The Knitted Shawl: Your Wonder Accessory!

There is one accessory that knitters absolutely love. It dresses up any outfit in your closet. It doesn’t have to fit precisely, so you can fudge the gauge. It often requires minimal yarn, saving you money. What is it? The knitted shawl!

According to Lisa Shroyer (former editor of Interweave Knits and now head of our Knitting, Crochet, and Specialty Fiber teams), shawls have become a “permanent archetype in our pantheon,” so they’ll never go out of style. She wrote the introduction for Interweave Presents Classic Knit Shawls, a book of classic shawls from a talented group of designers. This collection demonstrates the beauty, versatility, and immense creativity of knitted shawls.

As a beginning knitter, I consider the designs in this book as goals for the future. They’ll build my skills in chart reading, shaping methods, and knitting lace. They won’t cost a fortune—most can be made with 2 or 3 skeins of yarn. Three favorites will go into my queue right away:

Ship That Shawl

This colorful little shoulder-hugging piece (shown on the right, below) pairs a gold ombré yarn with a solid gray yarn. It’ll keep me warm on chilly nights and cool during sunshine-filled days. Ship That Shawl involves no charts because it’s all worked in garter stitch. I’ll have fun knitting simple stripes and short-rows .

Diospyros Shawl

If ever a shawl mimicked the grandeur of nature, it would be the Diospyros Shawl (above, left), with its leaf motifs, nupps, and bead accents. Made in a delicious cashmere-blend yarn, this rectangular beauty will teach me all kinds of advanced skills. Plus I get to pick up my crochet hook to add beads and to work the edging!

Junius

The intricate and varied lace patterns first caught my eye. This big half-circle shawl needs no pins or closures because it drapes so well. I love being able to throw a shawl over my shoulders without it falling off during a busy day.

This pattern will definitely add to my stitch vocabulary with several types of increases and decreases. Junius also will require careful attention to charts, since its ethereal quality comes from 2 different lace patterns on the body and another for the edging. I think I’m in love, and love is always a challenge.


Of these 3, I’ll try Ship That Shawl first to build up my pattern-reading skills.  Then I can jump into the other 2 as I become more confident with charts and lace. All these shawls will provide an exploration of knitting, whether you’re a newbie like me, or an old hand at knitting.

Have fun making and wearing your own wonder accessory.

—Lisa


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