Leona Dare

October 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
22 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch after blocking
US 4 - 3.5 mm
800 yards (732 m)
67"/170cm wingspan x 18"/46cm depth at center of shawl, after blocking
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $6.00 USD buy it now

When Stacie Dawson of Must Stash Yarns, Ana Clerc of Yarn Carnival, and I decided to team up to create a shawl pattern with their yarns, we took the golden age of the circus as our inspiration. At the turn of the twentieth century, the circus was a major event in American life and has a distinct look and ambience that still lives in our cultural memory.

This shawl, with a simple-to-knit, top-down crescent construction borrowed from the very talented designer Jennette Cross, is inspired by trapeze artist and aerial acrobatrix Leona Dare (1854–1922). Dare’s signature performance was to grip onto a hot-air balloon by her teeth as it rose thousands of feet into the air. Now that’s a high-wire act.


  • Color A: Yarn Carnival Goat Roper (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 400 yds / 366m per 100g skein): Velvet Curtain (dark magenta), 1 skein
  • Color B: Must Stash Yarns Dapper (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 400 yds / 366m per 100g skein); Lillian (pink), 1 skein
  • US 4 / 3.5mm circular needle, at least 32 in / 80cm in length
  • Yarn needle