Knit Shawls: Techniques you should know

Triangular knit shawls are beautiful and really useful, even this time of year. We have cousins visiting this week, and the weather has been abnormally cool. They’re from Southern California, and they are a little chilly! Luckily, I have a shawl wardrobe to share. All of us had knit shawls on when we went on a lakeside walk, and we were so glad that we had thrown them in the car.

One of my favorite shawl kits is the Aristida, by Alexandra Beck. It’s knit from Valley Yarns Semi-Solid Hand Dyed Sock Yarn by the Kangaroo Dyer, a soft 100-percent merino wool yarn that you’ll love working with. This shawl is rated easy, as in “I’m ready to move past scarves.” And what a wonderful first shawl pattern—it’s easily memorized because you can clearly see the pattern emerge as you knit.
Lace Shawls: The Aristida Shawl is gorgeous and easy to knit!

To knit Aristida, you’ll need a good pair of lace-knitting needles. I suggest needles with a long cable, to accommodate the stitches on this larger shawl, which ends up being 56 inches wide. And pointy tips also help a lot with lace knitting, allowing you to easily knit multiple stitches together, and also when knitting bobbles, which are a technique you’ll use on Aristida. I recommend our Addi Turbo Rockets Sock & Lace Needles. You’ll love them!

But back to the bobbles. Here’s a video to show you how to work them.

Did you notice that Eunny talked about knitting backwards in the video? That’s a great skill to have under your belt when you’re knitting bobbles. Here’s a little more about it:

Knitting Backward

Knitting backwards is a great skill to know when knitting bobbles for lace shawls, or for anything!

This useful technique allows you to work stockinette stitch with the right side of the work always facing you. It is especially handy when you’re working on just a few stitches, as in making a bobble. Step 1: Insert the left needle into the back of the first stitch on the right needle and wrap the working yarn counterclockwise around the left needle. Step 2: Pull the new stitch on the left needle through to the front of the work and let the old stitch slip off the right needle. Repeat steps 1-2. (From The Knitter’s Companion by Vicki Square)

Another technique you’ll need is the crochet provisional cast-on. This is how you do it:

Lace shawls often call for provisional cast-ons and the crochet method is a good one.

With waste yarn and crochet hook, make a loose chain of about four stitches more than you need to cast on. With needle, working yarn, and beginning two stitches from end of chain, pick up and knit one stitch through the back loop of each crochet chain (1) for desired number of stitches. Work the piece as desired, and when you’re ready to work in the opposite direction, pull out the crochet chain to expose live stitches (2).

Now that you’re armed with know-how, get your Aristida Kit today and cast on!


P.S. Do you have any tips for making knit shawls? Leave a comment below and share them with us!


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