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Vintage Shawl

Vintage Shawl

Description: The Vintage Shawl features Buttonhole Scallops along the entire edge, which is rarely seen in modern handmade shawls. This vintage technique was popular in the early 1900's.

This Macrame Pattern is not complex, but is very time consuming.

The finished size is approximately 22 inches wide x 35 inches long.  

A formula is provided in case you want to change the size.

You have two finishing options for the lower edge of this Macrame shawl design. You can make it as described, or omit the scallops and create a fringe instead.


Supplies Needed:

  • 2mm Cotton Crochet Cord, or similar soft material (560 yards total)
  • 1 Button for clasp
  • Project board and pins or tape

Knots Used:



Cut the cords for the Vintage Shawl to the following lengths (24 x 35 inch size).  You'll also need 2 holding cords, each 3 yards long.

Be sure to prepare both ends of each cord with glue, wax, or tape. Tying an Overhand knot at the tips works well, too. 

Keep the groups separated, so they don't get mixed up.  Placing each set into a plastic bag really helps.
  • Cut 28 cords, each 2 yards long
  • Cut 28 cords, each 3 yards long
  • Cut 28 cords, each 4 yards long
  • Cut 28 cords, each 5 yards long
  • Cut 28 cords, each 6 yards long

To change the width, cut additional cords (32, 36, 40, etc.) 

Important:  Make sure the total number is a multiple of 4.

To change the length of the Vintage Shawl, multiply the length you need (top to bottom) by 6. 

That's the length of the cords in the center area, where the shawl is the longest. 

Reduce the size for the groups on either side, in 1-yard increments


Upper Scalloped Edge


Step 1:  Use 2 cords to create all the Buttonhole designs. 

Start with the 6-yard cords (longest), which will be at the center of the Vintage Shawl.

The cord on the left is the holding cord, and the working cord is on the right

Tie a Vertical Larks Head knot to make a Buttonhole Scallop in the center of the cords, as follows: 

First Half of Knot
<< Use the working cord to make a clockwise loop, over - under the holding cord and over the working cord, as you pull it right.

Make another loop with the working cord, under - over the holding cord and over the working cord, as you pull it right.   >>
Second Half

Step 1, continued: 
Tie 2 more Buttonhole knots with the same two cords, and then turn the design around

Go back to the center and tie 2 more knotsSince the cords have switched direction, you need to tie the knots counter-clockwise.

Important:  Fold the scallop in half to see if you like the size.  Tie additional knots on each half to make the design larger.

Step 2: Repeat step 1
with the remaining 6-yard cords.

You should end up with a total of 14 Buttonhole designs.

Step 3:
Secure one 3-yard holding cord to your board, horizontally.  In the image below that's the brown cord. 

Mark the center of the holding cord so you know where to start.


Step 4: Fold one Buttonhole design to form a scallop.  Place the ends under the center of the holding cord.  

Attach the four working cords to the holding cord with Double Half Hitches.  Make sure they are firmly tightened, so the scallop is against the holding cord.

Step 5:  Mount the other Buttonhole designs for the Vintage Shawl in the same manner.  Attach the next one to the right of the first, near the center. 

Divide the remaining 12 Buttonhole designs into 2 groups of 6, and attach those in each group to the right and left of the first two at the center.

In other words, work from the center outward, so the design is balanced.

Step 6. Repeat steps 1 - 2 to make the Buttonhole scallops with the 5-yard cords.

Repeat step 4, placing 7 sets to the right and left of those already present.

Step 7:  Repeat step 6 with the 4-yard cords.  

Do the same with the 3-yard cords, followed by the 2 yard cords

Step 8. Place the second 3-yard holding cord horizontally, resting on top of the working cords from the Buttonhole designs.

Moving left to right, attach each working cord to the holding cord with a DHH.  

Be sure to tighten the knots firmly so both bars are resting against each other.

Be careful not to forget any cords.

Important: DO NOT use the 3-yard holding cords for the body of the Vintage Shawl.  Bundle them and secure each one to the side for now.  They won't be needed again until step 10.


Body of Shawl


Step 9. The body of the Vintage Shawl is made with Alternating Square Knots, arranged in a decreasing V pattern.  That means it's wider at the top and comes to a point at the bottom.

Each of the Square knots is made with four (4) cords, with two working cords and two fillers.

Identify the cords in the center of the shawl (counting the scallops helps).

It is here that the direction of the knots will change from side to side.  

Make sure you know how to tie both right and left Square Knots (SK).

Tie left SK to the left of the center, and right SK on the other half of the Vintage Shawl.

Row 1: Arrange the knots so they rest against the DHH above them.

Row 2: Do not use the first and last 2 cords (total of 4).  This is called dropping, and you just push them to the sides. 

Rows 3 - 4:   Drop 2 more cords at each edge (total of 4 per row). 

Tighten the knots so there is approximately ½ inch of space between these rows (and row 2). 

Rows 5 - 35:  Drop 2 cords from both sides as you start each new row (total of 4 per row).

The knots should be tightened so there is approximately 1 inch between the rows.

Optional:  You can stop before you reach the last 4 cords, if you want the shawl to be rounded rather than V shaped.



Lower Edge


Step 10.  Unroll the two 3-yard holding cords.  Mentally label them 1 and 2.

The scallops were attached to holding cord 1.  The second holding cord was added in step 8.

Position holding cord 2 next to the Square knots along the left edge of the Shawl.  

It should rest on top of the working cords. Secure it so it has tension.  You can hold it if that's easier for you.

Beginning at the upper left, attach all the cords to the left of the center, with DHH (half the total number available). 

When you get to the point at the bottom of the V design, make sure you divide up the cords evenly, so both sides are balanced.

Position the right half of holding cord 2 against the right edge of the Shawl.  Attach the remaining cords to it with DHH.

Step 11:  You have two options for finishing the lower edge of the Vintage Shawl.  One is a fringe, and the other is a Scalloped edge, which matches the top.

For a Fringe: 

Repeat step 10, attaching the working cords to holding cord 1.

Important:  After all the cords are attached, move to the bottom point of the Shawl.  Locate the 4 ends of the holding cords

Use one from each side and tie 2 Overhand knots with glue added between them.  Repeat with the other two holding cords.

Trim the cords so they follow the same slant as the diagonal edges.  Other fringe designs can be used here if you have a favorite technique.

For a Scalloped Edge: 

Move holding cord 1 into position, resting close to the row of DHH along the edges.

Attach the first two cords with DHH, near the top left area of the Shawl.  

Use cord 1 to tie 5 Vertical Larks Head knots onto cord 2, rotating counter-clockwise.  (see step 1)

Fold the knots to form the scallop, and then attach both cords to holding cord 1 with DHH. 

When you are done, the ends will be heading towards the Square Knots. 

Create the remaining scallops on the left side of the Vintage Shawl, working with two cords at at a time.

Repeat the process again, on the right side of the Shawl.  The Larks Head knots are tied rotating clockwise.

Turn over the Vintage Shawl to make finishing knots.

Tie a tight Barrel knot in each cord.  Apply glue, then tighten it so it rests close to the bar and scallops.

Cut off the remaining material after the glue is dry.



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Have any comments about the Vintage Shawl? Contact Me.

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