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Free Circular Shawl Knitting Cheat Sheet

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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:

  1. Get bored,
  2. Expire,
  3. Suspect you might be knitting a ranch house,
  4. Need the needles for another project,
  5. Realise it’s been a year since you started the round,
  6. Become convinced your stitch count has more figures than your income,
  7. 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

Usage

  • 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! :)

25th September, 2012  // Downloads // tags: , , , , .

Free Shawl Knitting Cheat Sheet

5 basic shawl shapes

Shawls that you can knit until you run out of yarn are the bread-and-butter of knitting, to me. I know there are knitters who can’t stand the tedium of plain knitting, but I love the opportunity to think, listen to the radio, watch a film, or even read, while my hands are busy and productive.

This 1-page cheat sheet provides the shaping formulas, and row-by-row instructions for knitting 5 such shawls: square, circular, triangular, semi-circular, and heart-shaped. All you need is some yarn, a pair of needles, and some stitch markers. If you’re stuck on a desert island, you can improvise with plant filaments, some smooth sticks (sharpened to a point), and a few seashells with holes in them. You’ll need the instructions though, so click here & print them out now, and tuck them away safely in your pocket!

These shawls grow outwards from the neck, and are bound off around their circumference. This means that you can start knitting without any plan, and decide at the end whether or not you want to add a border in a different stitch pattern. Or you can just add a fringe. Once you get the basic idea, other modifications are very easy to make too: coloured stripes, textured stripes, different stitches, m1s instead of yos, etc. You can knit the shawls with any yarn from lace-weight to bulky. If you’re working in garter stitch, I recommend going up a needle size or two, to get a fabric that drapes nicely. The most important thing is that you like the way it feels.

I should note that the square, circle and semi-circle shawls will not be perfect in shape, but they can be blocked to be this way. For a (pretty much) perfect square or circle, it would be best to work in the round. And for a less semi-hexagonal semi-circle, distribute your increases across the row in a less linear fashion (like Citron, for example). Nevertheless, the former two shapes provide nice shawls that will stay on your shoulders, unlike the variations knit in the round, which need to be folded.

Need I mention that these make great summer knitting projects, when it’s too hot to think? Please knit them in the brightest, most brilliant & beautiful colours of yarn you can find. Thank you.


If you like this cheatsheet, you might also like the CRESCENT SHAWL SHAPING WORKSHEET & FILL-IN-THE-BLANKS SHAWL DESIGN.


Usage

  • 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/shawlshapes
  • You are welcome to use this PDF for educational purposes.

Translations

- Edna of Tricô Sem Costura has kindly translated the PDF into Portugese.

PORTUGESE ERRATA (10/11/11):

Circular:
CARR. 9: 1M, laç ✽meia
até o marcador, laç,
passe o marcador, 1M,
laç, rep. a partir de ✽
mais duas vezes, meia até o último
ponto, laç, 1M.

- Ravelry user Nylwenn has very kindly translated the cheat sheet into French. Cliquez ici pour télécharger “5 formes de base pour châles”.

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13th May, 2011  // Downloads, Knitwear Design // tags: , , , .

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