“Toothless” Sharktooth Shawl

Stephen West’s “Sharktooth” is a top-down shawl with garter stitch and twisted stitch motifs at the center and edge of the shawl. Extra shaping at the edges and a picot bind off create jagged borders – in the original version of the shawl. My version of “Sharktooth” though is “toothless”… ;)

I decided to omit those extra “teeth” because the shawl was difficult enough to knit for me anyway – and I wanted a smooth top. Knitting this pattern became not really easier though after this decision, as I had to change the pattern to get rid of the teeth (see also on Ravelry).

toothless sharktooth garter stephen west westknits rosehips

I started with this shawl in August 2014 by ordering the yarn Madelinetosh Merino Light in the original colorway “Stephen loves Tosh” from the US…. as a stubborn person, I wanted exactly the original shawl in exactly that yarn and color… just without the teeth! And I couldn’t get this colorway here in Germany, well… I ordered. But it was an experience in itself…

After waiting a few weeks for the delivery I had to fetch it from our local customs office, as these few skeins of wool were considered as dangerous items stemming from foreign US-sheep! Just the right yarn for a fierce shawl as Sharktooth, don’t you think?! ;) (and I also had to pay extra tax on the wool, “love” that…;))

But at least while waiting for the yarn I had enough time to figure out the pattern and which parts of it I had to omit to get rid of the shark’s teeth. I really missed a chart though – this pattern has just written instructions, and it’s really a challenge to knit from only those instructions when you are used to visualize things.


Modifications/pattern explanation for a “toothless” edging:

  • The “teeth” are knitted on from the start (if you decide to knit them), i.e. the top edging starts at the beginning of the shawl and is not added afterwards.
  • So if you don’t want to include the teeth for a smooth top you will need to cancel all the instructions before or after the markers that separate the shawl body from the edge. That means, you have to omit all instructions before the first “slm, yo” and after the last “yo, slm” – and cancel the “BO’s” too.
  • Replace all those instructions before and after the “slm,yo” (“yo,slm”) with:
    • For RS rows: k1, k1tbl, p1, k1tbl, p1 then YO and continue on with pattern to last YO, p1, k1tbl, p1, k1tbl, k1.
    • For WS rows: k1, p1tbl, k1, p1tbl, k1 then YO and continue on with pattern to last YO, k1, p1tbl, k1, p1tbl, k1.

This replacement creates a smooth top border without any teeth.

sharktooth garter stephenwest westknits full

Click for full size

I also used a lot of tutorials, as I neither knew how to do a “Garter-Tab Cast-on” or a “Cable-Cast-On” for the Picot Bindoff.


  • Tutorial for Garter-Tab-Cast-On sharktooth garter stephen west westknits detail front
  • Tutorial for Cable-Cast-On: “The basic instructions for this bind-off are as follows: Cast on two stitches, bind off (cast off) four stitches, place that last stitch back on the left needle. Repeat until you are out of stitches to bind off.
    To begin, cast on two stitches using the cable cast-on. The cable cast-on involves sticking your right needle between the first and second stitches on the left needle, without actually inserting the needle into a stitch. Wrap the yarn around the needle as if to knit, pull up the loop through the front, and throw it onto the left hand needle in front of the first stitch. Do this a second time, inserting the needle tip between the just-made stitch and the next stitch on the needle. Two stitches increased.”
  • Picot Bindoff instructions (according to pattern): CO 3sts with cable-cast-on (k2tog tbl 6 times) for one picot

sharktooth garter stephen west westknits blocking


So as a conclusion – and with many projects in-between – knitting this shawl took me over a year, but I really like the result, especially after wet blocking. I only knit the small version and blocked it really hard, so it became very light and airy.


Fun fact: I finished the shawl on December 31st, 2015 at 11:43pm… just before midnight. One should think there’s something else to do on a New Year’s Eve, right? But… I’m stubborn, told you. Wanted to finish in the “old” year…. ;)

sharktooth garter stephen west westknits rosehips



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