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Bamboo Wedding Shawl

My wedding was over ten years ago, and at the time it felt like a big, swirling blur. But now I can remember every single detail like it was yesterday, from my red sequined shoes to the strawberry cobbler.

With the gift of time, I'm going to offer some totally unsolicited advice. It is this: the absolute, very best way to make your day memorable is to infuse it with details that come from your heart, such as... a beautiful hand knit shawl!

I truly believe that hand knit objects have power. As you or someone you love knits this Wedding Shawl, it will become steeped in the hopes and dreams of your big day. And as your wedding night cools down and you wrap your shawl around your shoulders, you will not only look drop dead gorgeous, but you will be reminded of those hopes and dreams, and you will take an important minute to thank your lucky stars!

This Wedding Shawl gets its extraordinary drape and beautiful shine from Habu's Bamboo 20/12. In pristine white, Habu's Bamboo is a perfectly cool choice for spring nights. Knit up in a simple, geometric pattern called Flemish Block Lace, the result is an understated elegance that never goes out of style.

The Materials

  • 2 skeins of Habu's Bamboo 20/12 or 2 skeins of Habu's Dyed Bamboo
  • A US #3, 24 inch circular needle (You could use a set of long straight needles instead, but with the size and weight of the shawl I highly recommend circular needles!)

The Pattern

Gauge

7  stitches = 1 inch in the lace pattern

Finished Size

22 inches wide and 60 1/2 inches long, unblocked (By my best calculations, there is enough yarn left over to make the shawl about 9 inches longer if you'd like!)

Begin

Cast on 153 stitches.

Preparations Rows: Knit 7 rows.

Row 1 and all other odd numbered rows: K5, purl to the last 5 stitches, k5.

Row 2: K7, *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k4, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 4: K6, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k4, repeat from * to last 7 stitches, k7.

Row 6: K5, k2tog, yo, *k5, yo, slip1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, yo, k4, k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 8: K7, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 10: K8, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k3, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, k5.

Row 12: K9, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, k3tog, yo, k5, repeat from * to last 5 stitches (end the last repeat with a k4), k5.

Repeat Row 1-12 until the shawl measures 60 inches from the cast on edge.

Next Row: K5, purl to last 5 stitches, k5.

Knit 6 rows.

Bind off loosely in knit stitch and weave in the ends. For a very polished finish, gently block your shawl.

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90 Responses to Bamboo Wedding Shawl


  1. Judy says:

    Hi
    Would love to make the Wedding Shawl, but am having trouble finding recommended yarn in stock. Would it be okay to use Anzula's Milky Way?

  2. purl bee says:

    Hi Judy-

    That would be a great substitution! You can check out our selection of Milky Way here: http://purlbee.squarespace.com/the-purl-bee/2011/5/15/whits-knits-bamboo-wedding-shawl.html

    Or, if you'd like to get in touch with our website about the original yarn, just drop them a line at customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com and they can let you know the ETA.

    Thank you!

    Molly

  3. Nikki says:

    What a lovely shawl! Thanks so much for the pattern!

    After a year-long knitting hiatus I recently decided to pick up my needles again. I went to my LYS looking for a simple but interesting pattern that didn't require a lot of yarn; they had a shawl pattern that seemed easy and called for just two balls of Classic Elite Yarns Silky Alpaca Lace. Well, the lace pattern is pretty straightforward, but the resulting lace is … boring. I hopped online to search for an alternative and am thrilled to have found this beauty.

    So, do you think my 2-ply laceweight will work? Will 920 yards suffice? And, if so, what needle size would you recommend (the ball band suggests size 2, but the CEY pattern calls for size 4)? Any guidance you can offer will be much appreciated.

    Thanks again,
    Nikki

  4. purl bee says:

    HI Nikki,

    I used about 1450 yards to make this shawl, so to make this same size you don't have enough yarn. If you decide to make go ahead and make it narrower and/or shorter, then yes, a 2-ply laceweight would be fine; and the needle size depends on how you knit and what you like! I would try a few swatches in stockinette stitch with different size needles until you like what you get!

    Thanks so much for your questions and please let me know if you have any more!

    Whitney

  5. Suzanne says:

    I just finished this shawl, using a thicker yarn (not quite as pricey as that recommended) to make sure I could do this pattern before investing in the suggested yarn. It turned out GORGEOUS!!! I love it so much and have gotten so many rave reviews on it. I ended up making myself a little FLIP BOOK (one row per page) so I could stay on track of which row I was working on. Suffice it to say that I had many "start-overs" on this project prior to making the little flip book, but I was DETERMINED to finish this!
    I will definitely be making this shawl again, and this time, I WILL splurge and invest in the suggested yarn for it. It is such a CLASSIC piece and such an elegant and beautiful pattern!

  6. Ingrid says:

    Oh my, this has been a real labor of love to make this shawl for my daughter who gets married this January. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that I finish with 6 months to go.

    I have struggled at every turn because I am a beginner. I was confused by row 12 that in parenthesis says (end the last repeat wit a K4), k5.

    I don't get it, can you explain.

  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Ingrid,

    For Row 12, the last time you work the repeat, instead of yo, ssk, k4, yo, k3tog, yo, k5, you will yo, ssk, k4, yo, k3tog, yo, k4. At the end of that you should have 5 stitches left over, which you knit.

    Congratulations on all fronts: your daughter's wedding and your ambitious project! Please let me know if you run into any more questions and good luck!

    Whitney

  8. Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful pattern. I would like to knit it useing Blue Sky Alpaca Metalico, which is described as dk/sport weight, (5-6 st/in on # 3-5 needles). Would I be asking too much for help in adapting the # of stitches to cast on, and an estimate of how much yarn I would be needing? I have worked with this yarn before. Blocking really does "grow" it. I did see this shawl as a sample in a store in California. They identified the shawl as yours, but used 6 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Sport to make it up. (660 yds). Needless to say, it was gorgeous! Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
    Linda

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Linda,

    To cast on fewer stitches you should determine your gauge, multiply your gauge by the width you want your shawl to be and then cast on the number that is closest to being a multiple of 14 plus 13.

    So, for example, if your gauge is slightly bigger, say 6 stitches to the inch, and you want a 22-inch shawl (like ours), then you would multiply 6 x 22 = 132. Then you would determine that 14 x 9 = 126 + 13 = 139 and you would cast on 139 stitches!

    Even though it is quite a bit thicker, I'm surprised the sample you saw used so little of the Blue Sky Sport, less than half what I used of the Habu Bamboo (1450 yards). I would guess that if you were making the same size shawl as ours, you would need about a 1000 yards of Metalico, but get extra just in case because it's a tough guess!

    This will be beautiful in Metalico, by the way. We'd love to see your finished shawl!

    Thanks so much for your question and good luck!

    Whitney

  10. vhcrna says:

    If I wanted to add beads via the crochet hook method could you suggest the spots they would go best? Do you have any beaded patterns? This is a lovely wedding shawl.

  11. vhcrna says:

    If I wanted to add beads via the crochet hook method could you suggest the spots they would go best? Do you have any beaded patterns? This is a lovely wedding shawl.

  12. purl bee says:

    Hi vhcrna,

    What a pretty idea! It may take a little experimenting to find the exact right spots for the beads, but I'd think every sixth row on the yarn overs might look nice. Another option would be at the peak of each chevron. But really, as long as you decide on a consistent spot and don't overdo it, I don't think you can go wrong!

    Thanks so much for asking and for the great idea!
    Whitney

  13. amit says:

    Hi Whitney,
    I like your website very much, and all the things you make.
    Im trying to do the wedding shawl for at least a month, but everytime i stuck in the same phase.
    I cast on 125 stitches, 8×14 +10+3=125.
    Until row 8 everything is going well, but from these point- k3, k2tog, yo, k1- it's ruin.
    The pattern is moving one step to the right- instead of being in oblique line (up-right), the "yo" is moving one more step to the right side, and afterwards, the subsequent pattern is continuing with these mistake.

    the wrong pattern the correct one
    l l l l 0 l l l 0 l
    l l 0 l l l l 0 l l
    l 0 l l l l 0 l l l
    0 l l l l 0 l l l l

    please help me im hopeless.
    thank you,
    Amit from Israel

  14. amit says:

    the wrong

    l l l l 0
    l l 0 l l
    l 0 l l l
    0 l l l l

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Amit,

    Your cast on number should work fine and the pattern also works fine, so I think you may need to keep knitting through a few repeats to see if the lace pattern starts to emerge for you. I can't totally remember, but it may be that Row 8 is where the chevron peaks and so there may be an unexpected jog there that works out once you have knit subsequent rows.

    If not, then we'll have to troubleshoot where your lace has gone awry! Please keep us posted and thank you so much for your question!

    Whitney

  16. Jan says:

    Hello,

    I'm really loving this pattern and so far everything is going well. However, I used #6 needles (recommended with the yarn I'm using) not thinking that the size would change that much. It's now 28 inches wide. Will blocking and stretching lengthwise make it a bit narrower? This is the third knitting project for me, and I don't have any experience with blocking.

    Thanks for your help!

  17. purl bee says:

    Hi Jan-

    No, blocking will not make it smaller. In order to get a project to be the correct size you need to make sure you're getting the same gauge as the pattern calls for. We always list the gauge at the top of our patterns. The idea is that you knit a swatch before you get started on the project to make sure you are getting the same number of stitches per inch. If you aren't you can adjust the needles or yarn you are using.

    The good news is that in the case of a shawl like this the fit isn't as important as it would be with a garment. So as long as you are happy with how your shawl is looking it probably won't matter if it's a bit wider.

    Thanks for your question!

    Molly

  18. Anne says:

    Whitney, I would like to make this shawl for my Granddaughter who is to be married in June. Her dress is lite ivory & I would like to use Anzula Milky Way (Au Natural). Would this work and how much yarn would I need.
    Thank you, Anne

  19. purl bee says:

    Hi Anna,

    Sounds totally gorgeous! You should be fine with three skeins of the Milky Way.

    Your granddaughter sounds very lucky to have a grandmother like you! Good luck to her!

    Whitney

  20. Jackie says:

    Hello,

    I have offered to make a wrap/shawl/shrug for my future daughter-in-law for their June wedding and she has chosen yours (nice taste!). I have never made such a large and delicate project though I am a fairly experienced knitter eg baby garments.
    I am so looking forward to getting started, however I am a bit daunted by the pattern complications some have encountered and obviously a mistake means a lot of unpicking. Please could you confirm that any mistakes in the pattern have been corrected and that if I follow it as it is written I should be in safe hands? :-) Thank you to the contributor who says she uses a little flip book to keep her on track with the rows; what a useful tip, I will definitely be taking her advice.
    My plan is to knit it in Debbie Bliss, lace weight Rialto on UK no 12 needles (2.75mm) but I will try a tension square first. The finished size is probably less important than the look/feel of it. I have also learned a new word, Diaphanous, thank you. Thanks too for the blocking tutorial as I have never bothered with this but will do on this item when I finish.
    Jackie

  21. Jackie says:

    Oh dear, I have realised that the bamboo yarn which you describe as lace-weight is definitely not comparable to any lace-weight yarns in the uk. I only noticed this when I saw that the 700m per hank they specify for the Habu 20/12 on Soho yarns is per 8 1/2 -9 1/2 ozs! what a strange way of expressing yardage! I spent the last 2 days researching a substitute in a 4ply (which I believe you call fingering) on line but sadly stocks in a good yarn in a nice white are quite limited. I cannot find one with a good sheen but hey-ho I think the Rowan wool/cotton 50:50 blend in 4ply is my best option. The yardage is 197yds to 50g do you think this will be too heavy for this shawl? I really don't want to lose the lightness of the pattern but it does seem to be the best equivalent. Please comment. Thank you, Jackie

  22. purl bee says:

    HI Jackie,

    You inspired me to read through all the comments left on this project over the last two and a half years! I see that I made a mistake in how to adjust the width of the shawl, but there has never been an error in the actual pattern. Considering how many people have asked about wonky stitch counts and lace gone awry, I can see why you might wonder about the accuracy of the pattern, but really it's just a hazard of lace knitting that without constant vigilance, mistakes do happen!

    Having said that, I encourage you to go ahead with your plans. It will be such a special way to welcome your daughter-in-law into the family and such a satisfying project to complete. Please let us know if you run into any problems and we'll try to help! And thank you for your question!

    Whitney

  23. purl bee says:

    HI Jackie,

    Rowan's Wool Cotton is a very nice yarn, but it is a tad thicker than the Habu Bamboo. This isn't necessarily a problem, since a shawl doesn't, after all, have to fit. Also, the Wool Cotton, as you probably know, doesn't have a sheen. On the other hand, the cotton will lend a nice drape and it is a very soft and comfy yarn, plus it's presumably easy to get in the UK!

    And just to complicate your decision, we do ship overseas everyday!

    Thanks for asking. Please let us know if we can help more and good luck!

    Whitney

  24. Fatima Florez says:

    Can you please explain to me or send me a picture of a circle needle? I'm confuse on how to use a circular needle if the job is straight. Thank you

  25. purl bee says:

    Hi Fatima-

    A circular needle is essentially two needles that are attached by a cable, they look more like a U than a circle. They are called circular needles because you can use them to knit in a circle when making a hat or socks or anything in a tube shape. However you do not have to use them in this way. You can also knit back and forth on them like you would with any pair of needles, simply switching them in your hands after each row like you would with straight needles.

    We use circular needles for almost every project because they are less bulky than traditional straight needles and because, depending on the cable length, they can also hold a lot more stitches than most straight needles.

    Here is a link to our circular needles. There is a photo too: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8-Skacel-Addi-Turbo-Circular-Needles

    Thank you for your question!

    Molly

  26. Jackie says:

    Hi Whitney,
    Thanks. As I said I am now knitting it in the Regia 4ply superwash merino/polyamide/angora mix which is lovely and soft if a tad 'fluffy'. i managed to get 6 balls, 200m per 50g ball and have very nearly finished the first ball,; it has made 8.5 inches of shawl so it may end up being slightly short of the 60" even after blocking but it is for a petite girl! The pattern is working out beautifully, no glitches (only of my own making where I have dropped a stitch once or twice or have managed to work a hole in the wrong place and failed to notice!) It is a really nice pattern but needs concentration!
    Thanks, Jackie

  27. Leslie says:

    Hi there,

    I am working Row 6 of the pattern:

    Row 6: K5, k2tog, yo, *k5, yo, slip1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, yo, k4, k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

    When you get to YO, SLIP 1, K2TOG –> Do you keep the yarn in front of your work when knitting 2 together? The first time I did this row, I kept the yarn in front, and it wound up tangling with the slipped stitch every time, so when I passed the slipped stitch over, it closed the hole in that row of lace.

    Does that make sense?

  28. Glory says:

    This is a beauty! I was thinking to do it in anzula Milky Way. Would it drape similarly?

  29. purl bee says:

    Hi Leslie,

    Yes, you do keep the yarn in front, so what you should be doing is this…

    Bring the yarn forward into the purl position; slip the next stitch purlwise; knit 2 together (with the yarn coming from the front of the work, then around the back of the right needle in a counterclockwise direction); pass the slipped stitch (which is the second stitch on the right needle) over the first stitch; and in the end, the second stitch on the right needle should be your yarn over.

    I'm not sure where you're going awry, but I hope this breakdown of the steps sorts out your problem. If not, please let us know and we'll work it out! Thanks so much for your question and good luck!

    Whitney

  30. purl bee says:

    Hi Glory,

    Yes, I think that would be an absolutely beautiful substitute!

    Let us know how it goes and thanks for asking!

    Whitney

  31. joy kritzer says:

    What other kind or type of yarn can you use for the bamboo wedding shawl.

  32. Bonnie says:

    I have some Blue Heron Bamboo Lace (1260 yd; #1-3) in milk chocolate that I want to make into the Wedding Shawl. Would you estimate a project with 125 stitches would make the 60" length?

  33. purl bee says:

    Hi Bonnie,

    Yes, my best guess is that you'll get to 60 inches! I got there with only about two hundred more yards than you have and on 28 more cast-on stitches. (Please keep in mind that I'm assuming you'll knit at the same gauge that I did.)

    Thanks for asking and good luck with your shawl!

    Whitney

  34. purl bee says:

    Hi Joy,

    You can use Habu's Dyed Bamboo, which is the same as the Bamboo 20/12 only… dyed! It's right here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/9119-Habu-Textiles-Dyed-Bamboo .

    Some other great options would be…

    Anzula's Sebastian: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8197-Anzula-Sebastian
    Anzula's Milky Way: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/9132-Anzula-Milky-Way
    and
    Jade Sapphire's Sylph: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/9046-Jade-Sapphire-Sylph

    All of these have a wonderful drape and a ton of beauty.

    Please let us know if you need help deciding and thank you so much for asking!
    Whitney

  35. Nicole says:

    Hi– I just finished my gauge swatch and am a bit confused about how to measure the 7 stitches /inch since there isn't really any place in the pattern where you have 7 stitches going across without increases or decreases or holes. When I'm measuring, should I count these as a single stitch? Or could you suggest a larger gauge area that I could measure? I *think* my gauge might be 6-6.5/inch using #3 needles, but I'm not sure if I'm measuring correctly.

    Also, I'm confused about the conflicting yarn weight info I'm seeing–on ravelry, it's listed as fingering weight with about 650-700 yards needed, in the comments I saw you responded lace weight in a few places with a much higher yardage but said the suggested yarn was like a fingering weight also. I purchased based on the ravelry info so I have 775 yards of fingering weight in a wool/silk blend. Will this work? Do I need to make adjustments to the stitch count?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Nicole

  36. purl bee says:

    Hi Nicole,

    For your gauge swatch I suggest casting on 27 stitches and working the stitch pattern over those stitches. Once you have knit about 4 inches, measure the entire width of the swatch. It should be almost four inches, 3 4/5 inches to be exact (28 stitches would be exactly four inches).

    And as far as the yardage for the project goes, I think you might have gotten confused with the skein yardage, which is approximately 700 yards per skein. The shawl actually uses 1400-1500 yards of yarn.

    And, finally, I'd say the Habu Bamboo is right in between a lace and fingering weight, which is why there may be some ambiguity. What's important is that you like the way your yarn looks when you knit it to gauge.

    I hope this puts you on the right path. Please let us know if you have any more questions and thank you so much for these!

    Whitney

  37. Connie Murray says:

    This is the most beautiful thing that I have ever knitted! The daughter of my best friend is getting married on August 23rd ~ I lost my dear friend to cancer nearly four years ago.

    I am nearing the end after working on it since mid-May and I have a question about blocking it. Is the blocking mandatory? I am not a very experienced blocker and am more than a little anxious about blocking this delicate creation. What is the downside to not blocking it? Your feedback is greatly appreciated! Thank you :-)

  38. Whitney from the Purl Bee says:

    Hi Connie,

    I am so sorry for your loss, and at the same time, so happy that your friend’s daughter has you to fill in at this time in her life. Knitting her a wedding shawl is a very kind gesture, and I feel honored to have a played a very small role in this story!

    The reasons to block your finished shawl are if you want to try to stretch it a little bigger, if you want to even out your stitches, or if you used a yarn that really benefits from blocking (try blocking your gauge swatch to see if this last reason is true for you). The dangers are that your shawl could grow bigger than you expected (or wanted!), especially if you knit with a plant fiber, and that the dye could bleed a bit, especially if you used a very saturated color.

    Here, anyway, are simple instructions for blocking: Soak the shawl in warm water with a little gentle soap; rinse it; squeeze out the excess water (don’t wring or twist); and neatly lay the shawl out flat on a dry towel.

    And, finally, if you are happy with the way your shawl looks without having blocked it, there is certainly no law that says you have to block it. Just don’t!

    Thanks so much for question and I hope the wedding is beautiful! Please let us know if you have any other questions…

    Whitney

  39. Maritza D'Arcangelo says:

    Dear purl bee; I want to use this beautiful pattern to make a baby blanket for my first grandson due in December, I have 1480 yards of Patons Dreamtime 4 ply my other daughter brought back on recent trip to Australia for her first nephew , so it is very special, can you help me figure out how many stitches I should cast? I am a new knitter and don’t know how to do that, I made a washcloth to learn and practice the pattern, also tried the gauge route but don’t really know what I’m looking for, although it asks for 3.25mm needles I think I like 4 mm, with that I got like 6sts per inch and 1 1/3 inches for 10 rows, (stockinette) I measured in several places, also made a swatch with the pattern but its hard to measure, I will appreciate any suggestion you give me, maybe I should use smaller needle, I don’t know, thank you very much, its a pleasure to visit your site, thank you

    • Whitney from the Purl Bee says:

      Hi Maritza,

      Since you’re not too sure about your in-pattern gauge, I can’t really accurately help you with how many stitches to cast on, but I can hopefully get you on the right path! First of all, you have plenty of yarn for, let’s say, a 30 x 36-inch baby blanket. Second of all, reading about Paton’s Dreamtime, it sounds like it is a pretty comparable weight to Habu’s Bamboo, so that’s good! And finally, this stitch pattern works over a number that is a multiple of 14 plus 13. So, presuming you get the same gauge as this pattern does (7 stitches to the inch in pattern), you would multiply 30 (the width) x 7 (the gauge) = 210 and the nearest number that is a multiple of 14 plus 13 would be 209, so you would cast on 209 stitches!

      I also want to point you in the direction of our Swatching for Gauge Tutorial. It might help you get ready! http://www.purlbee.com/2006/08/29/swatching-for-gauge/

      Thank you so much for all of your questions. Please let us know if we can help you along the way!

      Whitney

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