The Horn of Plenty: Cornucopia Shawls

The name “vortex shawl” never really hit the nail, did it? It was just the only name I could think of and it’s the one mostly used by fellow knitters. Steve coined a new name for them: Cornucopia shawls, also known as the Horn of Plenty shawls.

Do you think “Vortex” is a suitable description for this shape shown below? Or how would you call this shape?

How would you call this shape?
How would you call this shape?

So far I called them vortex shawls, and I didn’t think much about alternatives. As you might already know English is not my native language (I’m a German native speaker). Yesterday, after a glass of wine, I asked my husband though – he’s English so he must know, right?

That’s a Horn of Plenty – a Cornucopia!

To be honest I had to look this term up in a dictionary first. But as soon as I found out what it meant it was oh so very clear: Yes! It exactly looks like a Horn of Plenty, also called a Cornucopia. In German, we call it Füllhorn (“filled horn” – German’s easy, isn’t it?).

What Is A Cornucopia?

The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts. If you’re American chances are high you know this as a symbol related to Thanksgiving.

Peter Paul Rubens - Abundance (Google Art Project)
A cornucopia or horn of plenty in arts:  An allegorical depiction of the Roman goddess Abundantia with a cornucopia, by Rubens (ca. 1630) []

What Are Cornucopia Shawls?

Cornucopia shawls are shawls shaped like cornucopias or horns pf plenty, formerly known as vortex shawls. For future reference: I will not use the term vortex shawl again. Vortex shawls and cornucopia shawls are a synonym for me from now on and will be used as such here on, as well as in my patterns.

An example for a cornucopia shawl is Gradient Vortex.

Gradient Vortex Shawl

Another examples are my patterns Basic Cornucopia and Nea Kavala (both are being published as part of the Horn of Plenty shawl knitting book and will be available as single patterns within the next days – links will be updated then).

Basic Cornucopia Shawl Pattern

Nea Kavala Shawl Pattern

You can read more about the construction of Cornucopia shawls in my next article being published tomorrow (the link will be updated then!). See you there!

11 thoughts on “The Horn of Plenty: Cornucopia Shawls

  • Pingback: Shawl Design & Cornucopia Shawl Stitch Patterns -

  • Terry

    I also prefer the new name. Math is not my thing, but I understood the concept you explained, and much more importantly, I know I can knit it! Your explanations are logical and clear. Thank you so much for your generosity of techniques and designs.

  • Pingback: Cornucopia Shawl Design -

  • Kathi

    LOVE the new name-it’s perfect! (I have to finish some stuff before I can start mine..finally..)

    • Julia

      Make sure to share yours with us 🙂

  • DeniseCT

    I agree with hubby! Cornucopia is what I thought too. I look forward to tomorrow’s post.

  • Ellisen

    I think of that shape as a spiral! Traditional since the beginning of time. Love it.

  • Henrietta Kretzler

    I really like the Cornucopia name for the shawl. You do such beautiful work. Keep it up! Henrietta, USA

  • Cynthia Christian

    I want to learn how to do this type of shawl. I like the directions they seem to take, and the movement in the shawl.

  • Whimsy

    I love that you have collaboratively renamed this shawl shape a cornucopia shape. Thank you for continuing to share of your brilliance and genius with us!

  • Jackie Wilson

    Your husband did a great job naming this shawl shape. It’s perfect.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.