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Windswept Skies Shawl










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When I first moved out to Colorado, I was surprised by the lack of clouds most of the year. Nothing but blue skies is true the majority of the time, and when I do see clouds, they’re typically the white, fluffy, marshmallow-type being swept along swiftly by the wind. On the rare days where there are clouds with a sunrise or a sunset, the colors display a spectacular array of pinks, oranges, and golds. I’m often outside on those days trying to capture the clouds and the color before they shift and disappear. Sometimes though, while I want to hang on to the present display of the moment – the next shift makes the view even more magnificent.
Windswept Skies attempts to capture the light, playful elegance of the fluttering clouds across the plains of Colorado. With ribbed cable mountains punctuated by small mock cable foggy clouds, and streams of windblown clouds across the sky, this shawl is an encouragement to appreciate the present but not to be too sad when it passes, because the next changes might bring even more beauty and light.

Outdoor photos copyright Julieanna Donley. All other photos copyright Atlas Knits.


Light Fingering / 3-Ply
Per Skein:
440 yds / 402 m in each 3.53 oz / 100 g skein
Fiber Content:
100% Superwash Merino Wool
One Skein: Ochre; Two Skeins: Azules
Number of Skeins:
One Skein: 1; Two Skeins: 2
Length Required:
One Skein: 396 yds / 362 m; Two Skeins: 823 yds / 752 m


  • One 24 in / 60 cm circular needle in size needed to obtain listed gauge
    • Designer Used: US 5 / 3.75 mm
  • 2 stitch markers to keep track of row sections
  • Scale that measures 1 gram or fewer increments
  • 1 yarn needle for weaving in ends
  • Smooth waste yarn for provisional cast on

Gauge in 4" / 10 cm

  • 24-row repeat height, washed and stretched: 2.5" / 6 cm
  • Edging depth, washed and stretched: 6.5" / 17 cm
  • Stockinette, unwashed : 28 sts and 40 rows


One Skein
  • Wingspan: 40" / 102 cm
  • Center Back: 9" / 23 cm
Two Skeins
  • Wingspan: 60" / 152 cm
  • Center Back: 13.75" / 35 cm

Construction & Schematic


This shawl is cast on with an i-cord cast on and is worked side-to-side.

Increases are worked to create depth.

The shawl is then worked straight with no increases.

Decreases are worked to create symmetry.

The amount of yarn used is adjustable for the increase, center, and decrease sections to achieve a longer wingspan or a deeper shawl. Check photos to see possible shapes for your shawl depending on the number of increases worked.

Schematic for One- and Two-Skein Samples

Schematic for seeing how repeats change wingspan and depth

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