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Monday, November 07, 2016

Monday Mini Tip Tutorial - Three shawl shapes

When I started designing nearly 10 years ago, I knew very little about shawl shapes and shawl construction. One of the most interesting and fascinating things I've learnt during my design journey is the never-ending options for shawl shapes and shawl construction. I feel that the sky's the limit. So today, I thought I'd share three common shawl shapes that all have something in common.

These three shawl shapes all start at the top with 9 stitches (you can start with different numbers but my standard is 9 stitches) and increase 6 stitches every other row but the resulting shapes are completely different and that's because of where the increases are placed on the row.

First, let's look at the 'tear drop' or 'heart' shape. This shawl is similar to a top down triangle shawl with a centre spine but the top edge curves around in a deep crescent. On this shawl, you start with 9 stitches then increase two stitches at the beinning, two stitches in the middle and two stitches at the end of every other row.


Increasing two stitches at the beginning and end of every other row, creates the curved shape at the top of the shawl and the two increases in the centre are placed either side of a centre spine. It can also be placed either side of a panel of stitches but the resulting shape will be more of a crescent shape at the bottom instead of the point of a single stitch spine.



 
RS = right side
WS = wrong side
k = knit
p = purl
yo = yarn over/yarn forward
st(s) - stitch(es)
inc - increased

Below is the chart and written instructions for creating the beginning of a teardrop/heart shaped shawl.

Teardrop/heart shaped shawl chart:


Written Instructions:
Row 1 (RS): K2, (yo, k1) 5 times, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Row 2 and all WS rows: K2, p to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 3: K2, yo, k1, yo, k4, yo, k1 (place a marker on this stitch to mark the spine), yo, k4, yo, k1, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Row 5: K2, yo, k1, yo, k to the marked stitch, yo, k1, yo, k to last 3 sts, yo, k1, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Continue as established increasing as in row 5.

Calypso (below) is shaped this way.

You can also cast on 9 stitches and increase 6 stitches every other row to create a crescent shape. Here there are three increases at the beginning and three at the end of every other row. Below is my swatch to illustrate this shape.



Chart for a top down crescent shape:


Written Instructions:
Row 1 (RS): K2, (yo, k1) 5 times, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Row 2 and all WS rows: K2. p to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 3: K2, (yo, k1) twice, yo, k to last 4 sts, (yo, k1) twice, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Continue as established increasing as in row 3.

My Gondola shawl is a good example of this type of crescent shawl.



Finally, I want to look at a half hexagon shawl. After a top down triangular shawl, this was the first shawl shape I really explored. It's an easy shape to wear, especially if you want it to cover your shoulders. To make this shape, you're actually working three triangles separated by two spine stitches. You're increasing a stitch at the beginning and end as well as either side of two spine stitches on every other row 



 Chart for a half hexagon shape:

Written Instructions:
Row 1 (RS): K2, (yo, k1) 5 times, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Row 2 and all WS rows: K2, p to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 3: K2, (yo, k3, yo, k1 (place a marker on this stitch to mark the spine) twice, yo, k3, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Row 5: K2, (yo, k to marked st (spine), yo, k1) twice, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2. 6 sts inc.
Continue as established increasing as in row 5.

Caldera is a good example of a half hexagon shawl. By placing buttons at the bottom of the spine on the wrong side then folding the front edges over, this can be transformed into a shrug.


Hopefully you'll have a bit of an understanding of how these shawls are shaped. It's amazing that casting on the same number of stitches and increasing at the same rate can create such different shapes. Do let me know if you find it interesting to learn how different shawl shapes are created. I'm planning to do more of these sorts of tutorials.

Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page. 

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3 comments:

Diane Ugo said...

This is really helpful. I've always wondered about shawl shaping and this will be a great resource for when I design my own.

SquareBe said...

Although I shall probably never design a shawl myself it's really interesting to hear how you go about it.

Sylke Feldhusen said...

Tusen takk for dette innlegget! Det er alltid interessant å lese om forskjellige typer design, enten det er sjal eller andre ting.