According to Merriam-Webster, “shoaling” is a transitive verb that means “to become shallow.” The romantic side of me sees much more. I see a tall ship, her sails hanging limp in the calm, fog so thick you can almost cut it with a knife, and a sun-worn sailor hanging over the bow holding a heavy line that he dropped into the water to check the depth; the sailor calls out, “It’s shoaling, Cap’n!” to indicate that the ship is reaching shallow waters. From the first time I saw these fabulous colors together I thought of the sea, and how her colors change from dark to light as we move from deep water to shallow, and how the sun plays on her surface.

Shoaling is a rectangular shawl that is worked in one piece, and knit from one end straight through to the other. The bands are all garter stitch, while the gradient moves slowly from the shallows to deep water with a simple lace stitch.

Pattern details

  • Yarn: DK weight; 260 yards MC, and 130 yards each of five graduated colors; 910 yards total.
  • Model: Black Trillium Fibre Studio Sublime DK; 100% merino wool. MC: Ultramarine; 260 yards in 100 grams. CC1 – 5: Gradient set in Undine; 5 hanks of 130 yards in 50 grams each, totalling 650 yards in 250 grams for gradient.
  • Gauge: 15 sts and 20 rows to 4 inches.
  • Needles: US 8 (5 mm) for gauge.
  • Finished size: 20 x 84 inches.
  • Stitch instructions: Charted and written.

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