There are various ways to shape a shawl and I’ve been having fun experimenting with different styles of shaping. I currently have a design that I’ve sent to a publisher for a crescent shaped shawl. Crescents are interesting because there are so many ways that they can be shaped.
A triangular shawl with a fast rate of increase on the outside edges can be crescent shaped with a bit of a point. A crescent can also be made with short rows running side to side, like my Tierra Shawl, or with short rows running up and down the shawl. You can also increase and decrease knitting from one end to the other. Or you can make a part of a circular shawl. You can also space out the increases in a top down shawl to make a more crescent shape. I’m sure there are more. I chose to move from a initial set of short rows to form an initial crescent shape to spaced out increases to create lines of lace curving across the shawl.
Here are some of the better websites I’ve found that detail the basics of creating different shawl shapes:
This Tricksy Knitter post on shawl anatomy doesn’t give specific directions but it does give you an overview of how some basic shapes work. http://www.tricksyknitter.com/shawl-anatomy/
Likewise, you will get an overview of some additional shapes without any specifics at Tin Can Knits. https://blog.tincanknits.com/2012/06/12/shape-of-lace-part-one/
The Shawl Knitting Cheat Sheet gives you some basic information for five different shawl shapes. http://www.laylock.org/blog/2011/05/free-shawl-knitting-cheat-sheet/
Holly Chayes shares detailed directions for 15 different shawl shapes, often with directions for starting top down and bottom up. http://www.hollychayes.com/2013/04/15/shawl-geometry/
Julia Riede has basic directions for 23 different shawl shapes on her web page with a lovely visual guide to go along with them. http://www.jriede.com/shawl-shapes-overview/
I’ve been working on a hat for the #25000tuques project. I learned about the project from the Knitmore Girls Podcast (http://www.knitmoregirlspodcast.com/) and needed a new project for my purse.
My hat is just a simple K2, P2 rib in a washable wool. I found this great web page from Earth Guild (http://www.earthguild.com/products/knitcroc/marypat/hatcalc.htm) that gives the directions for basic hat. All you need to do is knit a swatch to find out your gauge and follow their directions. http://ow.ly/i/gvobe
I’m happy to announce that three of my patterns are now available on the Independent Creative Group so that shop owners can purchase printed patterns for their shops. If you know of any local shop owners who wish to carry my patterns, please direct them to this site.
Today I released my newest pattern, the Lumi Capelet.
Lumi is a quick to knit design that is perfect to wear when you need something around your shoulders to keep you a bit warmer in the fall weather. You can purchase the pattern
and see more information about it on Ravelry
Lumi is a greatly revised version of the curly cowl I wrote about last year
. Although the texture of the fabric never worked out as a cowl, a wide garter border and capelet construction makes a beautiful around the shoulders wrap.
This weekend at the Knit and Crochet Show, I got to meet Marly Bird from The Yarn Thing podcast. She is one of my favorite podcasters because of her positive and curious nature with her guests. It turns out she’s just as wonderful in person!
I’ve been listening to podcasts to learn more about being a designer and here are a few of my favorite:
The Yarn Thing Podcast by Marly Bird— Marly interviews a different designer or other players in the yarn industry every Tuesday and Thursday. The conversation often drifts to professional aspects of the work, not just the things a consumer would want to know. I really appreciate Marly for “keeping it real” and showing what hard work the designer business can be and what problems can occur.
The Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show by Marie Segares— Marie’s show is for all people trying to get started in the yarn industry. Each episode is packed with great ideas and information about a different aspect of the business. She recently completed a series just for self published designers.
Explore Your Enthusiasm by Tara Swiger— Tara also sells classes and other kinds of support to creatives of all types who want to make money from their passions. Her shows are short but usually have some great advice tucked in. You’ll find that she always lets you know what classes or workshops she has coming up for a fee, but there’s plenty in her podcasts to get you thinking about your work as a business.
Knit.fm by Pam Allen and Hannah Fettig— This podcast is no longer going, but the back episodes are worth listening to because the two hosts often talk about working in the yarn industry in between really great information about gauge, yarn, etc.
I’m in San Diego this week at The Knit and Crochet show. I barely finished my latest shawl design in time to have it be part of the informal fashion show at last night’s Yarn Tasting event. Here’s a sneak peek at the finished design.
My first few designs used the charting style I learned from Mirriam Felton in her Craftsy class for lace shawl design. For a triangular shawl, it incorporates the center and edge stitches into the chart and indicates a repeat for the two sides of the shawl. I’ve found it’s confusing for many people so more recently I’ve been using a format for triangular shawls in which the center and side stitches are only in the written directions and the chart is only the side panel.
Recently, I had an email conversation with someone who was having trouble with the Vefr charts. I made this video to help the knitter to read the existing charts. Here it is for others who might find it useful as well.
I talked about the interesting construction technique that I am trying to incorporate into a shawl in another post. I’ve had a slow month knitting because of many trips and other obligations, but I’m hoping to get more knitting time soon. However, I’ve had two setbacks recently. One is when I started to knit the body of the shawl and found I had miscalculated the number of stitches that I needed. I spent about an hour working out where exactly the missing stitches should go and revising the first set of charts.
But now that I am into those charts by several rows, I’m finding a part of the design that really bugs me.
Two yarnovers that I put between each of the point in the border don’t really blend properly with the rest of the yarnovers that outline the points. (Interestingly, they are also the cause of my miscount in stitches from the border to the body of the shawl.) If they were gone, then the outline would blend almost seamlessly from one point to the next. I didn’t notice this on my swatch, possibly because the yarn was lighter and possibly because I didn’t work up the body of the shawl in the swatch other than a row or two to cast off. It is one of those examples of something that looks right on the charts, however, because of the way the yarnovers interact with other knit stitches and the decreases, it looks wrong in real yarn.
My best choice for making a sample that looks right is to frog the whole thing and start over. The change affects even the amount of stitches in the cast on, so I really would have to start from scratch. I could keep going and revise the final pattern for the test knitters only, but then I wouldn’t have a good sample to photograph.
It’s a painful thought, but I have worked with the philosophy with my handwork lately that it’s better to stop and fix things when they are wrong rather than assume they will work out later. The latter seems to leave me with projects that I don’t enjoy and won’t use. This shawl has been in process since September
when I first tried to use part of the design and found it didn’t work out as I expected.
While I’m at it, I may even change yarns. The color of this one hasn’t thrilled me as much as I hoped. Of course, that would mean more swatching….
I released my newest pattern today called Mayil, which is a Indian name meaning full of grace like a peacock. I use a Prism yarn that has subtle shading that reminded me of the iridescence of a peacock’s feathers. You can find the pattern for sale on Ravelry and on Craftsy.
Mayil is worked as a series of flowing lace patterns with a gently scalloped edging. This top-down shawl starts with a few stitches and is shaped by columns of yarnovers along the center spine and edges. Worked in a lightly variegated yarn that adds depth to the pattern, Mayil can be worn wrapped around the neck or draped over the shoulders.
This pattern consists primarily of charts with detailed written instructions to assist the knitter in using the charts. It does not include
line by line written instructions. Mayil a triangular shawl that is worked from the top down with two symmetrical sides separated by a center spine. It consists of charts in which each chart row is worked twice, once for each side of the center spine.
Skills needed to complete this pattern include reading charts, forming left and right leaning decreases, forming double decreases, and making yarnovers. Test knitters report that it is an easy, fun, and quick to knit pattern.
This shawl is easy to modify by increasing or decreasing the number of times Charts B, C, and/or D are worked. If you wish to increase the overall size of the shawl and make one or more of the three main lace pattern areas larger, you can repeat all rows of Chart B, C, and/or D additional times. You can decrease the size of the shawl by reducing the number of times Charts B and/or C are worked or by omitting Chart D. Remember that changes in the number of times the charts are worked will change the amount of yarn used and the overall stitch count.
My newest shawl has a border inspired by a construction technique I found in Wrapped in Lace by Margaret Stove. In her Rosebud and Filmy Fern shawls, she starts from the bottom of the shawl and creates points using short rows before continuing the body of the shawl.
I had to swatch a bit of her pattern to understand how it was constructed.
There are two techniques. In one, you make a long strip of garter stitch and then knit down so many stitches and start completing short rows in a lace pattern to fill the triangle. In the other, you knit a bit of garter, fill it with short rows, then cast on additional stitches and fill it with short rows, until you have a long string of points.
I decided the first would be the best for my pattern, but I wanted smaller “wing” points and a larger center point that would work up into a back panel. So I charted out what I wanted and made a rather large swatch.
I’m pleased with the results. It’s such a fun technique and not really that difficult once you get the hang of it, though it is rather nerve wracking turning a laceweight yarn project back and forth for the short rows. Someday I will have to learn to knit backwards.