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Phenomenal Woman shawl pattern

Named for poet Maya Angelou, this uniquely shaped, asymmetrical wrap pays homage to five phenomenal women authors and thinkers. Each woman is from a different era, and yet each shaped the way I think about the world and how I see myself.

From my youth, Louisa May Alcott and Lucy Maud Montgomery, in Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, encourage me to think differently about what it means to be a woman and to embrace my love of books.

From my adult life, author and poet Maya Angelou encourages me to hold fast to my hope. Julia Alvarez shows me what a deeply connected family feels like. And lastly, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shows me how to stand quietly in my truth and to say, when it needs saying, “I dissent.”

The wrap brings to life these five phenomenal women.

Phenomenal Woman starts as an asymmetrical triangle and ends in a rectangle. I’ve fondly dubbed the shape a “sharpl,“ half shawl, half wrap. It’s a highly wearable wrap, created from the very best kind of knitting—soothing, easy to memorize stitches, quick progress, and a stunning result.

Skills needed

  • knit and purl
  • increase and decrease stitches
  • ability to follow a written pattern
  • sense of adventure

Skill level
Adventurous beginner

Perfect to learn brioche knitting
Although this wrap contains brioche, it was created as a beginner brioche project, with no shaping required. If you are new to brioche, this is a perfect first project.

This pattern has been tech-edited and test knit.