Great beginner lace knitting project – Feather and Fan Scarf

I chose to knit the Feather and Fan short scarf because I was looking for a pretty scarf to knit. But when I read the pattern, I discovered it was also a very simple lace knit.

Lace Leaf Scarf

This scarf is simply Feather and Fan stitch, which is an old Shetland lace stitch also known as Old Shale. Old Shale (sometimes also called shell stitch – how many names does it want?) consists of equal decreases grouped together and equal increases  grouped together. The pattern was originally named Old Shale because it was thought to resemble the print the waves leave the on shale sands.

20151214_133805 (1)

Apparently, in Shetland, it used to be said that no two families knitted the pattern the same. The Feather and Fan short scarf pattern is a four row repeat; the pattern row repeating groups of six k2tog and six yo, K1: the other three rows are purl, knit, purl. It is therefore a very simple lace pattern, suitable for those taking their first steps in lace knitting.


For my scarf I used one 50g ball of Blacker Yarns bluefaced Leicester laceweight.

Blacker Yarns Bluefaced Leicester Laceweight Yarn

The resulting scarf is 39inches long x 12 inches wide.

Feather and Fan Short Scarf

Its simple structure made it great to knit when I had an odd 2o minutes to knit up four quick rows – always stopping before a pattern row so, although I attached a row counter, I didn’t use it. I barely felt as if I was knitting it and it seemed to be finished very quickly.

Lace leaf Shawl Blacker yarns Blue Faced Leicester

However I think my lace would have been neater and more even, if I’d knitted it in larger chunks of time that allowed me to build up a more relaxed even knitting rhythm. So I’ve learnt a lesson there about cramming in stitches for NaKnitMo!

Feather and Fan stitch - Old Shale StitchI certainly can’t think of a simpler way to make a gorgeous lace scarf and definitely recommend it to anyone knitting lace for the first time.

Apologies for the constant colour changing. Not only is this a difficult colour to capture, it was so dank and dark when I took the final photos yesterday, there was no good light to be had. The second photo down is most true to colour.

Hope your final Christmas makes are going well.

Bekki Hill

36 thoughts on “Great beginner lace knitting project – Feather and Fan Scarf

    1. Thank you. Yes, a lovely easy pattern. Just a bit cross with myself for not doing it in more concentrated bursts to make the lace more even.


  1. Gorgeous scarf Bekki! and thanks for the great tip – I actually need to knit a quick gift to send overseas and this scarf ticks both boxes – at 50g it’ll be cheap(er) to post and quick to knit up – thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes, it’s lovely and light, but of course being 2ply slows it down a little. Look forward to seeing it before you post it.


  2. I don’t usually stray into 2 ply territory but, if it’s as quick and easy as you say, I’ll maybe give it a go when I’m between larger projects. I like the story about no two families knitting the pattern in the same way. I sometimes knit a pattern in a different way to everybody else too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a big 2ply knitter either and I like to make things ‘my own’ too. I guess it was the way of personalising things in the past too, just like fishermen’s families having their own unique gansey patterns.


  3. You have reminded me that I know this pattern from my early knitting days – long before the knit revolution that now teaches me something new every day………. I once knitted a jumper in this stitch and loved it for a long time! Thank you for the wonderful reminder, I shall have to find something to knit where I can make use of it again. 🙂 Your scarf is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your scarf is really pretty, Bekki, and I love that pattern – whichever name you use for it. I’ve knitted a few garments with lacy parts to them, so I think this would be a nice relaxing knit. I’ve never used 2 ply, however. 4 ply is the finest I’ve used, so I don’t know how that would feel. But your scarf looks like something really lovely to wear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Two ply isn’t that bad, although, yes, obviously slower than thicker yarn – but always longer per gram too, so I always feel like I’ve got a bargain.


      1. I’ll answer that after my blogging break in January.:) Hopefully, I’ll get a lot done in that time. If not, I’ll just keep at it. I hate to leave my blog, and doing that odd flash fiction last week has got me hankering to join in. I’ll just have to be strong… Oh, the pain of that… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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