Old Shale is a great way to introduce yourself to lace knitting. It’s a simple four row repeat with a single pattern row. It’s easy to memorize and the result is spectacular. Old Shale is a common stitch used in the Shetland Islands for knitting a border on a hap shawl. The borders sometimes use multiple colours which emphasize the waves in the knitting.
The stitch pattern in words (for knitting flat):
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K2tog 3 times, (yo knit 1) 6 times, k2tog 3 times, repeat from *
Row 4: Knit
These 4 rows complete the pattern.
The stitch pattern in words (for knitting in the round):
Round 1-2: Knit all sts.
Round 3: *K2tog 3 times, (yo knit 1) 6 times, k2tog 3 times, repeat from *
Row 4: Purl all sts.
These 4 rounds complete the pattern.
This video that demonstrates Old Shale stitch used for the Old Shale Tee.
And this is the video for Feather and Fan stitch. Although people frequently interchange old shale and feather and fan, they are not the same stitch. Check out the differences by comparing this video to the previous one:
I’ll knit Old Shale any time!