Milky Way

On summer nights on our old farm, we would lay out in the field on a frayed quilt while constellations bent over us—some bright, others dim, and all seeming both light-years away and in the palms of our hands. Milky Way evokes the comfort and warmth of those nights under the dark sky. A sideways-knit, garter stitch triangle featuring slip-stitch stars, Milky Way uses three shades of yarn and a shifting interplay of color. Requiring just simple increases, decreases, and slipped stitches, it’s an easy knit that will let you focus on your own stargazing.

Skills required: increasing, slipping stitches, decreasing

Finished measurements: approximately 162.5 cm wide and 56 cm deep

Gauge: 24 stitches to 10 cm of blocked pattern stitch (see swatching instructions). Gauge is not critical but will affect the finished size and meterage required

Note: Though conversions to the metric system have been made on this page for your convenience, the pattern itself uses American measurements.


  • Knitting pattern for simple starry shawl
  • Swatching instructions and color options worksheet included
  • Suitable for advanced beginners

Materials you need at home:

  • Approximately 740 m of fingering-weight yarn in three colors (C1/C2/C3): 245/175/320 m. Sample was knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% superwash single-ply wool). In the sample shown, C1 is light, C2 is dark, and C3 is medium
  • 3.75 mm/US 5 needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
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Laura Aylor

If ‘knitting designer’ had been one of the job choices for those aptitude tests they give you in high school, I wouldn’t have spent so many years trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. My best subject in high school was math; my best classes in college were logic, drawing, and a commercial art class. After careers in computer programming/analysis and child-rearing, knit design snuck up on me, but I think it’s the perfect use of my odd skill set! I love every step of the process, from figuring out how to actually make what I’ve envisioned to putting the finishing touches on a pattern, not to mention all the knitting that comes in between!

I also love reading and hiking and spending time on Brier Island in Nova Scotia every summer.

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