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How To Knit The Feather And Fan Stitch For Beginners


In this blog post, you will see how to knit the feather and fan stitch for beginners.

In this detailed tutorial, you will see step-by-step instructions on creating the beautiful feather and fan stitch, a great pattern for beginners and experienced knitters alike. 

You will also learn how to use this stitch to make a stunning wrap you can wear or give as a gift. 

With clear instructions, helpful tips, and plenty of photos to guide you through the process, you’ll have a fun and rewarding knitting experience. 

So, grab your yarn and needles, and let’s get started!

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

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How To Knit The Feather And Fan Stitch For Beginners

What Is The Feather And Fan Stitch? 

The Feather and Fan stitch, also known as the Old Shale pattern or Old Shell, is a classic lace knitting pattern that creates a delicate and undulating wave-like design. 

The classic feather and fan stitch pattern has truly withstood the test of time, and it’s still as fashionable as ever.

It is characterized by a series of alternating increases and decreases that result in a beautiful, openwork fabric. 

The pattern is often used for shawls, scarves, baby blankets, and other lightweight, airy projects.

This stitch pattern is relatively simple, making it suitable for lace knitting beginners. Its rhythmic, repetitive nature makes it easy to memorize once you get the hang of it. 

The Feather and Fan stitch is known for its elegant and timeless appearance, making it a popular choice for a variety of delicate and feminine projects. 

Feather and fan knitted shawl

Feather And Fan Knitting Pattern

Check out the video tutorial here – How To Knit The Feather and Fan Knitting Pattern

Knit A Feather And Fan Stitch Wrap

Skill Level – Easy (Advanced Beginner)


The feather and fan pattern is a great stitch to make various projects.

It’s especially ideal for accessories like wraps. 

The design of this classic stitch pattern resembles ocean waves, so it’s perfect for the summer.

Scroll down for the free pattern instructions. 

You can grab the ad-free printable PDF in my shop here.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, please provide a link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • Please credit Handy Little Me (Louise Bollanos) as the designer in all product listings.
Feather and fan wrap close up

Size Information

One Size.


Length end to end = 66 inches/168 cm.

Width at the widest point = 20 inches/50 cm.

Gauge – 16 sts/20 rows in 4 inches/10 cm in the pattern.

Wrap knitting pattern

The supplies you need…


  • The Pima Cotton From We Are Knitters in Sunrise (This cotton is 100% Pima Cotton) 100g/3.05oz/232 yds/212m.
  • Use my code – MGM4VHHAT – for 10 off on your WAK yarn order.
  • This is an Aran/Worsted/10 Ply yarn.
  • You will need 3 balls = (300g/696yds/636m).


  • 5.5 mm (US 9) 100 cm/40″ circular needles.
  • I used my interchangeable circular needles on a 100cm/40″ cable.
  • I did not join in the round to knit the shawl.
  • The shawl is worked back and forth on the needles – knit flat.
  • The long cable was used to accommodate the number of stitches.


  • Scissors.
  • Darning needle/yarn needle.
  • Tape measure.
Shawl knitting pattern

Knitting Abbreviations

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue
  • K – Knit
  • P2tog – Purl the next two stitches together (decrease)
  • P – Purl
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
  • YO – Yarn over
Knitted head wrap

Pattern Instructions

This stitch pattern has a multiple of 24 stitches.

Feather and Fan 2

Worked flat knitting back and forth on two needles:

Cast on 96 sts.

  • Row 1 (RS): Knit.
  • Row 2 (WS): Purl
  • Row 3: (P2tog) 4 times, *(YO, K1) 8 times, (P2tog) 8 times: rep from * to the last 8 sts, (P2tog) 4 times.
  • Row 4: Purl.

Rep rows 1 – 4 until the wrap measures = 66 inches/168 cm from the cast on edge or until you have your desired length; you can add more yarn for a longer wrap.

Cast off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Finishing and Blocking

You may wish to block your shawl; you can do that as follows:

  • Ensure all ends are woven using a tapestry needle or method of choice.
  • Gently block by filling a sink or water basin with lukewarm water, add a small amount of rinse less wool wash.
  • Place the items in the water and gently massage out any air bubbles.
  • Drain water, gently squeezing out any excess water from the item, then roll in a towel, and stomp on the towel roll to remove any more excess water.
  • Lay the item out on a towel to approx. finished wingspan measurements and allow to dry completely.

Blocking Tutorial – Blocking Knits – How To Block Knitting Guide

Knit shawl wrap

What To Knit With The Feather And Fan Stitch? 

The feather and fan stitch, with its graceful undulating waves and delicate lacework, is ideal for creating a variety of lightweight and elegant knit items.

One classic application is shawls, where the openwork pattern showcases the beauty of the stitch, providing a touch of sophistication and femininity.

Feather and Fan shawls are perfect for draping over shoulders during cooler evenings or as a stylish accessory for more formal occasions.

The pattern’s versatility extends to scarves and cowls, allowing you to craft a lovely accessory that adds a touch of texture and charm to your winter wardrobe.

The rhythmic repetition of the stitch makes it easy to customize the size of the shawl or scarf according to your preferences.

Additionally, the Feather and Fan stitch is well-suited for baby blankets. 

The soft and airy nature of the pattern creates a gentle and comforting fabric that is perfect for wrapping a little one in warmth. 

Whether you’re knitting for your child or as a thoughtful gift for someone else, a feather and fan baby blanket is sure to become a cherished and timeless keepsake. 

The stitch’s ability to produce a delicate, lacy texture makes it an excellent choice for projects, including garments like lightweight sweaters, where a touch of elegance is desired.  

Check out the free knitting patterns category for even more great ideas – Free Knitting Patterns

Knitted wedding shawl

Feather And Fan Stitch Variations

Certainly, the Feather and Fan stitch, known for its graceful wave pattern, lends itself to numerous creative variations in knitting. 

One popular adaptation is the incorporation of garter stitch sections within the pattern, providing additional texture and depth. 

Another variation involves enhancing the lace quality by introducing more yarn overs, creating a more open and delicate look. 

Crafters may opt for a mini version of the Feather and Fan, producing smaller waves for a subtler effect.

For each lace pattern, there are myriad variations as each family in the Shetland Islands would adjust the pattern and create their own variation. 

Tips For Knitting The Feather And Fan Stitch 

  • When knitting the Feather and Fan stitch, paying attention to tension and swatching is crucial for a successful outcome. 
  • Start by creating a gauge swatch to ensure that your tension matches the pattern specifications. 
  • This step helps you familiarize yourself with the stitch sequence, practice yarn overs and decreases, and gauge the overall size of your project. 
  • Keep in mind that lacework tends to open up during blocking, so it’s advisable to knit a slightly tighter gauge to achieve the desired finished dimensions. 

Knitting Lessons

If you are a new knitter and need help with the knitting basics, check out these posts here 

and be your own knitting instructor – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know.

Including how to cast on, how to bind off, how to knit the basic stitches, how to knit the knit stitch, how to knit the purl stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, short rows, how to yarn over, how to measure gauge, how to fix knitting mistakes, and a list of knitting abbreviations (UK + US terms), and more. 

For easier projects, check out this pattern category, there, you will find a range of knitting patterns – Beginner Knitters

Plus, learn everything about the different yarn weights here, including ( worsted yarn, chunky yarn, super bulky yarn, and more) – Yarn Weight Guide {+ Conversion Chart} 

Learn everything about yarn fibers here – Yarn Types Explained: A Guide To Different Fibers 

And if you need more video tutorials to help you practice your basic knitting skills, check out my YouTube channel here Handy Little Me – YouTube. 

Could you share your work with us?

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making the feather and fan stitch wrap, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Handylittleme Facebook Group and share a photo.

You can also check out my Facebook page here.

You can also find us on Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.

I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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