View Full Version : Are shawls useful?/What should I knit?

12-26-2007, 04:16 PM
Hey everyone. I'm done with Christmas knitting and want to make a few projects for myself. Right now, my only WIP is my first Bayerische sock... and these socks require much time and concentration. I want get at least one more project OTN, if not two. But the problem is, I'm not sure what to knit!
I already have like three hats and one warm headbandy thing. And four scarves or so. And a couple pairs of gloves/mittens. So that's plenty.
And usually, I just knit socks. But I have these complicated socks I'm working on, and I've just finished a ton, and I'm going to be making a ton for other people over these next few months. I'm in the mood for something new and exciting and different.

I'm thinking maybe a lacy shawl? The only lace I've ever done was in Monkey socks, which I loved. And I like the look of lace shawls. But would I get very much use out of it? If I take a lot of time and effort to make it, I'll definitely make an effort to wear it... but I've never had a shawl and don't really know the occasion to use one. Maybe a stole or something? But the same issue applies with that.

So what do you guys think? And how do you deal with project indecision?

ETA: Here (http://elann.com/ShowFreePattern.asp?Id=206024)'s one I especially like :)
I also love this (http://www.eunnyjang.com/knit/2005/12/patternia.html) ... Eunny's pattern are so awesome but usually complicated and take me quite some time to knit... and it's with laceweight. I'd make it if I knew I could use it... :/

Lisa R.
12-26-2007, 04:18 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing your answers. The more I hear about people making shawls wraps, and the more beautiful pictgures I see, the more I think I want one...but I'm still not quite sure where or with what I would wear one!

12-26-2007, 04:21 PM
I feel the same I love some of the patterns I've seen and it looks like a fun project, but I don't know where I would wear one. I even have difficulty finding somewhere to wear a worsted weight or heavier sweater. I get the most use out of sock or fingering weight knitted items.

12-26-2007, 04:24 PM
Well I would like to do one in fingering weight yarn - though I will probably feel terrible using beautiful sock yarn for a non-sock project!
Really, though, I'm not opposed to anything from a fingering weight to a worsted weight project. I just want something I can fall in love with. Is that too much to ask? I mean, if I'm going to take the time to knit it, and it's for myself... I need to LOVE it! :D

12-26-2007, 04:36 PM
Well Jeanie (http://knitty.com/ISSUEwinter07/PATTjeanie.html) from the new Knitty is fabulous! I never really thought I'd wear a shawl but I love the look of this one! And it is made with Sock yarn. I think it is just so beautiful!!

12-26-2007, 04:50 PM
I personally prefer shrugs as I cannot hold onto a shawl and do what needs to be done whether I am out or in the house. That said I do have a shawl I throw around my shoulders if I am just reading in bed. I make lots of prayer shawls to give away...
What about a felting project - bags, potholders, coasters, placemats, felted bowls and baskets are cool and different...I always try to keep a few different sizes on hand for birthday gifts.
Right now I am branching out and starting to work on more socks - got some really nice sock yarn with the thread to carry along for the toes and heel for Christmas :woohoo:

12-26-2007, 05:21 PM
I like shrugs as well. You don't have to worry about them falling off.
I just checked out the book "Knits Three Ways" at the library. There is a great lacy shrug pattern in it. It's called Ursula. It's a large rectangle that you sew together to make sleeves. Then, you pick up stitches around the opening and do 3 1/2 inches of ribbing.

12-26-2007, 05:40 PM
I've not yet finished the two shawl/wraps I've started (one wasn't as lacy as I'd hoped and the yarn on the other is difficult to work with)

that said, I love wraps and use non-knitted ones all the time, especially when travelling. they are perfect on flights and can work as a scarf if you don't want the coverage. My personal preference is the rectangular wrap but the occasional triangular shawl has caught my eye, I just don't feel it's as versatile for me.

12-26-2007, 06:13 PM
i loooooove the lacework on a lot of the shawls that i see and i wonder about the same things....would i wear a shawl? if so, where would i wear it? if anything, you could put it out as decoration? like lay it over a chair or something?

12-26-2007, 07:21 PM
I just asked this very question on Ravelry and got a lot of replies about it. Here's the thread if you're interested... http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/patterns/32536/1-25

12-26-2007, 07:28 PM
That's awesome, Sabrina. Just what I needed :muah:

12-27-2007, 10:06 AM
Rachel, I love shawls, and am currently making this one
It's a free pattern, and I actually saw one knit up in a yarn store, it looks really nice when it's done. It's all ss for the body of it, and then you pick up and knit the wavy edge. very easy but you can use any yarn really since it's a shawl.

12-27-2007, 10:41 AM
Personally, I LOVE shawls and shrugs. Shawls especially are so ver-ry feminine! And when you put on a shawl, even an old house dress becomes go-to-church beautiful.

Shawls make so totally much sense to me because, being post-menopausal, I've had too much experience with hot flashes. Sweaters are a pain to take on and off... but a shawl! Simple to fling it back when I'm "flashing" and pull it back around me when I'm back to normal. And a lacy shawl can be tucked into a purse when I go somewhere and I'm not too sure how warm the place will be.


12-27-2007, 12:45 PM
I adore shawls! I happened to buy one at the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool festival made by these gals from Maine who have their own sheep... it was my first (except for an old old acrylic one I still have) and it's just completely plain but it's a gorgeous blue with flecks of pink and other colors.

I get hot too quick in a sweater also so I love the feel of shawls. I just bought a lace book to begin a lacey shawl but you know you could just make a simple one, there's that great pattern where you start with 3 stitches and then increase on each end every row so it becomes a big triangle. It might be nice to have a simple pattern while you're working on the serious socks.

I also throw a shawl over my coat when it's really cold... they are fantastic.

Becky Morgan
12-27-2007, 01:18 PM
That Eunny Jang shawl is beautiful! If you don't usually wear shawls, you'll probably get more use out of a long rectangle like that. If it's warm, you can fold it around your neck and use it as a scarf; if it's cold, unfold it and wrap it.
What can you wear a shawl with? Whatever you're wearing. Mom got me a woven one back in college, a simple triangle made of assorted colors of thread woven through blue, and I still wear that thing a LOT.
About triangle shawls: In case of overheated malls, you roll the triangle and wear it around your neck until you're about to go out into the evening chill, then shake it loose to wrap up in it. Lace may go better with more formal clothing and warm coarse wool with jeans, but there are no hard and fast rules (or at least, none you should pay attention to.) Shawl pins will take some of the aggravation out of dangling ends. So will making a semicircular shawl to begin with. I have nothing against shrugs, mind--I'm making one right now because it's COLD up in this work room!

12-27-2007, 03:04 PM
I like shawls and have found ones knit in an open circle like this one http://spindyeknit.com/patternfiles/strawberry-pie-shawl/ to stay on your shoulders better. I made a short one, barely to my elbows, and it's great for a shoulder wrap. I can see that with a longer one you could throw one end over the opposite shoulder and it wouldn't slide off. There's another one, I think it's called celestial something, that's knit similar and it's really pretty. If you make rectangular ones long enough, or triangular one wides enough, there's enough to throw over a shoulder or you can find a nice pin to keep them on.

12-27-2007, 05:25 PM
I tend to gravitate toward the rectangular wraps as well and I know it's been knit thousands of times... but I'm planning on knitting my first clapotis in the new year :)

01-08-2008, 11:32 PM

I knitted two prayer shawls one for my Aunt and the other for my Mom. I love the look of them, but I too was worried of how much they actual would use them. But, since they both asked for one and wanted one, I knitted them anyway. My Mom uses her shawl just about every night, more of a throw type thingy. She curls up with it while reading or watching tv. She seems to really enjoy it. My Aunt does the same, but she also wears hers while just out and about. She says she wears it while a simple stroll down the street or a casual dinner somewhere. I think the best thing about a shawl, wrap, or stole is the warmth and comfort they provide. It is a nice item to just snuggle up in. I'm sure you'll find a use or two for it. :)

01-11-2008, 02:04 AM
Personally, I LOVE shawls and shrugs. Shawls especially are so ver-ry feminine! And when you put on a shawl, even an old house dress becomes go-to-church beautiful.

My sentiments exactly, Dot! I use my shawls EVERYWHERE--for warmth (you wouldn't believe how they can warm up your back when put over a winter coat in cold weather and how handy they are in air conditioning in the summer), and to add some color or dress up/update an outfit, or to personalize my look (I use them as accessories like jewelry or shoes or a handbag). I am chronically cold, and I don't much like sweaters (I hate sleeves, but I can't go sleeveless), so for me, shawls are the perfect answer. Since I can't go sleeveless (because I am self-conscious about my upper arms), all of those cute sleeveless dresses I used to pout that I couldn't wear now become an option for me because I throw a shawl on and I don't have to worry about my upper arms showing. I've also used them around my shoulders to conceal a neckline that was a bit deeper than I felt comfortable about. Like Dot, I also believe they are utterly feminine and enjoy wearing them for the femininity reason, and they are like a knitted hug, too. I like to wrap up in them when I'm having a crummy day. You certainly don't need a special occasion or place to wear shawls; I believe they are always appropriate. You can dress them up by knitting in beads or you can knit them simpler to suit your tastes/needs.

Most shawls don't need to be fitted, so they make great non-fussy gifts to give away or to keep for yourself. Depending on the pattern, you can sub yarns, and yes, you can use beautiful sock yarns which I think would make a STUNNING shawl! Shawls are truly one of the most practical things I knit for myself and for others. I never knew how much I would use a shawl until I knit myself one, and now, I'm addicted.:oops:

01-11-2008, 08:58 AM
I love wearing them too ... and I will wear them just about anywhere instead of a coat or jacket (unless it's really cold). I will throw one on to do errands - hate wearing a coat, especially in the car. I just feel too constricted. I wear them to go out to a friend's house or to dinner or anywhere! I love how they dress up any outfit. I tend to gravitate to the rectangular shawls as well, but do have at least one triangular - (Sweet Pea crocheted shawl from the Happy Hooker book).

01-11-2008, 11:32 AM
I always wavered over them, but then I saw this pattern : http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/a24alexisf.jpg and totally fell in love with it. I'm knitting it now, and am also making another shawl for my wedding, to use as a veil. I've always used pashminas (long, rectangular shawl/scarves) because they're so versatile, but I think any kind of shawl is great. I really like the ones that are rectangular with teeny buttons along the edges, so you can turn it into a shrug if you want :-)

01-11-2008, 01:31 PM
Thanks for all the ideas.. I have been wanting to try something with lace weight yarn at some point.