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« From the Purl Beehive: Emily's Memory Game | Main | Laura's Loop: Wedding Clutch »

Whit's Knits: Bamboo Wedding Shawl

My wedding was over ten years ago, and at the time it felt like a big, swirling blur. But now I can remember every single detail like it was yesterday, from my red sequined shoes to the strawberry cobbler.

With the gift of time, I'm going to offer some totally unsolicited advice. It is this: the absolute, very best way to make your day memorable is to infuse it with details that come from your heart, such as... a beautiful hand knit shawl!

I truly believe that hand knit objects have power. As you or someone you love knits this Wedding Shawl, it will become steeped in the hopes and dreams of your big day. And as your wedding night cools down and you wrap your shawl around your shoulders, you will not only look drop dead gorgeous, but you will be reminded of those hopes and dreams, and you will take an important minute to thank your lucky stars!

This Wedding Shawl gets its extraordinary drape and beautiful shine from Habu's Bamboo 20/12. In pristine white, Habu's Bamboo is a perfectly cool choice for spring nights. Knit up in a simple, geometric pattern called Flemish Block Lace, the result is an understated elegance that never goes out of style.

The Materials

  • 2 skeins of Habu's Bamboo 20/12 or 2 skeins of Habu's Dyed Bamboo
  • A US #3, 24 inch circular needle (You could use a set of long straight needles instead, but with the size and weight of the shawl I highly recommend circular needles!)

The Pattern


7  stitches = 1 inch in the lace pattern

Finished Size

22 inches wide and 60 1/2 inches long, unblocked (By my best calculations, there is enough yarn left over to make the shawl about 9 inches longer if you'd like!)


Cast on 153 stitches.

Preparations Rows: Knit 7 rows.

Row 1 and all other odd numbered rows: K5, purl to the last 5 stitches, k5.

Row 2: K7, *k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k4, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 4: K6, *k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k4, repeat from * to last 7 stitches, k7.

Row 6: K5, k2tog, yo, *k5, yo, slip1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, yo, k4, k2tog, yo, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 8: K7, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k1, repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k6.

Row 10: K8, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, ssk, k1, k2tog, yo, k3, repeat from * to last 5 stitches, k5.

Row 12: K9, *yo, ssk, k4, yo, k3tog, yo, k5, repeat from * to last 5 stitches (end the last repeat with a k4), k5.

Repeat Row 1-12 until the shawl measures 60 inches from the cast on edge.

Next Row: K5, purl to last 5 stitches, k5.

Knit 6 rows.

Bind off loosely in knit stitch and weave in the ends. For a very polished finish, gently block your shawl.

Reader Comments (127)

wow. completely breathtaking.
May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmilee
Just gorgeous! Thank you for the pattern!
May 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBren
This is as stunning as it is moving. The thought of a handmade gift on such an incredible occasion is truly the icing on the wedding cake. Thank you for your gorgeous pattern, and your beautiful nature. You are a dear and wonderful friend, this is so obvious in all your commentaries. Even though we have never met, I look forward to all your postings, and I am an ardent fan. Thank you Whitney, FOR YOU!!!!
May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
What type of yarn is this? Is it baby,sport,etc.. weight yarn. And is it cotton.
Thank you.
Hello Mslnatick-

This is Bamboo yarn, lace weight and it is listed and linked in the materials section of this pattern above and here:

Thanks for your question!
May 16, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, what a lovely shawl!
I would love to make this using a slightly thicker yarn and casting on fewer stitches.
What is the repeat?
May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
I love this project! Picked up a skein of this at your warehouse recently, and was planning on making a mini-shawl based on a pattern from the Wedding Knits book.........I might have to use it for this one instead!
May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Hi Denise,

Without the edge stitches, the repeat is a multiple of 4 plus 3 (for example, 4 x 30 = 120 + 3 = 123). The way the Wedding Shawl pattern is written, with 5 edge stitches on each side, the repeat is a multiple of 14 plus 13 (14 x 8 = 112 + 13 = 125).

Please let us know if you have any more questions and good luck with your project!

May 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Absolutely gorgeous. Would love to make one for my future sister-in-law's wedding in July, but I know how to knit on the ProvoCraft Knifty Knitter looms, not on needles yet :(
May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica W.
What is preparations rows? I think I can do the rest of this- but I am not sure what the first part means.
May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
Hi Cheryl,

All that Preparation Rows means is that those rows do not form a part of the lace pattern and so will not be repeated. Really, those rows are just the garter stitch edge.

Using the term "Preparation Rows" one of those knitting conventions that can make things more complicated than they are!

Thank you for your question and good luck!
May 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I am about 12" into the Wedding Shawl and can see that two hanks won't get me to the suggested length. I am using the Habu and spent a goodly amount of time on the gauge. While gauge is not crucial in a shawl, I did want to get a good looking fabric and a good drape. I am using a 2.5 mm needle which is sometimes a #1 (US) and sometimes a #2. The shawl is 25-26 inches wide. I did cast on the suggested 153 sts and thought it was a bit wider than the suggested 22". I know that the width of an item can change as more length is knit so I gave it a try. Well, it is still the same width and I can see I will need more yarn if I continue with 153 sts. It will hurt, but I think I must frog it and start over with 32 fewer sts., according to your explanation above.
I would appreciate your comments on my predicament.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaine
In order to rip and start this shawl over, I looked up Flemish Lace. The pattern is multiples of 14 + 3. Then I added 10 sts to account for the 5 st border on each side.
June 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaine
Hi Laine,

It does sound like your gauge ended up a little big. But, if you are satisfied with the look and drape of your shawl so far and if you think that you have enough left on your skein to get to about 28 inches, I do think that you will be able to block your shawl to 60 inches. Keep in mind that if you decide to do this your shawl will grow a bit in length but will shrink a little in width.

Good luck and thank you for your question!
June 5, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there!

I know this may sound scandalous (and I certainly hope it is not insulting) but I want to make this with a purple color for my step sister who will be married sometime next year. She prefers purples and browns over other colors. I just wanted to make sure that the total yardage needed for this project is 1520 in fingering yarn. Is this correct? Or would I need to buy more/less?

Thank you very much for the beautiful pattern and gift idea!
June 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClair
Hi Clair,

I didn't use all of the second skein of Bamboo, but I'm not precisely sure how many yards the shawl took. I would say a safe guess would be 1450 yards.

I love the idea of a purple wedding shawl - send us pictures!

Thanks for your question,
June 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
If we wanted to make a scarf - i.e., half the width, would it be (4 x 15) + 1 = 60 cast on stitches? Thank you!!
July 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany
Just love the scarf but having difficulties, prob. cause I'm new at knitting. All the stitches I know but reading the pattern, for a dutchie, is the problem.
I want to make the scarf less wide, around 85 stitches. And there starts my problem. Want to make it with the 5 stitches on the edges. I just don't understand how many stitches I need to cast on.Do I cast on 3 x 30 + 3?

Other thing is understanding the pattern...the repeat starts at the star, does it? And when I make 3 times the repeat I have to have left the K stitches the row tells me, right? Or do I stop the repeat when I have just those last few K stitches left?

Hope you understand my ramblings and that you can help me!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdani
Hi Dani,

To keep the 5 edge stitches you should cast on a multiple of 14 plus 13, so 83 would be perfect!

You will repeat what comes after the * in its entirety. So when the pattern says "...repeat from * to last 6 stitches...", you will come to the end of the repeat and find that 6 stitches remain. In other words, yes to your first question ("when I make 3 times the repeat I have to have left the K stitches the row tells me") and no to your second ("do I stop the repeat when I have just those last few K stitches left").

I hope this helps clarify matters for you! Good luck!

August 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this project! But I definitely don't want white. There is no information in the yarn product link, is it fingering or lace weight?

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermegan
Hi Megan-

It is a lace weight. Here is a link to all of our lace weights in lot of different colors:[]=2

Thanks for your question!
August 31, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! I am getting down to about 3 weeks before my wedding, and I wanted to know...if I were to make this lovely lovely many hours might I be looking at? I have lots of free time before the wedding, but didn't want to make a futile attempt! I'm a quick knitter :)

September 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertracy
Hi Tracy,

Get started now! It's definitely a big project - the yarn and the needles are thin, and the pattern's not totally mindless - but I knit mine in less than three weeks with not a lot of free time!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding - I'd be so pleased to know that the Wedding Shawl made an appearance on your big day!

Good luck!
September 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi Whitney,

LOVE this shawl but would like to make it in a more affordable yarn. I was thinking of using the habu fine merino you have on your website. Would this be a suitable substitution and is it very soft? I love the colours this yarn comes in, thinking perhaps peach-orange.

Are there any other cheaper yarns you would suggest?

Would really appreciate your advice!

September 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCath
Hi Cath,

You can definitely use the Habu Fine Merino, but it is, in fact, VERY fine and you would end up with a smaller, more diaphanous and more lightweight shawl. (If you do decide to use the Fine Merino, you may want to use a smaller needle.)

For a yarn more like the Habu Bamboo, you could try 2 skeins of Anzula's Mermaid, or 6 skeins of Spud & Chloe's Fine. Both include a shiny fiber that will make the shawl both beautiful and drapey! And both are a bit less expensive than the Bamboo...

Thanks for your questions and good luck!
September 23, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
If I were to use straight needles what size should I use for the bamboo wedding shawl and
is there any cheaper yarn similalar to Habu Bamboo yarn?
September 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersukeshi
HI Sukeshi,

I would use Bryspun's 14 inch straight needles (

And I recommended to Cath (in a comment above) a couple of less expensive, but still beautiful alternatives to the Habu Bamboo. Here they are again (this time with the links!): 2 skeins of Anzula's Mermaid ( or 6 skeins of Spud & Chloe's Fine (

Thanks for asking and good luck!
September 28, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am doing wedding shawl on circular needle #3 as suggested but I am using the Bouton D'Or Merinosoi yarn .which suggests to use neddle # 4 US
I love the Bouton D'Or yarn . ,On # 3 needle the lace does not look as good as your image.
Do you think I can use # 2 US needle for Bouton D'Or yarn so the lace looks delicate.even though it suggests to use needle #4
PL give me your opinion on this
Thanks so much for your prompt reply to my earlier question.and so I am encouraged to get some more ideas from You.Thanks
September 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersukeshi
Hi again Sukeshi,

If you feel your lace looks too loose on the #3, then yes!! definitely try a #2. The needle recommendations on yarn labels are really just a starting point; please always free to adjust the needle to whatever size suits your tension, your taste and your purposes!

Let us know if we can help with anything else!
October 3, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney
I made this shawl with Bouton d'or Merisoi .It is 50" .ICannot find the wool any more I need to make this shawl 10 " more.Is it possible to block so it can strech to 10" more? i don't know what to do? should i look for similar wool ,color to make my shawl longer? I have worked hard to make this.How can i make it useful? Pl suggest some solutions.
November 25, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersukeshi
Hi Sukeshi,

Do not panic! I would definitely try to block your shawl longer. It will almost positively grow! I can't find your particular yarn online, but I'm assuming it's a merino-silk blend, and silk does tend to grow a lot and merino can also be amenable to shaping. I think you're going to be okay!

Good luck. Let us know if you do end up needing more advice, but I hope not!
November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi Whitney
Thank you so much......
I am very encouraged to know that the shawl could be blocked to add few inches .
The wool is Bouton d'orMerinosoi
30% wool.20%silk,50%Acrylic 864 24
I would love to visit your store in NY
I love your purl bee blog very much
I really appreciate your prompt responce
November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersukeshi
Hi Whitney
You suggest to block the wedding shawl gently
What is gentle blocking?
I would appreciate if you could guide me how to do it
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSukeshi
Hi Sukeshi-

Here is a tutorial on how to gently block a scarf. Thanks for your question!

- Molly
December 1, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This beautiful! I will be making this with Sea Island Cotton. Can't wait!
February 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergrammy
Question on Bamboo Wedding Shawl, on row 6 after *
k5, yo,slip1, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over, etc.
I'm lost, do u pass the "slip1" stitch over the "k2tog" stitch?
Thanks for the help. Betty
February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetty
Just finished row 8 and some how I lost 9 stitches, is that possible? I started out with 153 and now I have 144. Can you tell me where I went wrong????
February 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Hi Betty,

Yes, that's right!

Thanks for asking!

February 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Alice,

I can't tell you exactly where you went wrong; lace patterns can certainly be tricky! One thought I have is I wonder if you're dropping yarn overs from the previous row. Are you recognizing what a yarn over looks like when you're working the odd number rows? It hardly looks like a stitch at all, and sometimes people fail to treat it like one.

In any case, I hope you sort it out. Please let us know if we can help again and good luck!

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi Whitnes,
Yep, my mistake was when I was doing the y o then the ssk, i was taking the yo with it, oops!
Thank's so much for your help!
March 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlice
Hi Whitney I am trying to make this as a scarf. I casted on 85 stitches as recommended (the multiple of 4 + 1) so that i have the 5 stiches of edging. I am in my first row and i keep having 8 stitches at the end of my repeat instead of six!?? What the heck am I doing wrong?


April 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlli
Hi Alli,

I totally agree it is not working out! I am so sorry! With the wisdom that one year has brought me, I would now say that you should cast on a multiple of 14 plus 13. So, for you I would say to cast on 83 instead of 85.

I really am sorry about the extra work and probable frustration. I hope the rest of the shawl goes smoothly for you! Thank you also for exposing this error (I am removing the original response so that no one else is led down the wrong path!)

April 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I wanted to use my Rowan fine lace in 921. Would you say that the gauge is similar to the recommended yarn on #3s?
April 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimh
Hi Kimh-

We are not totally familiar with that yarn but if it is a lace weight it will probably work fine, just make sure to do a gauge beforehand.

Thanks for your question.

April 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I'm trying to knit this shawl, I'm still learning, I'm just curious was this shawl knit flat? I've tried to knit it and I dropped a few stiches, so I'm starting over. The first time I tried it I joined it. Am I not suppose to join it?

Sorry if the question might sound silly, I'm still learning.
April 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina
Hi Gina-

It's not a silly question! This is shawl is knit flat. We recommend circular needles because they are less bulky than straight ones but you should just treat them the same way you would straight needles. Or, if it's too confusing you can also just use a long pair of straight needles.

Thank you for your question!

April 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just started this and can not get the first pattern row to work. If I subtract the first knit 7 and the last knit 6 that leaves 140 stitches that can not work out at 13 stitches to pattern. I must be doing something wrong because others do not seem to have a problem. Please help. Thanks
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatty
Just wanted to let you know I figured it out. It doesn't specifically say to start and end each row with 5 knit. Or at least I didn't see it. So I have made it to row 4 and although I have had to take out and start again and count before starting it works out. Even this easy pattern is a challenge for me and I have been knitting for almost 50 years!!!! But I love the pattern and though I usually knit prayer shawls for church this one is for me. I have a lovely beige with a gold thread. Perfect for that evening out. Thanks Patty
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatty
Hi Patty,

Although there are 5 knit stitches at the beginning and end of every row, they are written into the pattern. The actual pattern repeat is 14 stitches, not 13 (for example, Row 1 is k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo, k4, which is 2 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 4 = 14).

I wanted to point this out because, although I'm very happy you figured out the pattern, I'm concerned that you think it's more complicated than it really is. The pattern really works just how it is written!

Thank you so much for making this shawl and good luck!
May 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have a question: I have a 320 yard skein of Habu NS-4 Vietnamese dupione silk. Is that enough to complete the shawl? Thanks!
May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermelanie

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