The Doubloon

Worked from the center outward, this circular shawl is my homage to the doubloon, a large gold coin, which Ahab nails to the mast of the Pequod as a reward for the man who kills Moby–Dick. The plain center of the pattern progresses to stylized waves, arrows, harpoons, and whale tails, capturing the doubloon’s symbolism and growing importance in the novel.


2000 yds lace weight yarn.

Sample shown in Dragonfly Fibers Squishy Lace (lace weight; 100% M erino wool; 870 yds/4 oz per skein) in Weaverknits Grellow.

Size 7 (4.5mm) 16-inch, 24-inch, and at least 32-inch circular needles, and set of dpns, or size needed to obtain gauge

Medium-sized crochet hook (size 5, 6, or 7) for cast on 16 stitch markers, one in a second color to mark beg of rnd

Cable needle

Yarn needle

Skills Used

Working in the round; reading charts including various increases, decreases, slipped stitches, and twisted stitches

Finished Measurements

Diameter: 65 inches


20 sts and 24 rnds=4 inches in St st. To save time, take time to check gauge. Wet block gauge swatch before measuring.

Pattern Notes

This shawl is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s recipe for creating a circular shawl by using pi. Rounds that rapidly increase the number of stitches are separated by a growing number of rounds worked with no increases, into which motifs based on coin ridges, waves, harpoons, and whale tails are incorporated. As the shawl grows, change from dpns to 16-inch circular needle, then to 24-inch circular needle, then to a longer circular needle if necessary.