You are a beginner knitter and you absolutely want to knit those shawls that you see blooming on Ravelry or elsewhere?
Here are three of my patterns to start knitting a shawl and understand the different constructions – from the easiest to the most complicated one.
Three patterns for opiniated beginners
1. Z Shawl – a garter and stockinette triangular shawl
First of all, let me introduce you to Z Shawl which is a pattern that I released in 2014.
I wanted an all purpose and off-road shawl for both men and women. That was when we were big fans of the Walking Dead series. So the photo shoot was done in a disused area of the province of Luxembourg with zombies in the background.
Its construction is simple, it is a construction that you will often encounter for triangular shawls.
You start with a Garter Tab Cast-On and then increase symmetrically at the edge and center spine. And this on all the right side rows.
Here you will play with garter and stockinette stitch to create ridges that punctuate the construction of this shawl.
1.2. The yarn I used
To knit this shawl, I made the choice to use a carded and rustic yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft and I used a little less than 700 meters so three skeins.
You can of course take a less rustic and “off-road” yarn if you want to give it a posh or a feminine touch.
2. Impulsion, a triangular shawl with a little bit of lace
Let’s move on to something slightly more complicated.
You are at the stage where you understand how to make a simple triangular shawl by playing with garter and stockinette stitch.
Let us now turn to another construction: this construction with short rows.
Impulsion is a simple shawl in garter stitch, with a little bit of lace at the end of the row and which is shaped by short rows.
It is available in two sizes: a small one with a main color and stripes in variegated yarn and a large one with a set of stripes in two colors and tassels to embellish it.
2.2. The yarn I used
To knit the latest version of the pattern, I used two single fingering yarns in two contrasting colors (Grandier and Purple Blue) from Live or Dye Yarn. And I used all the skeins by adding tassels to the shawl. So no leftovers!
2.3. The techniques I used
This pattern is ideal to teach you how to make short rows which is an indispensable technique if you want to evolve in knitting. It will serve you as well for shawls but also for sock heels, create a neckline, playing with shapes.
The techniques are multiple but my favorites are the German Short Rows, you will find a tutorial here.
It also teaches you how to make tassels, a small accessory that can embellish crochet or knitting bags, mittens or hats.
3. Heat Wave, a mohair and silk triangular shawl
Finally, I present Heat Wave, another triangular shawl with a different construction – again.
This time, the construction is done by starting at one tip to the other.
It is embellished with stripes and to finish with a delicate and simple lace.
3.2. The yarn I used
I would say that the biggest difficulty of this shawl lies in the yarn I used: mohair. Indeed, if you are a beginner, it is not rare to make a mistake and therefore it is not uncommon to have to unravel your work ar at least some rows.
This is quite complicated with mohair, you have to be careful not to drop stitches.
So I advise you either to place a lifeline every repeat to secure your work or to use an other yarn like alpaca and silk or simply a merino and silk lace to keep this effect of two different yarn textures.
For this pattern, I used 340 meters of Fingering Single yarn from Les Petits Points Parisiens for the main color and 280 meters of Mohair Silk from Les Petits Points Parisiens for the contrasting color.
3.3. What about its name
And finally, a little word about the photo shoot and the name of this shawl, its name is Heat Wave.
I chose this name because we did the photo shoot on one of the beaches of the island of Öland during one of the biggest heat waves Sweden has experienced in recent years. We couldn’t believe that we were not in the South of France because the grass was so much burnt by the heat.
I hope that this selection will make you want to start knitting shawls, you’ll see, it’s very addictive and we quickly find ourselves with enough shawls in our wardrobe to change them almost every day in winter!
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See you soon,