The only thing more mindless to knit than plain top-down shawls are plain centre-out shawls. Following on the popularity of my first Shawl Shaping Cheat Sheet (to date it’s been downloaded by over 12,000 knitters), here is a second cheat sheet, this time for medallion-style shawls knit in the round.
The hardest part of creating this cheat sheet was deciding which shapes to include. In the end I went for the swirl (or spiral) because it’s ever-popular, even though it stands out a bit from the others because it uses single increase units instead of double, and the hexagon because, although it might not be an obvious shape for a shawl, it has several advantages: 1) it tiles (tesselates) nicely, so it can be used in a modular fashion, 2) it can be blocked reasonably round, and 3) it can be folded in half for a very wearable shawl shape.
If you’re new to knitting in the round, you may want to read my page All About Circular Knitting. Barring the cast on, which can be a bit fiddly even for experienced knitters, these shawls make great beginner projects. As with the first cheat sheet, they can be knit in any weight yarn, and you just keep knitting until you:
- Get bored,
- Suspect you might be knitting a ranch house,
- Need the needles for another project,
- Realise it’s been a year since you started the round,
- Become convinced your stitch count has more figures than your income,
- or, you know, decide your shawl is large enough.
“I call this the Rosetta Stone of shawls.” – PurlOnions
I received this comment on my 5 Basic Shawl Shapes Cheatsheet just today and it made me chuckle in delight, not just because it’s an amazing compliment to my work (thank you, dear PurlOnions!) but also because I’ve been a bit obsessed with Egyptology recently!
And speaking of languages, I want to thank lovely Jennifer (Nylwenn on Ravelry) not just for translating the Cheat Sheet and the Bow Pouch patterns beautifully into French, but also for putting up with my slow communication. Merci beaucoup!
Other Excellent Uses
- You can use the circular or swirl instructions to knit top-down hats! Knit until the circumference of your “shawl” is the same as the circumference of your head (where the hat brim will sit), then continue knitting around without increasing until the brim is long enough for you. Bind off and you’re done!
- Knit each shape until it’s large enough to use as a coaster. You’ll learn about shaping, and have a set of useful accessories at the end. Solid increases will work better for this, and DK or aran-weight yarn.
- Swap yarn colours every few rounds for an easy-peasy way to create a very attractive shawl. Colour-blocking is still in, no?
A Few Pointers
- As always when knitting garter stitch, I recommend you use needles 1-2 sizes larger than your yarn calls for.
- The abbreviations “pm” & “sm” sometimes cause confusion; these stand for “place marker” and “slip marker” respectively.
- You may want to use a different-coloured marker for the “pm” so that you can distinguish the beginning of the round.
More Shawl Resources
- Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design
Check back soon for the second volume, for shawls knit in the round!
- Crescent Shawl Shaping
- Easy Shawl Borders
- Mutant Shawl Shapes
- Stitch Pattern Fitter
- Please DO NOT redistribute this PDF file.
- Please DO NOT link directly to the PDF file. Link to this page, or use this short link: http://bit.ly/shawlshapes2
- You are welcome to use this PDF for educational purposes.
Please note this cheat sheet has not been tech edited or test knit! If you do find any errors, despite my best efforts, please let me know and I will correct them as soon as possible. Enjoy! :)