Knitted Shawl from Beetons Book of Needlework 1870

This is one of those beautiful old patterns that requires some improvising to make it work with our more modern tools and materials. The results are well worth it!

I would choose either a lace weight or a fingering weight yarn and very long or circular needles size 5. The colors suggested in the pattern are scarlet with white trim. Wouldn’t that be lovely for Christmas? Two skeins of the main color and one skein of trim should be enough.

Begin the shawl, which is square, on one side by casting on 290 stitches.

Knit first 2 rows plain, then 3 of the open-work row of pattern No. 346, which is worked in the following manner:–
1st row: Slip the first stitch, * knit 2 together, inserting the needle into the back part of the stitch, slip 1, knit 2 together, throw the wool twice forward; repeat from *.

2nd row: Knit 1 and purl 1 in the stitch formed by throwing the wool forward in the preceding row; the other stitches are purled. In the next row the holes are alternated–that is, after the 1st slipped stitch knit 1, throw the wool forward, and then knit twice 2 together.

When 3 such open-work rows are completed, knit 1 row plain, and then work the pattern seen on No. 347, which forms the ground, and is worked in the following way

1st row: Slip the 1st stitch, alternately throw the wool forward, and decrease by slipping 1 stitch, knitting the next, and drawing the slip stitch over the knitted one.

2nd row, entirely purled.

When 6 such rows have been worked in this pattern, work again 9 rows of the open-work pattern, but work on each side of the 2 stripes, each 6 stitches wide, in the pattern of the ground (No. 347); each first stripe is at a distance of 4 stitches from the edge, and each second stripe at a distance of 20 stitches. After the 9th open-work row, work again 6 rows in the pattern of the ground, then again 8 open-work rows, and then begin the ground, only continue to work on both sides of the shawl the narrow stripes of the ground pattern, the narrow outer and the two wide inner stripes of the border in the open-work pattern. When the ground (pattern No. 347) is square, finish the shawl at the top with two wide and one narrow open-work row, as at the bottom, divided by stripes in the ground pattern. Knot in, all round the shawl, a fringe of scarlet wool; the fringe must be 3-1/2 inches deep.

I had to read this pattern over a few times to make any sense of it – but it will “click” with you finally – I promise! If you make this pattern, please send me a photo. I’d love to post it!

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  1. Sue November 12, 2008
  2. beth November 12, 2008

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