Portuguese Fisherwoman’s Shawl

pfs copy

I am drawn to shawls that stay put. Apparently I don’t have whatever it takes to keep a shawl in place. And I don’t like to deal with shawl pins. This is Vermont Designs by Shelagh’s re-creation of a traditional Portuguese Fisherwoman’s Shawl from Nazare, Portugal. The pattern is available on Ravelry or direct from Vermont Yarn Company‘s shop. I knit mine to include the garter stitch tie band. The band crosses in the front and ties in the back. It also stabilizes the construction.

It’s cool from the front and from the back:

pfs2 copy

You can knit it without the band and it will make an excellent shawl that stays on the shoulders without shawl pin help. You’d lose it out in a boat fishing, though.


Mine is knit in worsted weight Kaloula Yarn “Grande Merino.” It’s a wonderful hand painted “100% organic merino wool,” dyed by Karen Bradley of Harbor Springs, Michigan. Cynthia’s Too, in Petoskey, sells the yarn, along with others from Bradley. Here’s Grand Merino all caked up and ready to go.


I haven’t done any fishing in my shawl yet, and don’t expect to, but it’s already kept me warm and cozy in the last few weeks since I finished it.


On me, it doesn’t make much of a style statement. But that’s one of the things I like about it.

14 thoughts on “Portuguese Fisherwoman’s Shawl

  1. I’ve been thinking about & am looking at shawl patterns with this exact criteria of sitting neatly on the shoulders without the need for shawl pins. Your version is lovely!

  2. @Evelyn…I think this one’s a winner! It’s also easy and the short rows keep it interesting.

  3. Wonderful! Well done, so fun to see yet another Fisherwoman’s shawl completed. All the best from VT, Caroline

  4. @Harriet…stylish??? Me??? Thanks Harriet. (But some day I want to be a grown up knitter and be able to knit shawls like Harriet can!)

  5. this is fascinating. I love regional shawl patterns. One question I had is about the long color repeat. did you do some fudging to make the colors come out where they did or was that just divine providence? I’ve done a search but cannot find this yarn. I suppose I’ll have to substitute something.

  6. @Sean…Thanks for visiting my blog. The yarn is dyed as a gradient and I just knit and let the colors fall where they may. Kaloula Yarn is available, exclusively I think, from Cynthia’s Too yarn shop in Petoskey Michigan. They have a website, but it’s not an ecommerce site. She’d probably ship the yarn. But I think any worsted weight gradient-dyed yarn would work well. http://www.cynthiastoo.com/homepage.html

  7. I’m trying to find the Portuguese shawl pattern
    But the site doesn’t let me
    I’m Portuguese from the town that the shawl is original and love to be able to make it
    Can u please help me to get the pattern

  8. @Nelia…I checked out the site through the Ravelry link. It looks like the site has been down for several months. I am so sorry, but I don’t know of a way to get the pattern except through their website, which is how I purchased it. This might be their new site: http://vermontyarnco.com/ but the only patterns showing up are some hat patterns.

  9. I love this. Trying to find a place to purchase the pattern. Do you know where i could buy the pattern?

  10. @Meri…It’s an interesting construction, for sure. From what I hear the pattern, unfortunately, isn’t available anymore.

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