Elegantly Simple Feather and Fan Shetland Lace

– elegant results with bit-sized steps in simple knitting –

Our June KAL features a beautiful stitch pattern from the Shetland lace family of feather and fan stitches. Stitch patterns in this family are characterized by a series of yarn overs on the same row without intervening compensating decreases. Instead, the compensating decreases are made using either of 2 methods.

1. A compound decrease is each made to left and right of the series of yarn overs (as they are in our June KAL patterns).

Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket in Shetland feather and fan lace

Elegantly Simple Baby Blanket in Shetland feather and fan lace using compensating left- and right-slanting triple decreases on a single row

2. The compensating decreases are completed on subsequent rows (an example is the stitch pattern used in the hand portion of my Terzetto Lace Mitts design).

Terzetto Lace Mitts

Terzetto Lace Mitts with Shetland feather and fan lace in hand portion (stitch pattern uses compensating single decreases over multiple rows)

Simpler than it looks

Shetland feather and fan lace stitch patterns are popular because they look complicated, but usually are quite easy to knit. For the Elegantly Simple bookmark and baby blanket projects in our June KAL, we have both elegance and simple techniques.

Note how the beginning and ending borders are gracefully scalloped, and the side borders also have dainty small scallops. There are a lot of interesting things going on in the interior of the fabric as well, with the the curvy textural elements of the compound decrease and gentle waves of eyelets.

This is all accomplished with just 4 rows, and 3 of those are basically “rest” rows! (i.e. simple plain knit/purl in rows 2 – 4)

Row 1 is the only lace patterning row. It a little more complicated and you will need to pay some attention especially when first learning the somewhat unusual left- and right-slanting triple decreases used in this particular variation of feather and fan.

Elegantly Simple Bookmark

Elegantly Simple Bookmark can be used to practice, or just because you want to knit this beautiful stitch pattern in a small, quick project

Once you practice a bit (I’ve included a free bookmark project just for that purpose!), the stitch pattern just sort of flows and comes off so easily from the needles, looking more complicated than it really is. You will impress everyone!

I’ve given step-by-step written instructions for the special triple decreases in the Abbreviations section of the Baby Blanket pattern. If you are a visual person, I’ll also have support articles here at KnitHeartStrings with photos that break these 2 triple decrease techniques into bit-sized simple steps. Stay tuned!

p.s. Last year’s 2013 BOBBOL, the Mini Flag used another Shetland lace pattern from the Old Shale family of stitch patterns, from which feather and fan derived.


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2 Responses to Elegantly Simple Feather and Fan Shetland Lace

  1. Jean says:

    Hi Jackie,
    I am having difficulty with the bookmark. My LYS person, looking at your instructions, suggested Silky Alpaca Lace from Classic Elite Yarns.

    Suggested needle size is 2. Tried using the Knitters Pride dreamz size 2. I have found it impossible to do. Tried using a size 3 in a bamboo needle I have. Not any easier.

    Have I chosen the wrong yarn?

What do you think?

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