serena [60% baby alpaca, 40% pima cotton; 156yd/150m per 50g skein]; color: #2110 Zinnia; 4 skeins

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 US #6/4mm circular needle, 24 inches or longer

spacer Yarn needle
spacer Stitch markers

22 sts / 28 rows = 4” over lace pattern, after blocking


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

S2KP: Slip next 2 sts together, knitwise, as if to work a k2tog. Knit next st, then pass both slipped sts together over st just knit. This forms a centered double decrease.

Instructions for the Long-Tail Cast On can be found here.

Information about blocking lace can be found here and here.

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click the chart name below and print the resulting page.

Charts A, B, CChart D

Using long-tail method, CO 7 sts.
K 2 rows.

Set-up Row [RS]: K2, place marker, work Row 1 of Chart A, place marker, k1, place marker, work Row 1 of Chart A, place marker, k2. 11 sts.

Next Row (Row 2 of Chart A) [WS]: K2, slip marker, p to last marker, slip marker, k2.

From this point forward, work edge sts, center st, and chart pattern sts as established: work 2 sts at each edge in garter st, work center st in stockinette st, and work chart patterns as directed below, over the two sets of sts between markers.

Work Rows 3-14 of Chart A. 35 sts.

Work Rows 1-20 of Chart B four times. 195 sts.

Note: To change size of shawl, work more or fewer 20-row repeats of Chart B. Every repeat added or subtracted will change the total number of sts by 40.

Work Rows 1-30 of Chart C. 255 sts.
Work Rows 1-40 of Chart D. 335 sts.

Loosely BO all sts as follows: k2, sl both sts from right needle back to left needle, k2tog tbl, [k1, sl 2 sts from right needle back to left needle, k2tog tbl] until all sts have been bound off.


Weave in ends and block to measurements given.


Joyce Fassbender is a PhD student in Biology in New York City.   She taught herself to knit four years ago after she fell in love with all things yarn. 

You can find more of her designs under HaciMade Knits on Ravelry.