Argus Shawlette by Wendy D. Johnson

Argus Shawlette

January 2010
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
5 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 5 - 3.75 mm
320 - 350 yards (293 - 320 m)
1 size
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This shawlette can be knit from one 100-gram skein of sock yarn and when blocked measures approximately 54” across the top (wingspan) and 25” down the center back.

This pattern is perfect for a beginner knitter who wants to knit lace. The pattern is written in great detail and spells out everything you need to know. The lace is charted in 4 relatively simple charts that are easy to follow.

It is knit from fingering rather than laceweight yarn, which is much easier for a lace newbie to execute. The stitches used are knit and purl, and a few simple lace techniques -- yarnover, knit 2 together, and ssk, and sl1 k2tog, psso (which are explained in the pattern).


I’ve had a couple of questions about making changes to the Argus pattern.

You can enlarge it by doing more repeats of Chart A -- as many as you like. With each extra repeat you do, you will be doing more repeats of the 8-stitch pattern repeat. Well, you’ll see -- it’s obvious from the pattern.

Another alternative is to use a heavier yarn and larger needles -- like a dk weight and perhaps size 8 or 9 needles. You could do this in conjunction with extra chart repeats if you like.

Conversely, you could make it smaller with fewer repeats of Chart A. Like, if you were making it for a small child.

And speaking of doing it in different weights of yarn -- you could use laceweight yarn. I’d advise doing a small swatch of the pattern stitch to make sure you are happy with how open it is -- you may want to size the needles down as well. And if you are knitting it at a smaller gauge, you’d want to add some repeats as described above.

And this of course would affect the amount of yarn you need.

Alternative cast-on:

If you prefer the garter tab cast-on:

Using provisional yarn, cast-on 3 stitches.

With shawl yarn, knit 8 rows.

Using shawl yarn, knit-up 1 stitch from each garter-stitch ridge. There should be 4 ridges. Undo provisional cast-on and knit these 3 stitches – a total of 10 stitches.

Now you will proceed with “Set up the pattern”

01/24/10 - Error spotted
Chart B, 3rd row. The end of that row on the chart should be “knit, yarn over,” not a double yarn over.