Difficulty: Medium to advanced. Charted RS rows only, WS rows are purled except
for edge sts and double yo’ers.
Yarn: Almost any blockable fingering (or heavy lace weight) yarn with good stitch
definition will work. 656 – 766 yards (600-700 m) depending on yarn, needles and
where you end in the last chart. The upper limit will probably only be needed if
your yarn is of the heavier kind, using needle size US 7 (4 mm).
Beads: There are lots of possibilities for adding beads if you wish. Some
suggestions will be offered, one adding 1300 beads, the other 882 beads (or add all
2182 for the die hards!) Less will also be possible.
Construction: The shawl is worked from the neck down and bound off using either
a knitted picot bind off or a crochet picot bind off, according to taste. Picots can be
Size: Approximately 23 inches (58 cm) deep and 52 inches (132 cm) wing span. As
written, the pattern can be ended between row 132 and 142, so final size will
depend on where you decide to end, your yarn weight and needle size.
Needles and hooks: Size US 4 (3.5 mm) circular needle or the size you need to get
a fabric you like. Cable needle. Spare needle for the cast on and I-cord tab may be
useful but is not strictly necessary. Crochet hook a size larger than your needle for
the bind off (or use a knitted bind off if you don’t like crochet).
Other notions: Stitch markers are useful when marking the center, removable ones
are needed too, unless you’re good at reading your knitting. Darning needle.
● Swatching is always recommended, especially if substituting yarn. Go up or
down in needle size until you are satisfied with the result.
● Print in colour! Or mark the repeat boxes and other coloured stitches using a
marker pen or the like. Compare the printed version to the on screen version to
make sure stitches show up the same, to avoid difficulties reading the charts.
● The extra special MKAL files with enlarged charts D and E, stitch counts row
by row and percentage done per row are available as separate downloads.
Key to Symbols and Abbreviations
Provisionally cast on 3 sts – use the crochet chain method, figure 8 or
the winding cast on. Then work an I-cord tab as follows:
2 – 6) Slide all sts to the other end of the needle (or slip them all
back onto left needle, whichever suits you best), tighten up
the yarn a bit to form a tube, k3.
7) Turn work, slip 2 purlwise wyif, slip 1 knitwise wyib, then
slide this last stitch back onto left needle (it will now be
facing the other way), k1.
After last row, do not turn work but with the purl side facing you,
work a yo, then pick up and knit 4 stitches down the side of the tube,
one in every first st of rows 2-5. Make sure you pick up both strands
of the stitch (effectively picking up sts behind the first st). Work one
Finally, place the 3 provisionally cast on sts on a spare needle and
work them slip 2 purlwise wyif, slip 1 knitwise wyib, then slide this
stitch back onto left needle (it will now be facing the other way), k1.
You now have 12 sts on your needle, which will be divided into 4
edge sts, 4 shawl body sts and 4 edge sts.
Turn work and begin working according to charts.
A note on beading:
There are lots of places you can place beads on the Wild
Swan. The pattern includes a charted suggestion, which
begins in chart E. It uses 882 beads if you place all of them,
but you can choose to only bead the last couple of beaded
rows (around 141-145 beads per row), or only some of the
The second suggestion is to bead the mesh that begins in
chart D, using 1300 beads in all.
Look for more inspiration in the pictures of finished
shawls on the pattern page.
Edge sts (I-cord edge, take care to not work too tightly!):
In the following, the 4 edge sts each side will not be shown in the charts, as they have
pattern on both RS and WS. They will be worked the same way all the way through:
RS: Beginning of row slip 1 purlwise wyif, k2, p1.
End of row p1, slip 1 purlwise wyif, k2.
WS: Beginning of row slip 2 purlwise wyif, k2.
End of row k1, slip 2 purlwise wyif, k1.
(Another way of thinking is to keep the purl column (4th st in from both ends) in
pattern, then slip the purl sts purlwise wyif and knit the knit sts of the 3 first and 3
last sts in the row.)
When working the charts:
Only RS rows are shown in the charts.
WS rows are purled across (but keep edge sts as described above). Work double
yo’ers p1, k1.
88 sts after last row not counting edge sts.
This is where our uncharted suggestion for beading begins. You will notice that we now introduce leaf-like shapes that we shall call small feathers.
Between these feathers, we have a larger mesh shape that will continue into chart E. The mesh (beginning in row 57) has a lot of kp increase sts, and if
you bead those (and if you wish, the kp increase sts of the small feathers beginning in row 53), you will use 1271 (+29) beads. You could also bead the
center mesh only, beginning in row 85, and use 117 beads. This might symbolise the Swan body, if you wish. Or only bead the kp increase sts inside the
repeat boxes and use 1008 beads.
Chart E – overview of full chart.
On the next page is the same chart divided into 3 parts to make the charts readable. There’s even an extra special enlargement of chart E available as a
separate download on the pattern page.
407 sts after last row (not counting edge sts).
One more word on beading
There are a number of alternative ways of beading the last charts.
It is possible to begin the beading of the last edge when there’s only a few beaded rows left, but once you do begin with the charted beads, it is better to keep
on beading. It looks odd if you take a break.
If beading as charted, you will use:
Chart G – overview of full chart. Below is the same chart divided into 4 parts to make the charts readable. 513 sts after last row (not counting edge sts).
You can end after any WS row after row 132 (including directly after row 132). Personal preference or the amount of yarn you have left may decide.
Picots are worked in groups of 3 on top of each feather. Place picot markers in the same column as the yellow arrows, regardless of which row you end on.
Bind off – choose between a crochet or a knitted bind off
Picot instructions begin in the stitch marked with the yellow arrow chart G, which is why the marker should be placed in that stitch.
The instructions will give you elongated picots centered around the tips of the large feathers.
You can of course change the size of the picots, work a more regular ”CO 2, BO 4” picot edge instead (begin and end by taking 3 together as in the written
decscription to bind off the I-cord edge), or leave the picots out completely.
If you should feel the need to add more beads, you could bead the tip of each picot (87 beads as written, more if you do the 2/4 picots).
Crochet bind off (US terms)
Small picot: sc in the marked shawl st, ch 3, sc in the second chain from hook, sc in the third chain from hook, sc in the same shawl st as before.
Large picot: sc in the marked shawl st, ch 5, sc in the second, third, fourth and fifth chain from hook, sc in the same shawl st as before.
sc 3 together: Insert crochet hook through the 3 edge stitches as if to k3tog, yarn around hook and pull through all 3 sts, yarn around hook and pull
Work like this:
Sc 3 together to gather and bind off the first 3 edge sts. *Work 1 sc into each live shawl st until you get to a picot marker. Work small picot in the marked
stitch, (sc in next shawl stitch) twice, large picot, (sc in next shawl stitch) twice, small picot. Repeat from * and end when you have 3 edge stitches left. Work
sc 3 together to gather these. You will have a small, a large and a small picot at the top of each feather.
Cut yarn, pull end through last stitch to secure it. Block shawl to your satisfaction and remember to wear with pride!
Knitted bind off (gives almost the same result as the crochet bind off):
Knitted cast on: k1 without letting the st fall from left needle, place the new st on left needle, repeat until needed number of sts have been cast on.
Small picot: cast on 2 sts using the knitted cast on, bind off 2 sts
Large picot: cast on 4 sts using the knitted cast on, bind off 4 sts
Work like this:
K3tog, *k1, move the two sts on right needle back to left needle and k2tog tbl (this binds off one st); repeat from * until you have worked the st marked by
the picot marker, **work small picot, bind off next 2 sts as above (that is, (k1, move sts back to left needle, k2tog tbl) x 2), work large picot, bind off next 2 sts
in the same way, work small picot.
Bind off sts as above until next marker and repeat from ** until you only have 3 edge sts left. End k3tog, move sts back to left needle and k2tog tbl.
Cut yarn, pull end through last stitch to secure it. Weave in all ends and block shawl to your satisfaction. Remember to wear with pride!