Godey’s-Inspired Sontag Knitting Pattern

Topic Handspun Projects
Fiber Wool
Project Category Knitting
Project Type Scarves/Shawls
Author Denise Williams
Format Project/Pattern

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A sontag, also known as a bosom buddy, habit shirt, or heart hugger, is a triangular shawl that comes over the shoulders, across the body, and then ties in the back and front. The term sontag is reported to come from the German opera singer Henriette Sontag, most popular slightly before and during the Civil War era.

The pattern that inspired me was originally published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in January 1860. Godey’s was a popular magazine for women published in Philadelphia from 1830 to 1898. Many issues of this long-out-of-print periodical have been digitized and are available online (see Resources).

This PDF includes spinning notes, as well as the instructions and charts for this knitting pattern.


  • Fiber 91/2 oz Merino wool.
  • Yarn 2-ply; 580 yd MC, 25 yd CC; 1,230 ypp; 18 wpi; sportweight.
  • Needles Size 8 (5 mm): 24" circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
  • Hook H/8 (5 mm). Adjust hook size if necessary.
  • Notions Stitch holder; tapestry needle.
  • Gauge 22 sts and 26 rows = 4" in Blocks patt.
  • Finished Size 28¼" shoulder width, 17½" back length, 17½" front length, excluding ties.

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Author/Designer: Denise Williams

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