Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beautiful Lace Shawl

Crisscross Lace Shawl.
{Original Source}

Look what I found on Pinterest!

A beautiful, lace shawl that would be no harder to knit than a scarf. 

This project is from Lion Brand, where you can find more information about the specification of the version you see here.  I love Lion Brand yarns, because they are good quality, come in beautiful colors, and are easy to work with.  They are also reasonably priced.  Some day, I want to visit their store in NYC.

The Lion Brand pattern combines cables and lace.  However, you can make this shawl in any knitting pattern you like.  Here's how:

  • Choose your favorite knitting stitch, and a beautiful, soft yarn that will drape well.

  • Figure out your gauge, using needles in the recommended size for your chosen yarn.  (I tend to go one size smaller, because I know that my knitting is loose.)  Or, sometimes going up a size for a lacey stitch works well, to emphasize the decorative nature of the lace.  If you want a quick-to-knit project, and don't mind sacrificing drape for bulk, choose a bulky yarn and super large knitting needles.

  •  Once you know your gauge, figure out how many stitches you need to get a width that drapes roughly from one hip to the other on the bias.  From here, you can calculate how many pattern repeats you need, and cast on.

  • Knit until you have enough length to wrap around your shoulder. Attach buttons and button loops where the closure needs to match. Then, you could choose to crochet a border around all the edges for a neat finish.  Or, you can leave the edges unfinished for a softer look.

  • For a different look, you could actually knit on the bias, so the project would grow upwards from the lowest hip corner, making the stitches appear to wrap around you horizontally, instead of diagonally.
  • The more adventurous could figure out how to create flowing sleeves by adding a side seam under the arms--the fabric would have to be much wider, and some shaping would be involved.

The basic version would be a great advanced beginner project.  One of the things I always felt intimidated by as a beginner, was creating the shaping necessary for knitting sweaters.  This would be an in-between project, once you feel confident enough to knit a scarf.  Now you're just knitting a bigger scarf!  But you're also building your stitching skills, confidence, and stamina in preparation for your first sweater.  The total number of stitches, and time to knit, is almost as much as a sweater project.  Once you can knit a large shawl, you can tackle a simple sweater.

Happy Knitting!--Ayana

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