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The Knit Signal

Knitters, I need your help! I’ve recently been working on finishing up my Sideways Shawls Ebook, and the much-delayed Counterpane Shawls Ebook, and I’d love to have a few of you “test drive” the worksheets and patterns and let me know what you think.

I’m looking for up to 6 test knitters for each ebook. Please leave a comment letting me know which ebook you’re interested in testing & I’ll be in touch! Here’s an overview of what’s in each…

Counterpane Shawls Ebook

Mitre-Square Shawl (matching my current reading!)

Moiré Square

Bright Star Square

Hydrangea Square

Sideways Shawls Ebook

Rosarian Shawl

Trigonometrician Shawl


Deadline: 10 June 2013!!

Counterpane Shawls: You can either just test the counterpane squares, OR knit your own counterpane shawl using the worksheet OR knit the mitre square shawl. Again, I would mostly like feedback to make sure the technique is clear, so any mods are welcome.
If you’d like to knit the mitre-square shawl as given, you’ll need: 550m / 601yds of light-DK-weight yarn. Variegated or self-striping will work well. I used Creative Yarns Reflections, but it’s now discontinued, which is some indication of how long it’s taken me to publish this design!

Sideways Shawls: You can either choose your own stitch pattern, or use one of the included stitch patterns. If you choose to knit the patterns as given, the pink shawl requires: 480m / 525yds of 4ply-weight yarn. I used the Ice Yarns Pure Alpaca I hauled here.
And the grey shawl requires: 750m / 820yds of DK-weight yarn. I used Nako Süper Saf Yün.
I just need some general feedback to make sure the worksheets work as intended, so by all means, make any modifications you please.

Photos would be nice, but aren’t necessary. I know the deadline is a bit tight, but I’d really like to get these out by my birthday (20 June). I may be dreaming, but it’s my birthday & I’ll try if I want to! :)

More Shawl Ebooks

I thought it would be nice to unite my shawl ebooks by designing matching covers for all of them. These are some very rough first drafts to see how they would look together. Do you like them, or do you prefer ebook covers to have photos?

As I think I mentioned before, Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design II will be all about shawls knit in the round. Are there any other shawl shapes you think I should write worksheets for? I can’t think of any more at present, but I really enjoy coming up with the worksheets, so I’d love any suggestions!

Also, I’ve had many knitters ask me whether it’s OK to sell / knit-to-sell shawl patterns they’ve created using my Shawl Ebooks. The answer is: nothing would delight me more! If you currently have such a pattern for sale, please comment with the link, and I will create a list on the relevant ebook pages.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to everyone who has left me kind and thoughtful comments during my unplanned absence. I LOVE YOU ALL; YOU MAKE MY DAY / MONTH / YEAR! Thank you, thank you! ♥ ♥ ♥

25th May, 2013  // Laylock // tags: , .

Shawl Styling

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umbel shawl

lilac chucks

I’m trying to make the most of the last days of summer warmth by wearing dresses. I found this dress on sale in New Look; it reminds me of The Great Gatsby & mint juleps, or perhaps 50s rock ‘n’ roll & mint ice cream. At any rate, I love the pastel trend, and I couldn’t resist this pair of lilac converse-style shoes to match my Umbel Shawl, even though there are probably more sensible colours for shoes…

A pretty dress with casual shoes is my favourite combination, because a) it looks like I haven’t tried too hard and b) I feel readier for adventures involving running, climbing and bouncing.

mint roses

And it just so happens that I was gifted these tiny mint-green rose earrings. Perfect match!

And here’s my classic LBD combination. This dress has a low back, so a light shawl is just the thing to take along in the evening.

umbel shawl

I think colour plays a big part in making your shawl look dressy or casual-chic. Lavender is a great colour because it complements most skin tones and hair colours, and it has an understated elegance. You may notice that the shawl looks quite vibrant against the mint green, whereas the black dress washes it out a little, making it appear nearer grey – more appropriate for evening wear.

mint green dress

I hope this gives you a few ideas for styling your shawls. If anyone is interested, I could write more about shawl styling, perhaps with some autumn hues. Let me know in the comments!

P.S. My Umbel isn’t looking quite as crisp because it’s been squished in a suitcase. Still not too shabby though, is it? I folded it at the points and laid it flat across the top of the case.

19th September, 2012  // Inspiration // tags: , , .

Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design


£8.00 (approx. $12.50)*
* Paypal will show you the precise currency conversion before you confirm the sale.

It’s here! I’ve never been quite this excited about anything I’ve created, so I apologise in advance if I gush a little too much. :)

What is ‘Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design’?

Well, it’s a method I devised that allows you to create 4 neck-down shawl shapes using a stitch pattern of your choice, without having to chart anything out.

In my post on Easy Shawl Borders, I postulated that it would be possible to devise a formula to allow knitters to use 2 sets of stitch markers to fill a shawl with a stitch pattern “on the fly”. As with many things, in practice it took more thinking than I’d anticipated to make a formula that would work for all stitch patterns. I scrapped one version that required a whole page of numbers to be calculated, and then filled in on the instruction sheet. The final worksheets are 1 page each and only require 2 numbers: the first is the number of stitches in one pattern repeat + selvedge stitches, and the second is the number of stitches in one pattern repeat excluding the selvedge stitches. Write those on your worksheet and you’re ready to knit your custom shawl!

I tried to make this ebook as comprehensive and awesome as I could, which is partly why it’s been so long coming. To the best of my knowledge, this is a unique resource; there is nothing as simple, mindless or convenient in any other knitting book or ebook. It provides both instant gratification, and a great way to learn about shawl design.

fill-in-the-blanks shawl design

Beginning Shawl Design

The Shawl Knitting Cheat Sheet has been downloaded over 10,000 times since I released it a little over a year ago! I admit I had no idea it would become so popular, but since then I’ve learnt a lot about the kind of shawl resources that knitters are looking for.

“I want to design my own shawl, where should I begin?”
That’s a question I’m asked very often, and one I see on knitting forums time and time again. Beginners always jump in at the deep end; it’s understandably difficult to know how much you don’t know, and it’s frustrating to keep being told to backtrack and take things slowly. That’s why I’m so excited to finally be able to offer fearless new knitters a solution.

fill-in-the-blanks shawl design

10-Level Shawl Mastery Checklist

Have a look at the list below. Where do you stand?

  1. Understand how to knit shawls from patterns.
  2. Understand how increases and decreases create shawl shapes.
  3. Begin to understand how stitches are manipulated to form stitch patterns.
  4. Understand how stitch patterns fit into the shawl shape.
  5. Understand how stitch patterns can be manipulated to fit better into the shawl shape.
  6. Understand how stitch patterns flow into each other.
  7. Understand how to write out patterns in a way that allows you and others to follow them easily.
  8. Understand how to streamline your design process so you can design faster.
  9. Understand how to alter stitch patterns to better effect.
  10. Conduct stitches like a symphony.

The Free Shawl Cheat Sheet will help you with #2, the Little eBook of Knitting Stitches with #3, and Fill-in-the-Blanks Shawl Design with #4 and #8*. The Blank Shawl Templates included with the latter will help you with #5. Many of these are not levels to be attained, so much as challenges that you are likely to face in different ways in different shawl designs, but it’s still helpful to identify your weaknesses and work on them.

* I used the ebook for a shawl I will be releasing soon, and it made things so much quicker! I was able to simply copy the instructions for the set-up rows, fill in the chart and get knitting. Even just having the blank charts all set out so you don’t have to think about them is a great time-saver, so if you do nothing else, make sure you download them below!

What’s in the Ebook?

  • 1-page fill-in-the-blanks worksheets to create 4 top-down shawl shapes:
    • triangular
    • square
    • circular
    • and semi-circular.
  • 3 stitch patterns to try right away,
    • with both written & charted instructions
    • photographed on both right & wrong sides.
  • Advice for working shawls with stocking stitch, reverse stocking stitch or garter stitch backgrounds.
  • Advice for combining and dividing stitch patterns.
  • Advice for troubleshooting.


  • Instructions for creating plain shawls with patterned borders.
  • Instructions for working a bottom-up triangular shawl using the stitch pattern of your choice.
  • Blank charts for advanced knitters.
  • Booklet version – if you have good eyesight, you can print 2 pages per sheet and be the proud owner of a super-cute little paperback version.

What Will This Ebook Allow You to Do?

  • Design your own shawls, in 4 shapes, with your choice of stitch pattern, without the need to chart anything!
  • Mix and match the 4(+1) shawl shapes with the 3 stitch patterns provided to knit up to 15 different shawls + the same number of plain shawls with patterned borders.
  • Make great use of any stitch dictionary you own, to create your own design in minutes. Don’t have a stitch dictionary? How about a Little eBook of Knitting Stitches?
  • Gain a better understanding of shawl construction and patterning. Once you grok the method, it’s also easy to invent (or unvent) your own shawl shapes.
  • Indulge in some mindless design. Once you’ve set up your stitch markers, and understand when to increase, all you need in front of you is your stitch pattern.
  • Ask a loved one to choose a shawl shape and a stitch pattern and quickly create a custom-knit gift. If they’re a knitter, you could even write them up a personal pattern! (How FABULOUS would it be to receive a hand-crafted pattern named after you? I’d love it!)
  • Knit a patterned shawl to any size and for any amount of yarn you like. I recommend at least 200m/220yds for the smallest shawlette, though, unless you’re knitting for a very small person, or a teddy bear. :)

If you’re a more advanced knitter, you can also:

  • Use charts from top-down shawl patterns you already own to change the shape of a shawl. For example, once you understand the process, you could turn your favourite triangular shawl into a square so that it stays on your shoulders better.
  • Make money! There are many designers who’ve used the Crescent Shawl Shaping Worksheet to create and sell their own designs. With a little practice you can do the same.

3 stitch patterns x 4 (+1) shawl shapes = 15 shawl designs

bulky pink shawl
snakes & ladders shawl
little shells

Additional Downloads



  • You’re very welcome to sell patterns designed using this formula, but please make sure you write everything out properly and do not redistribute the worksheets.
  • You’re also welcome to sell items made using this ebook.
  • I’m considering special pricing for teaching licences, for knitters who would like to use this ebook as the basis for a (paid) knitting course. Send me an email if you’re interested.

Birthday Giveaway!

Because it’s my birthday, and I’ve been meaning to hold a giveaway for ages, anyone who purchases the Fill-in-the-Blanks Ebook between now and the end of 8 July 2012 (12pm GMT) will be entered into a draw to win a package of knitting goodies. I haven’t decided exactly what the prize will be yet, but it will include a cabled mug like this one, and a set of Warm Wool Heart postcards. Depending on how many entrants there are (and how much time I have), I may also be able to arrange a couple of runner-up prizes. :)

ETA (9 July): The winners have been announced!


  • Thank you to my wonderful tech editor, Akshata Dhareshwar, for her diligent, meticulous work, for being a lovely person, and for putting up with my slow communication!
  • Thank you to all test knitters. As always I had trouble keeping track, so if you haven’t received a copy of the final ebook, please let me know!

little shells shawl

20th June, 2012  // Downloads, Ebooks, Knitwear Design // tags: , .
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