Feather & Fan Stitch

Feather & Fan stitch example & Title Slide for

The Feather & Fan Stitch


The Fan & Feather stitch is a classic member of the Eyelet & Lace Stitch family. So named due to the resemblance of the stitch to the fanned feathers of a peacock.

The stitch is another one given to the world by the hardy Shetlanders (people from the Shetland Islands in Scotland). It should be noted that this stitch is often erroneously given or interchanged with the Old Shale stitch which seems to have come about in the early part of the last century when the stitch arrived on American shores.

So, what is the Feather & Fan Stitch? The stitch is distinct for its series of holes running alongside a spine that resembles the shaft of a feather. The design is created by a series of yarnovers and knits, bordered by knitting four together on either side (one normally and one through the back loop); which is alternated every other row with a full row of knit stitches.

The stitch is commonly found in cardigan and afghan designs and works well with both fine and chunkier yarns. Although, we recommend to use garter stitch as the background stitch (as in the instructions below) when user thinner yarns and stockinette stitch when using chunkier yarns.

Feather & Fan Stitch Banner


Cast on multiples of 14 stitches for your project.

Begin the first row by knitting four together, then continue with a yarnover and follow with five repetitions of knitting one and then yarn over before knitting four together (through the back loop) and finish on a purl. The second row is entirely knitted with knit stitches. The pattern is created by simply repeating these two rows.

Further finishing touches can be added like adding a further border as we have done in the example swatch.

NOTE: the example swatch in the photos is a double repeat (28 stitches across) of the stitch and is cast on and cast on with multiple rows of the garter stitch before the Feather & Fan Stitch begins proper.

Difficulty Level:

Intermediate Knitting Stitch

Cast on:

Cast on in multiples of 14 stitches.

Techniques Used in this Stitch:


Knit four together
Knit four together through the back loop


Traditional Instructions

Row 1: *k4tog, yo, [k1, yo] five times, k4togtbl, p1; repeat from * to the end of the row.
Row 2: k all stitches.

Repeat rows 1-2 to desired length.

Feather & Fan Stitch Chart

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Feather & Fan Stitch Swatch Examples

Feather & Fan Example - Right Side

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Feather & Fan Example - Wrong Side

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Knitting projects using the Feather & Fan Stitch

We currently don't have any projects to show. If you would like to share your project using the Feather & Fan Stitch, then get in touch using the comments box at the bottom of the page or through our contact page.


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Stitches & Instruction by Alison; Article by Brian

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