Catoctin by Dee O'Keefe


June 2013
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
5 stitches = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 8 - 5.0 mm
750 - 850 yards (686 - 777 m)
72 x 19" (183 x 48 cm), but easily customizable
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Catoctin is a top-down, crescent-shaped lace shawl with an intricate-looking, richly textured border featuring small and larger interlocking cables suspended between yarn over columns. The cute star stitches interspersed throughout the middle stockinette section on the shawl body add visual interest that is contrasted by an open lacy pattern on either side. Catoctin is a surprisingly relaxing knit with interesting stitch patterns that have a nice rhythm to them—lots of multiples of threes—and so the design is easy to memorize, fast to work and never boring! And those cables are so much fun to knit.

I named the shawl after Catoctin Mountain in Thurmont, Maryland, a lush and heavily forested mountain park where I have spent many wonderful hours hiking and exploring. As so it is appropriate that the fabulous green yarn I choose for this design should echo the saturated greens of our early summer trees here on the east coast, USA.

Catoctin is shown in fingering weight but may be worked in any weight you choose. When worked at the pattern shawl size, the border will use up about half the total yardage, so this is a great design for two skeins of your favorite hand-dyed sock yarn—the shawl body can be worked from one skein and the border from the other, so you won’t have to worry about blending the skeins.

The pattern includes large, easy-to-read charts as well as row-by-row written instructions. Also included are comprehensive instructions about how to work a knitted-on border, customize the size and block to the crescent shape. Several video links are included that explain the various techniques involved in knitting the shawl.

Construction Notes: Catoctin starts at the center back of the neck and is worked down to the bottom edge.The knitted-on border is attached at right angles to the main body.

Size: I measured the 72” (183 cm) wingspan straightened out, although it you will want to block it into a rather deep curve. (Blocking photo included on the pattern.) The depth is 19” (48 cm). The size is easily customizable to a smaller shawlette size or a larger shawl as well.

Yardage: I used 770 yards (704 m) of fingering weight on US 6 (4mm) for the the green sample shawl pictured. Some test knitters used up to 850 yards (777 m) on the same needle size. If you are using thicker fingering or sock weight yarn that has a yardage of about 400 yards (366 m) per skein, you may wish to go down a needle size in order to make sure that you have enough yarn. Note that the two test knitters that used a bit thicker yarn both used between 825-850 yards (754-777 m).