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« From the Purl Beehive: Emily's Memory Game | Main | Laura's Loop: Wedding Clutch »

Whit's Knits: 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


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!)


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.

Reader Comments (127)

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.
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervhcrna
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.
November 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentervhcrna
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!
November 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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, 8x14 +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
January 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteramit
the wrong

l l l l 0
l l 0 l l
l 0 l l l
0 l l l l
January 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteramit
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!

January 20, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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!
January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan
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!

January 20, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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
January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne
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!

January 29, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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.
January 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
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
February 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
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!

February 3, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!

February 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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
February 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFatima Florez
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:

Thank you for your question!

February 12, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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
February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
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?
March 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
This is a beauty! I was thinking to do it in anzula Milky Way. Would it drape similarly?
March 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlory
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!

March 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Glory,

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

Let us know how it goes and thanks for asking!

March 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What other kind or type of yarn can you use for the bamboo wedding shawl.
April 7, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoy kritzer
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?
April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie
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!

April 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Joy,

You can use Habu's Dyed Bamboo, which is the same as the Bamboo 20/12 only... dyed! It's right here: .

Some other great options would be...

Anzula's Sebastian:
Anzula's Milky Way:
Jade Sapphire's 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!
April 18, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
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!

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
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!

May 5, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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