Pattern - Pteridomania



About Pteridomania:

This luxurious shawl was originally designed for the 2019 Blooming Lovely Club with an original lace pattern created by Susan who inspired by the Victorian craze for ferns, known as Pteridomania. The shawl is knitted in a gloriously soft blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere, creating a fabric that drapes beautifully and is super-soft against the skin whilst still keeping you warm.

Construction commences with the central panel, featuring Susan's unique fern-inspired lace motif. The pattern is knitted flat in stocking stitch.  The panel commences with the Channel island cast-on to mimic the spores found on ferns. The side panels follow, picked up along the side edges of the centre piece, commencing with a section of Bird's Eye Lace and followed with a simple repeating lace pattern suggesting leaves, and finally a simple traditional shaped edging is worked to complete the shawl.

At this point the shawl can then be dip-dyed according to instructions included in the pattern or left its all-over shade of soft grey. A kit is available including a sachet of all-in-one dye making the dip-dyeing process extremely simple.

Both written and charted instructions are included in the pattern for each of the lace sections.




Techniques used:

  • Lace stitches - yarn overs, knitting stitches together, creating nupps
  • Picking up stitches
  • Channel Island cast-on and cast-off
  • Blocking to shape
  • Optional - working from a chart
  • Optional - dip-dyeing

Product Information:

PDF download pattern containing full written instructions as well as charted instructions and clear schematic diagrams.

Knitted in Lomaria 4 ply (fingering) weight yarn from Susan Crawford in shade Dealbata


192cm x 46cm (75.5-18in)


Lomaria from Susan Crawford, 70% alpaca, 20% silk, 10% cashmere, 400m/366yds per 100g

2 x 100g skeins shade Dealbata

Dye (optional):

1 x 5g sachet of 'all-in-one' dye, shade Kelp


19 sts and 35 rows = 10cm(4in) measured over Fern pattern knitted flat, after blocking. We obtained this gauge using 4mm needles.

24 sts and 24 rows = 10cm(4in) measured over Bird's Eye pattern knitted flat, after blocking. We obtained this gauge using 4mm needles.

19 sts and 30 rows = 10cm(4in) measured over Leaf pattern knitted flat, after blocking. We obtained this gauge using 4.5mm needles.

Suggested Needles:

Small needles:  4mm (US 6) straight or circular needle (80cm in length)

Large needles:  4.5mm (US 7) straight or circular needle (minimum 40cm long)


Waste yarn for lifelines (recommended)

8 Stitch markers for separating pattern repeats (recommended)

Removable stitch markers for marking RS/WS of work for Fern Panel and Bird's Eye Lace (optional)

Optional Materials for Dyeing:

1 dyepot (large, deep pan); 1 small container; 1 stirrer - aluminium, stainless steel or wood; rubber gloves; cardboard tube (eg: from aluminium kitchen foil; cable ties