Knitted Shawl

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Knitted Winter Shawl

Godey’s Lady's Book
November, 1864

Modern notes and instructions are shown on the following website:           (dead link)

The original instructions, from 1864, follow at the bottom of this page. I copied the original from my Godey's November 1864 issue, which I have been told was a reprint of the pattern that appeared in Peterson's July 1864 issue. This is nothing new - 19th century magazines were plagiarizing from each other freely. 

Yes, there are two instructions numbered "3d" in the original.

Winter Shawl, in plain knitting.

Several of our subscribers having requested that this useful article may be arranged so as to form an easy occupation during the long evenings, we have made the direction as simple as possible. It can be worked in nearly every kind of wool, and the size varied at pleasure, making it either for a small shawl to wear across the shoulders, or carried out for a large wrapper. If made in strong yarn it is especially suited for charitable gifts at this present season.


A pair of knitting pins No. 8 Bell gauge (measured in the circle); for a small shawl they should be about 12 inches, but a larger one will require them longer.

The wool may be either double Berlin, 4-ply fleecy, or Scotch fingering yarn. Of the latter, there is a new kind made in two colors, viz., violet and black, scarlet and black, blue and white, etc.; it has a pretty effect for the centre of the shawl, the border being made with two plain colors to contrast with it. 

The fringe is usually of the same color as the centre. The cheapest yarns or knitting worsteds are only to be had in plain colors-gray, brown, and white, being the least expensive. 

The shawl we have engraved is composed of mixed violet and black yarn for the centre and fringe, with plain black and gold-color for the border.

The Centre.

Cast on 6 stitches with the violet and black wool.

1st row. Knit the 6 stitches.

2d. Slip the 1st stitch, that is, taking it off the pin without working it; then to increase a stitch, knit the next stitch plain, but before taking it off the left pin, insert the right pin in the back of the same loop on the left pin, and, bringing the wool between the pins, knit the stitch, taking it off the left pin; there will now be 3 loops on the right pin; knit the next 4 stitches quite plain.

3d. Slip the 1st stitch, then increase as in the last row, by knitting the 2d stitch, and before taking it off the pin knitting another stitch in the back of the same loop; knit 5 stitches plain.

3d. Slip the 1st stitch, increase in the 2d stitch as before; knit 1 plain; increase a second time in the next stitch; increase a third time in the next stitch, then knit 3 plain; there will now be 11 stitches on the pin. 

4th. Slip the 1st stitch, increase in the 2d stitch; knit the rest of the row plain.

5th. Slip the 1st stitch, increase as before; knit 3 plain, increase a second time in the next stitch; then increase a third time in the next stitch; knit 5 plain.

6th. Slip the 1st stitch, increase as before; knit the rest plain.

It will render counting unnecessary if a small mark is now put on the pin in the centre of each row - a loop of white cotton or a small bag-ring will answer the purpose, and it is used as follows: 

7th. Slip the 1st, increase as before, knit 5 plain, increase a second time, put the mark on the right pin, increase again, knit the rest of the row plain.

8th. Slip 1, increase as before, knit the rest of the row plain, putting the mark in the centre of the row on the other pin.

9th. Slip 1, increase as before, knit the rest of the stitches plain to within one of the mark, increase in that stitch, slip the mark on to the right pin, then increase again in the next stitch, and knit the rest of the row plain.

Repeat the two last rows until the required size is made for the centre.

The Border.

With the black wool work 4 rows, repeating as the 8th and 9th rows of the centre.

Gold wool, 6 rows the same.

Black, 4 rows the same.

Gold, 6 rows the same.

Black, 10 rows the same, which forms the centre of the border.

Then repeat the gold and black stripes alternately as before, and cast off all the stitches.

The fringe is made with the same color as the centre.

Cut the wool in lengths of 6 inches, and, with a crochet needle, loop two pieces of the cut wool into each stitch formed by the casting off row of the shawl, thus: insert the needle in the stitch, fold the two pieces of wool on the point of it, and bring them through the stitch in a loop; then draw the ends of wool through this loop, and continue the same to the end.


Cut wool in 6-inch lengths. 
Use 2 six-inch pieces in each tassel. 
Insert needle in a cast off stitch,
Fold two strands of wool in half and place over needle. 
Pull wool part way through the stitch to form a loop.
Draw the end of the wool through the loop and 
tighten by pulling tassel slightly.
Repeat this procedure around outside edge of shawl.


Knitting Lessons can be found online.       (dead link)

Crochet Lessons online:         (dead link)

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