Fractals are shapes that replicate at an ever-increasing or decreasing scale. Made with just simple increases followed by bind-offs at regular intervals, this shawl is formed of a series of ever-increasing wing shapes that creates a dramatic shawl with the easiest and most relaxing of knitting.
73″ [185cm] around the neck with a maximum drop of 27.5″[70cm] as written.
Chameleon Yarn SW Merino/Silk Blend (75% merino, 25% silk; 246 yds [225 m]/ 100g): 1 skein each in Paris (pink/grey) and Murmansk (blue/grey) or 180g, 875yds [800m] of any fingering weight yarn of your choice.
Thanks to Chameleon Yarn for providing the yarn for this design!
If using 2 colors you will use similar quantities of both yarns with just 10-15g more required of the color you start the first section with (if working 9 reps).
Size US 3 [3.25mm]: 24″ [60 cm] circular or longer or size needed to achieve gauge.
Stitch markers; tapestry needle; blocking pins.
22 sts and 41 rows = 4” [10 cm] in garter stitch after wet blocking.
Gauge is not critical, but any difference will result in a shawl of a different size and will affect yardage.
Please see our standard abbreviations.
- This pattern is worked flat from a small cast on and increased in a novel way to form a fractal shape. The basic increase recipe is repeated in each section, but worked 4 additional times every time. It can be repeated as many or few times as desired.
- If using two yarns: For the first few small sections you may wish to carry your yarns up the edge of the knitting by twisting your yarns at the start of row 1 (when you knit the first st after slipping). As repeats get larger you may wish to cut and rejoin your yarn.
- For the section BOs, use a basic BO or a lace BO if you are a tight knitter (see final BO instructions below). The BO should be firm but should not distort the edge.
- See the table for st counts, st arrangements, number of inc rows, and BO counts for each rep.
With MC, CO 2 sts
Work 4 rows in garter st.
Turn work 90° clockwise, pick up and k 2 sts along the edge, and then pick up and k 1 st from the CO edge; 5 sts.
Set up section
Row 1: Sl1, k1, yo, pm, k1, pm, yo, k2; 7 sts
Row 2: Sl1, k to end
Row 3: Sl1, k1, yo, k1, yo, slm, k1, slm, yo, k1, yo, k2; 11 sts
Row 4: Sl1, k to end
Row 5: Sl1, k1, yo, k to m, yo, slm, k1, slm, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2
Rep Rows 4-5 1 more time.
**Next Row: BO all sts up to, and including, the center st, remove center st m, k to end.
Note: some reps require you to BO 1 st more to get the given stitch count. Where this is the case, BO up to and including the yo after the center st. See the table (last column).
Change colors (if using 2 colors).
Row 1: Sl1, k1, yo, k to center st*, yo, pm, k1, pm, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2.
*See stitch count table (column 10) for where the center st is on your current section repeat. You will knit 4 sts before replacing the first center marker at the start of rep 2.
Row 2: sl1, k to end.
Rep Rows 1-2 the number of times indicated in the Table. End with a Row 1; you will use the last Row 2 to BO the section.
Rep from ** until shawl is as large as desired. The sample is made with 9 reps. End the last rep with a BO row.
After the final BO, you will have the start count for the next section as given in the table (column 3). Subtract 4 from this number (your 2 border sts at either edge; column 4). Divide your number into sections of 21 sts and mark the beg of each section with markers.
If you have done 9 reps as per the sample you will need to make 1 extra st on the first row to make even sections of 21. If you are using 2 colors, change your color again for the border.
If you have worked a different number of repeats than that given, you will also have to add or subtract stitches to get to a count of 21 for the border and will need to calculate your nearest multiple of 21. Then simply work a plain row before starting the border, increasing or decreasing as required.
Row 1: Sl1, k1, *slm, k2tog, k9, yo, k10* rep from * to * until last 2 sts, slm, k2
Row 2: Sl1, k1, *slm, k10, yo, k9, k2tog* rep from * to * to last 2 sts, slm, k2
Rep Rows 1-2 7 more times (16 rows total) for the border.
BO rem sts as follows: *K2tog tbl, sl st back to left ndl, rep from * until 1 st rem.
Cut yarn and pull through final st to secure.
Weave in ends and block as follows:
- Gently swish the shawl in warm water and baby shampoo/wool wash in a sink or bath.
- Drain the water and then gently press (not wring) to squeeze out excess water.
- Lift the shawl onto a towel
- Spread the shawl out flat and then roll up the towel with the shawl inside
- Jump up and down on the towel to press out as much moisture as possible
- Spread out flat on a dry towel on a bed or carpet, yoga mat or any other surface you can stick pins into (special blocking mats are commercially available).
- Pin down in a crescent or spiral shape, as desired, gradually adjusting the pins to pull the shawl out to its full extent. It should be tensioned quite firmly.
- Leave until completely dry before taking up.
About the Designer: Elizabeth Felgate
Elizabeth Felgate is an independent designer living in a stone cottage in rural Wiltshire with eight walnut trees in the garden.
She likes designing from first principles. Many of her patterns feature custom-designed lace patterns or unusual construction methods. She loves aran weight jumpers and airy lace; but is not averse to chunky lace and lightweight sweaters either.
When not knitting she is a marketing consultant and mother of two.