Welcome back to the Shawl Series part three, this post is packed with inspiring shawls. Today we are looking at the fabric of your shawl; I have thoroughly enjoyed rooting around Ravelry for some interesting shawls to share with you.
Shawls come in all shapes and sizes (part 1) and can be started in all sorts of ways (part 2) … the next step is filling your shawl with glorious stitches. There are so many options out there but they can broadly be defined in some (rather wide) categories.
I have selected twenty magnificent shawls to suit all styles and abilities to guide us through the various types of knitted fabric you might find in hand knit shawls.
This may be the bumpy texture of garter stitch or a richly textured fabric made up by combining knits and purls. These types of shawls are warm and cosy; ideal for slightly textured yarn and the perfect accompaniment to knitting while cuddled up next to a roaring fire.
My favourite three garter shawls
My favourite three textured shawls
Stephen West said in an interview I listened to recently that Brioche was the new garter stitch. There certainly are some interesting Brioche shawls about these days.
Brioche is a richly textured stitch that has long been championed by Nancy Marchant who has an excellent series of Craftsy classes.
My favourite three brioche shawls
Beautiful little holes sprinkled across your knitting, easy to knit and perfect for simple understated knits.
My three favourite eyelet shawls
You know the saying “Go big or go home” … these eyelets embrace that sentiment wholeheartedly.
My favourite three bold eyelet shawls
Lace shawls take on so many guises – ranging from the all over lace masterpieces to the large expanses of stocking stitch trimmed by with some delicate lace.
Lace can be worked on one side or both sides; if you are new to lace knitting I would recommend trying lace worked on one side only. It is so much easier to fix if something goes wrong and plain rows are an ideal time to rest after long rows of concentration.
Some important things to remember about lace shawls:
Stitch markers are your friends. Keep a selection of light, different coloured markers on hand to mark lace repeats and keep track of you knitting. You do not need to mark every repeat if you do not want to but I find a few well-placed markers are always helpful.
Smooth fine crochet cotton is perfect for lifelines – you can read all about lifelines in Lace | Part One
Blocking is very important to finish and let those delicate lace stitches shine. Read our previous blog post Blocking Your Hand Knits.
What if it all goes wrong? Don’t panic if you make a mistake, so much can be fixed in lace knitting. Laura Nelkin has a fantastic Craftsy class on fixing lace mistakes.
I have picked some of my favourites for you. Some are iconic shawls knitted thousands of times others are gems I have fallen in love with as I’ve meandered through the shawl pages of Ravelry.
I hope you have enjoyed these amazing shawls. Please join us for the final post in this series where we will demystify shawl patterns, looking at types of instructions including a tutorial on knitting from charts.
Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures.
She regularly blogs at www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.