Catkin by Carina Spencer


May 2011
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
24 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch
US 4 - 3.5 mm
740 yards (677 m)
one size
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $7.00 USD
buy it now or visit pattern website

Catkin is textural, structural, botanical, and modern. It is a union of soft curves and hard lines. It is a shawl, a wrap, a capelet, a scarf… and it’s all yours!

This unique design is knit seamlessly from the top down in three sections. Section One is knit in crescent shape with or without contrasting lines of garter stitch. Section Two begins a chevron texture pattern punctuated by lines of slipped stitches and raglan increases. In Section Three the slipped lines bloom into catkins that dance along the hem among contrasting garter stripes. A single leaf hangs at the tip of each corner.

The catkin and leaf patterns at the hem are all created through the clever use of slipped stitches -- there is no 2-stranded colorwork knitting in this shawl! Only one color is worked at any given time and the only color changes are striping.

Pattern is 13 pages long in full color and includes video and photo tutorials to help with tricky stitches.

Skill Level: Intermediate. Pattern includes written and charted instructions, but comfort with chart reading is a must.

Finished Measurements:
Width: ~50”
Height: ~18”

Yarn: In light fingering weight yarn you will need approximately 380 yards of Color A and 400 yards of Color B. These yardage estimates should allow enough of each color to knit the shawl with or without garter striping in Section 1.

When choosing colors, keep in mind Color A is the primary color used in Sections 1 and 3 while the Color B is used for all of Section 2 (for the chevron texture pattern). Choosing a yarn of meduim or lighter value for Color B will allow the texture to be most visible.

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light is highly recommended for this pattern. It is a light, round, single ply, superwash wool with 420 yards to a skein. The slipped stitches and chevron texture pattern of Section 2 are shown at their best in this yarn. Otherwise, a lightweight, springy wool is best. Yarns with a “drapey” quality (such as many of those with a high silk or bamboo content) are not suitable for this pattern as the textures will not pop and the shawl may end up stretching vertically and feeling heavy.

Needles: 36” or longer circular needle in US size 4 (3.5 mm) or size required to obtain gauge.

Notions: 6 stitch markers, 8 buttons approximately 5/8” in diameter, a darning needle for weaving in ends.

The recommended way to check gauge for this pattern is to work the swatch chart provided. Working the swatch chart also gives you a chance to see how different yarns and colorways will work together before you start the shawl.

If you’d rather not work the swatch chart, gauge in blocked stockinette stitch is approximately 24 sts & 32 rows = 4”. Suggested needle size US 4 (3.5 mm)