Feather and fan knitting instructions for an afghan

Written by susan brockett
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Feather and fan knitting instructions for an afghan
Choose a variegated yarn for the feather and fan lace. (laine image by Claudio Calcagno from Fotolia.com)

The feather and fan stitch is a traditional Shetland lace pattern, also called old shale. It creates a gently scalloped border, which makes it a good pattern for an afghan. If you have never knitted lace before, this stitch is an easy one to start with. Don’t be afraid to choose a variegated yarn, because feather and fan complements it very well.

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Things you need

  • 950 to 1,000 m (950 to 1,000 yards) of bulky-weight yarn
  • 24-inch circular knitting needles, UK size 5
  • 8 ring markers
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle

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  1. 1

    Cast on 136 stitches onto the circular needle.

  2. 2

    Knit seven rows for a garter stitch border.

  3. 3

    Knit six stitches, slip marker. Begin the stitch pattern: knit two stitches together three times. Yarn over and knit one stitch six times. Knit two stitches together three times. Place marker. Repeat the pattern between the markers six more times, placing a marker between each pattern repeat. Knit the last six stitches.

  4. 4

    Knit two rows.

  5. 5

    Knit six stitches and purl across to the last six stitches. Knit the last six stitches.

  6. 6

    Repeat the stitch pattern, always knitting the first and last six stitches.

  7. 7

    Continue in this manner until the afghan is as long as you want. The pattern is four rows: two rows knit stitches, one row of purl stitches, then the pattern row.

  8. 8

    Knit six rows for a border. Cast off all the stitches. Use the tapestry needle to weave in the yarn ends.

Tips and warnings

  • Stitch gauge is not critical for this pattern, but should be about four stitches per 2.5 cm (1 inch) in pattern.
  • Finished size is approximately 95 cm by 1.2 m (38 by 48 inches).
  • Always knit the first and last six stitches.
  • There should be 18 stitches between the markers. If you get mixed up, counting the number of stitches between the markers will help you find the error.
  • To adjust the size, add or subtract stitches in multiples of 18.
  • If you want to use the pattern for a baby blanket, remember that feather and fan stitch is a lace stitch, so the fabric will have holes in it.

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