Knitty: little purls of wisdom
Fiber Optica

beauty shot

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are the ones of summer vacations spent at the Baltic Sea.  I remember the serene shades of blues and greens mixed with cool grays, the waves capped with white frothy bubbles lapping at the beaches full of interesting pebbles, the fresh scent of the breeze…  Although I’ve been lucky enough to visit other sea and ocean shores, there is something about the serenity of the north that still resonates for me.  For a long time I’ve been trying to capture that feeling in a design so I could wrap the sea around me and after many attempts I am finally pleased with the result.  Tethys is named after the great primordial ocean that existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia during the Mesozoic era.
The hand dyed colors of this Fiber Optica Silken Blend are a perfect reflection of the tranquil sea while its high silk content enhances the shawl’s drape.  First the textured edging is worked from end to end; the simple cables create the look of waves and the seed stitch sections emulate the pebbly sands of the sea shore.  Stitches are then picked up along the top of the edging and a set of short rows is worked to create the shawl’s elongated curved shape.  A few yarn overs are added in along the edge to mimic the effervescent tips of the waves. 

spacer model: Vendula Z
spacer photos: Peter C




Width: 15 inches
Length: 71 inches



spacer Fiber Optica “Silken Blend” [60% Merino Wool, 40% Silk; 120yd/95m per 60g skein]; color: Sea; 5 skeins
Note: The original sample took exactly 4 skeins to complete; you may want to have additional yardage on hand, so we recommend 5 skeins.

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 32-inch or longer US #9/5.50 mm circular needle

spacer cable needle
spacer scrap yarn (for provisional CO)
spacer yarn needle
spacer blocking pins


14.5 sts/ 26 rows = 4 inches in St st short row section, blocked
25 sts/23 rows = 4 inches in cable pattern stitch, blocked
Correct gauge is not critical for this project, but your final measurements and yardage requirements may vary if your gauge is different.


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

This pattern uses a provisional cast on: use either the crochet cast on or the open cast on as described here.

The short rows are worked simply, without wrapped stitches; the short row gaps are closed using ssk and p2tog decreases instead of the usual wraps. 

The p2tog BO is used to create a firm edge to support the crescent shape during blocking to allow the points to stretch fully.

C4/2B: Sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back of work; k4; then k2 from cable needle.

C4/2F:  Sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to front of work; k4; then k2 from cable needle.  

M1B: Make 1 below - Knit first into the stitch directly below the next one on the left needle, and then knit into the st on the needle; 1 st inc.

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

Increase Section 1 Increase Section 2Center SectionDecrease Section 1Decrease Section 2

Lower edge
Using scrap yarn and the method of your choice, provisionally CO 5 sts. 

Switch to project yarn.

Setup row [WS]: Purl.

Work charts as follows:

Increase Section 1, working pattern repeat section (rows 37 – 60) twice.  23 sts.

Increase Section 2, working pattern repeat section (rows 25-48) twice. 29 sts.

Center Section, working pattern repeat section (rows 25-48) five times. 29 sts.

Decrease Section 1, working pattern repeat section (rows 1-24) twice. 23 sts.

Decrease Section 2. 4 sts rem. Do not cut yarn.

Body of shawl
With RS facing, and 4 sts on right needle, pick up and knit every slipped stitch along the top of the cable section.  4 existing stitches and 228 sts picked up stitches; 232 sts total.

Remove provisional CO and place the 5 live sts on the left needle and knit them. 237 sts total.

Work short rows: 
Row 1 [WS]:  P122, turn. 
Row 2 [RS]:  K7, turn. 
Row 3 [WS]:  P6, p2tog, yo, p3, turn. 
Row 4 [RS]:  K10, ssk, yo, k3, turn. 
Row 5 [WS]:  P14, p2tog, yo, p3, turn. 
Row 6 [RS]:  K18, ssk, yo, k3, turn.
Row 7 [WS]:  P22, p2tog, yo, p3, turn.
Row 8 [RS]:  K26, ssk, yo, k3, turn.
Row 9 [WS]: P to 1 st before gap created by turn, p2tog, yo, p3, turn.
Row 10 [RS]: K to 1 st before gap created by turn, ssk, yo, k3, turn
Repeat the last 2 rows until all sts are worked, ending with a RS row.
Final row [WS]: knit.

Bind off as follows (right side facing): *P2tog, return resulting st to needle, rep from * to end. When one st remains, cut yarn and pull through to secure.


Weave in all loose ends. Block piece, forming the crescent shape as shown in the blocking schematic.  Start by pinning the two ends apart; then pull out and pin the center point, followed by the rest of the points along the bottom edge (no pins are required along the top edge).  


Susanna IC currently lives in Germany with her husband, two sons, eleven fish and countless balls of yarn. Besides a background in fashion design, she has a Master’s degree in art history and a Bachelor’s in studio arts, all of which continue to inspire much of her knitting. 

Her projects and designs can be found on Ravelry, user name zuzusus, and at