Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


When I first saw the stitch pattern featured in the body of this shawl, I was amazed that simple blocks of reverse stockinette could create the optical illusion of circles in the fabric. I knew instantly that I wanted to use this op-art stitch pattern in combination with a densely cabled pattern -- I was curious to see how the patterns would play off each other.

The result is this elongated crescent shawl. The dense cables along the bottom edge provide weight to ensure the piece stays in place while the stockinette sections lend drape to the piece. The gently scalloped cables along the upper edge provide a beautiful frame to the face.

Work the shawl in a squishy worsted weight yarn in a luminescent shade and you'll be sure to chase away any winter blues. The stitch patterns, used in a different manner for the matching infinity cowl, have a very different effect.


spacer model: Jen Plaskett
spacer photos: Shawn Miller

shown in Large

Width: 73[86] inches
Depth: 14[14.5] inches at centre back, 7 inches at ends



spacer Miss Babs Yowza – Whatta Skein [100% Superwash Merino; 560 yd/512 m per 226g skein]; color: Clematis; 2[3] skeins

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 24" US #7/4.5 mm circular needle

spacer 2 stitch markers
spacer cable needle
spacer blocking wires, mats and pins (see Finishing instructions)
spacer yarn needle



20 sts/27.5 rows = 4 inches in Chart A
20.5 sts/29 rows = 4 inches in st st

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

The crescent shawl is knit from end to end. Periodic short rows are worked in the Chart C sections to compensate for the row gauge difference between the two stitch patterns.

CO using a stretchy cast on like the Long Tail Cast-On or the Twisted German Cast On.

Two excellent BO choices are Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off or the Knit Lace Bind-Off.


Note: Section for Chart B starts with 7 stitches, and is increased throughout. In the initial rows of the pattern, work as much of the chart as you are able. That is, in the first eight rows of the main pattern, you will work only sts 1-7 of chart B. After the first increase is worked, you'll work sts 1-8 of chart B, and so forth.

C7PL: Slip next 3 sts on to cable needle and hold in front, slip next st on to second cable needle and hold in back. (K1, p1, k1), p the st from the cable needle in the back, then (k1, p1, k1) the 3 sts on the cable needle in front.
C10L: Slip next 5 sts on to cable needle and hold in front, k5 from left needle, k5 from cable needle
C10R: Slip next 5 sts on to cable needle and hold in back, k5 from left needle, k5 from cable needle

M1: To make it easy to incorporate the stitches into the pattern, we recommend the backwards loop (e-wrap) make 1.

When working the decrease section, the decrease to be used will be set by where you are in the pattern. Two knit stitches should be decreased using k2tog and two purl stitches should be decreased using p2tog. When decreasing a knit and purl stitch, select a decrease based on how the resulting stitch works in the pattern.


CO 61 sts using a stretchy CO method (see Pattern Notes).

First setup row [RS]: (K1, p1) 4 times, k2, pm (for start of Chart B), k4, m1, k2, pm (for start of Chart C), k to end of row. 62 sts.

Second setup row [WS]: P to last 8 sts, (k1, p1) 4 times.

Row 1 [RS]: Work R1 of Chart A, work R1 of Chart B, work R1 of Chart C three times.

Row 2 [WS]: Work R2 of Chart C three times, work R2 of Chart B, work R2 of Chart 1.

Charts are now set.

NOTE: Read ahead before you proceed, as short rows will be worked at various points along the way.

Rows 3 - 8: Work 6 rows even in pattern as set.

Row 9, increase [RS]: Work in pattern to last 2 sts, m1, work last 2 sts. 1 st increased.

Row 10 [WS]: Work even.

Repeat these last 8 rows 29 times more. 92 sts AT THE SAME TIME, work a short row on Row 4 of the 10th, 19th & 28th repeat, as follows: Work across Chart C, sm, w&t the first st of Chart B. On the following row, work all the way back to the end of the row, and on the next WS row, work all the way across as set, working the wrapped stitch together with is wrap.

Once the 29 repeats are complete, proceed as follows:

Size L Only:
Rows 1-2: Work even.
Row 3, increase [RS]: Work in pattern to last 2 sts, m1, work last 2 sts. 1 st increased.
Row 4 [WS]: Work even.
Work these 4 rows 8 times more. 101 sts.
Work Rows 3-4 only 5 times. 106 sts

Both Sizes: Work 13 rows even, working w&t as before on the seventh row (a WS row).

Decrease section:
Size L Only:
Row 1, decrease [RS]: Work in pattern to last 4 sts, decrease 1 (see Pattern Notes), work last 2 sts. 1 st decreased.
Row 2 [WS]: Work even in pattern as set.

Repeat these last 2 rows 4 more times. 101 sts.

Work a decrease row followed by 3 even rows 9 times. 92 sts.

Both sizes:
Row 1 [RS]: Work in pattern to last 4 sts, decrease 1 (see Pattern Notes) work last 2 sts. 1 st decreased.
Rows 2-8 [WS]: Work even in pattern as set.
Repeat the last 8 rows 30 more times, to 61 sts, AT THE SAME TIME working short rows as before on Row 4 of 2nd, 11th and 20th repeats.

BO loosely (see Pattern notes).



Weave in all ends. Soak shawl in lukewarm water with a wool wash until the yarn is thoroughly saturated. Roll cowl in a towel and gently squeeze to remove excess water.

Thread blocking wires through the outer edge of the scallops along the top edge of the shawl. Thread flexible blocking wires through the lower edge of the shawl at the widest points of Chart B. Gently stretch the middle of the piece to the centre back depth given on the schematic and pin in place. Shaping the piece into a crescent and ensuring both wings of the shawl are even, pin the lower edge into place along the blocking wire.

Do not unpin until completely dry.

If you've worked the piece in superwash wool, unpin the piece when it is still partially damp and place in dryer set at medium heat. Dry for 15-20 minutes, checking the piece at 5 minute intervals. Do not overdry!


Janelle has been an avid knitter for the past 30 years, been teaching for 6 years and designing for 4 years. Her ongoing fascination is with Japanese Stitch Patterns. She received the 2011-12 Sally Melville Award from the K-W Knitters' Guild, awarded (by members' votes) to "the knitter who has most inspired its members." She rarely goes anywhere without a book and her knitting.

You can find her designs on her website, and she's Antheras on Twitter and on Ravelry (where you'll find the matching cowl to this shawl pattern).