Bands of lace radiate out from the center of our Concentric Circles Shawl like rings of water around a dropped pebble, exquisite in their measured, rhythmic simplicity.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

This shawl spirals out from the middle. Using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s classic Pi Shawl formula as a foundation for our design, we knit this shawl in the round, alternating rounds of increases with sections of knitting that grow exponentially as the circle expands.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

Yarn-over increases create lace circles that orbit the shawl’s centerpoint… So simple, it’s stunning.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

Speaking of stunning, the offhand elegance of our Cattail Silk lends depth and interest to this knit, its 100% mulberry silk alive with texture and beauty.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

We knit our versions in Moon White and Flower Field Charcoal, but there are twenty gorgeous colors for you to choose from.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

And at over 600 yards per skein, it only takes two skeins for the smaller size and seven for the wonderfully gigantic swimming-in-beauty size. So, pick your favorite color, and cast on for some easy-breezy elegance! 

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

Designed by Purl Soho designer, Gianna Mueller. Click here to see even more of Gianna’s designs!

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoConcentricCirclesShawl, and #PurlSohoCattailSilk. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho
  • 2 (7) skeins of Purl Soho’s Cattail Silk, 100% mulberry silk. Each skein is 618 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 1185 (4240) total yards required. We used the colors Moon White and Flower Field Charcoal.
  • US 2 (3 mm), 24- and 47- or 60-inch circular needles (NOTE: You can use just the 47- or 60-inch needles, but they may be a bit unruly at the beginning of the project when you’re working only a few stitches!)
  • A spare US 4 (3.5 mm) or larger needle, for binding off
  • A stitch marker

GAUGE

30 stitches and 38 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

SIZES

Kerchief (Shawl)

  • Finished Diameter: 41¼ (75) inches in diameter
  • Finished Circumference: Approximately 77 (154) inches circumference unblocked, stretching to 130 (236) inches circumference blocked

SAMPLES: The Moon White sample is the Kerchief size, and the Flower Field Charcoal is the Shawl size.

Notes

Magic Loop

Because this shawl starts with a very small circumference and doubles in size every time you work an Increase Round, we found it easiest to use the Magic Loop technique to avoid changing needles more than once. As the pattern progresses, there will be enough stitches to easily fill up your needles so you’ll no longer need to use Magic Loop and can just work in the round.

For more help with Magic Loop, visit our tutorial here!

PATTERN

Cast 9 stitches onto shorter US 2 needles, dividing the stitches between needles for Magic Loop (see Notes). We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.

Place marker for end of round and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Knit to end of round.

Increase Round 1: Knit front and back (kfb) into every stitch to end of round. [18 stitches]

Knit 3 rounds.

Repeat Increase Round 1. [36 stitches]

Knit 6 rounds or until piece measures 1¼ inches from cast-on edge.

Increase Round 2: *Yarn over (yo), k1, repeat from * to end of round. [Stitch count doubles]

Knit 12 rounds or until piece measures 2⅔ inches from cast-on edge.

Repeat Increase Round 2. [144 stitches]

Knit 24 rounds or until piece measures 5¼ inches from cast-on edge.

NOTE: Change to longer needles when necessary.

Repeat Increase Round 2. [288 stitches]

Knit 48 rounds or until piece measures 10½ inches from cast-on edge.

Repeat Increase Round 2. [576 stitches]

Knit 96 rounds or until piece measures 20⅔ inches from cast-on edge.

For Kerchief size, go on to Finishing section below.

SHAWL SIZE ONLY

Repeat Increase Round 2. [1152 stitches]

Knit 159 rounds or until piece measures 37½ inches from cast-on edge.

FINISHING

With larger needles, bind off loosely knitwise.

Weave in ends and gently wet block, if desired.

Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho
Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho
Concentric Circles Shawl | Purl Soho

Looking for more inspiration? Explore all of our free knitting patterns and knitting tutorials, buy one of our many knitting kits and yarn bundles, and shop for beautiful yarn. We have over 35 gorgeous natural fiber yarns in 100’s of magnificent colors, designed to bring integrity, beauty, and joy to your next knitting project and only available at Purl Soho!