Comfort Shawl by Sandi Wiseheart

Comfort Shawl

June 2006
Sport (12 wpi) ?
18 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches
in St st
US 10 - 6.0 mm
543 yards (497 m)
60" around lower edge and 15.5" long from back of neck to lower edge, after blocking
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for free.

Hurrah and Huzzah! There is a NEW VERSION of this pattern available, completely updated! And of course, the original is still available as noted below in case you are a traditionalist :)

About the Original version (June 2008)
The Comfort Shawl, originally published on in two free e-books (links below), has remained a popular knit for charity and for loved ones ever since it was first released in June 2008. You can still find the original version in the two FREE e-books, Knitting for Charity: 5 Patterns, as well as 3 Free Prayer Shawl Patterns.

Errors and Mishaps
Over the years, I have gotten many emails from knitters who thought they had discovered errors in the pattern; who were frustrated with the shoulder shaping instructions; and who wrote me endless messages telling me that Row 35 was wrong. (It isn’t, I promise; it is just very unclear in the original, mea culpa.) In addition, the instructions for its sister shawl, the Summer Shawlette, had a section meant for the Comfort Shawl inserted somewhere near the end.

Perhaps attempting to write out full instructions for a Faroese-type shawl in 3 pages with photos wasn’t such a great idea after all. :)

About the NEW Updated Version (June 2016)
I have now extensively re-worked and re-edited both patterns, the Comfort Shawl and the Summer Shawlette, and put them together in a single FREE e-book: Summer Comfort Shawls e-book.

New/Improved Stuff in the Summer Comfort Shawls e-book version:

  • All known errata to date are included;
  • There is a step-by-step, easier-to-follow, photo tutorial for the garter tab start;
  • The instructions for managing stitch markers are clearer, and there are fewer of them (the markers, I mean);
  • The instructions for the shoulder shaping have been vastly simplified thanks to an easier way to mark each shoulder stitch;
  • Stitch counts have been charted out for all rows of each of the main panels, to make spotting mistakes a bit more easy;
  • The infamous “Row 35” has been thoroughly re-written; - I added stitch counts for a sock yarn version for both shawls, in addition to the original DK versions.
  • I took new photos (some of which are not available yet, naturally); and, as long as I was at it,
  • I included a completely re-edited, re-written, re-charted version of the Comfort Shawl’s sister shawl, the Summer Shawlette.

About the Summer Comfort Shawl e-book
The instructions for both shawls are written out in full; there is an additional (new) chart for the lace panel on the back of the Summer Shawlette. Also, I promise that better/clearer photos are on the way.

The Summer Comfort e-book will be free until midnight on December 31, 2016.
(After that, I will probably ask you in a blog post what you think folks could pay for it, given that these shawls are frequently used as prayer shawls. I am trying to balance the immense amount of work I put into these patterns against the fact that life is spendy these days.)


NOTE: The beige shawl knitted by oxfordkitchen is not the original design, but is a lovely variation on Sandi’s shawl pattern. The blue shawl shown is what you get when you knit the pattern as written. To see oxfordkitchen’s mods, check out her project page.

Sandi Wiseheart needed to knit a shawl, but it couldn’t be a fancy shawl, it had to be a practical, working woman’s shawl for a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sandi decided to start with a good thing and make it even better: she took the basic design of the popular Summer Lace Shawlette (Interweave Knits, Summer 2006), and then made it longer and wider. She also eliminated the back lace panels to make the shawl faster and easier to knit. The result: a beautiful shawl that stays put on your shoulders and can be worn comfortably from doctor’s office to treatment room, and then even out to tea afterwards with a friend to celebrate life and strength. The shoulder shaping, based on the clever shawls from the women of the Faroese Isles, is easy and adds graceful vertical lines; the single row of lace blossoms at the bottom of the shawl symbolizes healing and hope (and can be omitted for an even simpler shawl). This shawl is for Kathryn, and for Shawneen, and for all breast cancer warriors everywhere.