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New Cathay Williams Shawl Pattern

In a time when U.S. Army regulations forbade the enlistment of women, Cathay Williams enlisted under the name William Cathay on November 15, 1866. She told the recruiting officer that she was a 22-year-old cook. An Army Surgeon examined her and determined she was fit for duty. Cathay Williams then became the first documented black woman to enlist in the Army. She was assigned to the 38th U.S. Infantry and traveled throughout the West with her unit. She was discharged in October 1868 when an Army surgeon found out she was a woman. She is the only known female Buffalo Solider.

The Cathay Williams shawl is a crescent shaped shawl knit flat with sections of mesh and textured slip stitches. It uses two skeins of sock yarn to create a cozy shaped shawl that is perfect for chilly nights. The slipped stitch texture shows off highly variegated yarns. The length of the shawl is adaptable if you would like to adjust the size of your shawl or the amount of yarn used.

Supplies: Approximately 825 yards of fingering weight yarn (sample uses Fresh From the Cauldron Schoodic Sock in the colorway Poe’s Absinthe Induced Dream), US 4 circular needle in a length of 32″ or 40″, 2 stitch markers, tapestry needle, blocking pins

Finished Measurements (After Blocking)
32″ wide
44″ height (or depth) including wings