Knitting Exercize: Feather and Fan / Old Shale

We're not sure if this design is called "Old Shale", for the wavy lines seen on shale rocks, or "Old Shell", because it might resemble seashells. Another name for the design is "Feather and Fan". There are numerous variations on the design, but they all have a wavy design resulting from the clustered increases and decreases. This pattern is often used for borders on shawls, but can also be seen used by itself for scarves, shawls, and baby blankets.

Feather and Fan is actually an easy design to knit. There are just four rows to the pattern: two rows of knitting, one row of increases/decreases, and one row of purling.

Cast on 58 stitches (three repeats of the pattern, plus 4 sts for border).
Knit 4 rows (garter stitch border).

Begin pattern:
Row 1 (RS - right side): Knit.
Row 2. (WS - wrong side): K2, purl to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 3: k2, *(k2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times; rep from *, k2.
Row 4. (WS): Knit.

k2tog = knit two together
ssk = slip, slip, knit
yo = yarn over: wrap yarn over needle, making a new stitch
rs = right side
ws = wrong side

For help with basic knitting stitches, see


Copyright 2004-2005 Mara Riley