Let There Be Lace

As I’ve been working through Clue 3, it’s starting to form a modified Feather and Fan. It’s a classic stitch pattern that forms a shell-like wave – it’s one of my favorite simple stitches.

One of the first projects I made following a ‘real’ pattern.

Of course, when I started to research some about the stitch pattern, I found that what I thought was Feather and Fan may be something else.

Old Shale vs Feather and Fan

Turns out, I’ve been in love with the Old Shale stitch all this time. Craftsy has a great introduction to the stitch – it’s a mix of decreases and yarn overs, 18 stitches and four rows. Over at the blog Northern Lace, Liz goes into greater detail about the subtle differences between Old Shale and Feather and Fan.

photo source: Northern Lace

With Feather and Fan, there only two larger deceases (knit 4 together, then knit 4 together through the back loops) to go with the six yarn overs. It creates a more rigid, stacked look. In the Old Shale stitch, the single decreases (knit two together) are equal to the yarn overs – six of each.

Shetland Lace

The Old Shale stitch is a common Shetland Lace border. From Heirloom Knitting:

Shetland Lace is an accepted term for the very fine and elaborate lace knitting produced in the Shetland Isles from the 19th century onwards. It achieved high fashion status in the middle of that century with the presentation of knitted shawls to Royalty and its showing at the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition. It subsequently declined from favour with the outbreak of the First World War but it is now attracting new attention from knitters with the development of charted patterns.

Shetland Lace is is the traditional fancy lace that most of think of – this Pinterest board has some beautiful examples!

The Doodler

The pattern with the mystery shawl is a modified Old Shale stitch. The ratio of decreases and yarn overs aren’t quite equal, maybe half the amount of decreases, but it fits the flow of the edge where we picked up stitches at the start of the clue.


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