Knitting Shawls and Drafting Patterns

Posted: 05/04/2013 in Knitting, Offers I've Found!
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In case it isn’t clear that I have a tendency to faff, I’ve changed my mind yet again about what I want to make as my next knitting project, and am currently about 1/3 of the way through designing a shawl using my own pattern.

It’s surprisingly easy to create a shawl pattern once you get started, so long as you understand the basics of what goes into a shawl.  The shape of a shawl is made using one of several very simple patterns of increases at the centre and both edges.  Any other increases in the pattern are merely decorative and should be cancelled out by an equal number of decreases.

So, the best thing you can do is design a lace pattern to take place over a certain number of stitches, and make sure that a single repeat of the pattern contains a decrease for every increase.  After that, simply fit the design to the shawl itself.

Of course, the trick is to know what the basic increases you need are to achieve the shape of shawl you want.  Fortunately, the lovely people at Laylock have a free shawl cheat sheet available that provides the basic stitches for square, circular, triangular, semi-circular and heart-shaped shawls, and you can download it here.  Alternatively, if you want to knit a shawl in the round, there is this cheat sheet option.  A second, very handy freebie also provided by Laylock is this rather nifty knitting pattern paper, ideal for charting colour patterns, if you want to add a bit of brightness to your work.  I imagine it’d also work for charting lace, if used carefully.

Personally, I recommend keeping a copy of all three on your hard drive for use whenever you need them.

Once I’ve finished drafting my pattern I’ll put it up for sale on Ravelry.  But I’ll also post a tutorial here showing how I designed it!  Watch this space!

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