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Old 12-03-2008, 02:26 PM   #1
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Seeking u-shaped shawl pattern
Hi, all. I love this site, although I don't visit it frequently enough. I've referred other people to it for the great videos (thanks for publishing them).

I hope you can help with the following quest:

For several years now, I have searched in every book, pattern catalog, and website I can get my hands on for a simple u-shaped shawl pattern. I'm picky about what I want, but still I'm surprised none of my searches over the years have revealed a pattern that meets the requirements. I keep thinking others would enjoy a shawl in this style, too. Perhaps I'm using the wrong combination of search terms, so forgive me if there's something published here (or elsewhere) that I haven't found.

Here's what I'm looking for:
- a semetrical u-shaped shawl that will fit/drape nicely around the neck (straight lines of triangles and rectangles either leave gaps or get bunched up around the neck when pulled close)
- not too lacy; cold wind nips through all those little holes
- rounded at the bottom back, not pointy like a triangle
- tapered from greatest width in middle back to more slender ends, so the ends can be tied loosely without a lot of bulk OR can just be left to dangle down the front of the body
- no "sew on" parts (like the ties added to some stole patterns)
- no "seam up the middle back" look that so many triangle shawls have (for some inexplicable reason, that seam thing just really bugs me)
- icing on the cake would be if it also looks decent from both right and wrong sides.

If I had even a trace of pattern-making ability, I'd maybe be able to design something myself, but I fully lack that gene apparently. I'd be grateful for any help you can provide. Thanks, and best wishes.
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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Not too hard at all to design. Can you give me an idea of what you're looking for as far as yarn weight, gauge, needle size, etc?
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:46 PM   #3
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There's the Weaver's wool mini shawl which you could add an extra panel to http://www.knitlist.com/2003/minishawl.htm

I've had good luck with taking a top down triangle shawl pattern that has a center `spine' and just adding an extra section to it. So you have edge sts, panel 1, `center st', panel 2, `center st', panel 3, edge stitch. This comes out with a U shaped neckline and somewhat of a 3/4 of a square bottom edge, but it's more rounded at the `corners' than sharp angled. Oh, and because you're doing 6 incs across the RS rows, the front ends/points are elongated so you can tie them.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:34 PM   #4
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"Not too hard at all to design....." Easy for YOU to say. :-) I admire anyone who can design; maybe with greater knitting experience I'll someday be able to at least think some of it through without getting confused and ending up with a Dr. Seuss style garment.

I offer answers, although they may not be as specific as you need or want (using body parts for length rather than specifying inches). I hope that's OK; if not, I'll haul out a tape measure and try to be more precise. Despite my list of "must haves" in the quest, I do want to try to be flexible about pattern, density, and so on, especially since I am asking others for something I am unable to do myself.

Here goes:

Would like to use worsted weight yarn, needles of 10 or 10.5 size preferable (but give or take a size in either direction). I'm not sure how to answer about gauge.

Would like the shawl to be about waist length in back (give or take), drape around the shoulders to about elbow length on the sides, hang from neck/shoulder to front ranging somewhere between just below waist to almost crotch (give or take--which I THINK will make the ends long enough to tie and still dangle tastefully several inches but won't be so long that when not tied they look weirdly out of proportion).

What I can't picture is whether a side length of "to the elbows" would require too much pattern-narrowing in too short of a distance to achieve narrower/tie-able ends.

I hope this all makes sense and is helpful. If not, let me know and I'll attempt a better description. I appreciate your willingness to consider developing a pattern.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for your reply and the link to the mini-shawl. It's pretty, and I will download the pattern for future reference.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #6
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Let me see what I can come up with. I think I may be able to come close to what you want.

It might take me a day or two to write up.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:34 PM   #7
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I've looked for years for something like this, and I'm grateful for the response, so do not feel a need to rush. Best wishes, and thank you again for taking time to think about this. I really do think others will enjoy a shawl of this shape.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
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I am a new knitter and have never designed anything. At most I take existing patterns as a base and change parts. What I am trying here is a thought process and ask that people look at the process and critique.

1.All numbers and gauges are arbitrary as I’m at lunch and have no tape measure, yarn, needles, etc.
2.Assume that the gauge is 7 stitches per inch and 8 rows per inch.
3.Distance from waist to bottom of neck is 18 inches.
4.In order to create a smooth curve scarf will cast on to knit width not the length.
5.For a scarf 10 inches wide 80 rows will be knit.
Now for the hard stuff.
6.I have a 20 inch neck for an inside circumference 10 inches or 70 stitches
7.To have a scarf 10 inches wide the outer circumference of the neck area needs to be about 42 inches or 294 stitches.
8.(Calculation: Radius [distance from center to outer edge for those of us long out of school] of a 20 inch circumference circle is little over 3 inches. Add 10 inches to that radius gives a radius of about 13 inches for the outer edge of the scarf. The circumference of a circle with a 13 in. radius is about 82 in. This makes the inter edge of the neck portion 10 inches long and the outer portion about 41 inches long.)
9.At 8 rows per inch the scarf is 80 rows wide.
10.The inter neck row would be 70 stitches for a 10 inches diameter.
11.The outer neck row would be 287 stitches and 41 inches in diameter.
12.Therefore there need to be an increase of about 217 stitches over 80 rows.
13.Using MS Excel I calculate a 7 stitch increase about every 1.5 rows.
14.Excel gives this table of increases.
No. Inc.
Row inc. every total
1 0 70
2 7 10 77
4 7 11 84
7 7 12 91
10 7 13 98
12 7 14 105
15 7 15 112
18 7 16 119
20 7 17 126
23 7 18 133
26 7 19 140
28 7 20 147
31 7 21 154
34 7 22 161
36 7 23 168
39 7 24 175
42 7 25 182
44 7 26 189
47 7 27 196
50 7 28 203
52 7 29 210
55 7 30 217
58 7 31 224
60 7 32 231
63 7 33 238
65 7 34 245
68 7 35 252
71 7 36 259
73 7 37 266
76 7 38 273
79 7 39 280
15.This should give you a fairly smooth curve.
16. Now there may need to be an adjustment for the curve / drape over the shoulders but I would assume (dangerous) some of this could be accounted for by the give in the knit.

Cast on 322 stitches. Place a marker after stitch 126 and 196.
Knit to first marker and begin increases.
After second marker knit straight no increase.


MMario again I am a new knitter and would have to try this before I would say that it is accurate but wanted to try and have someone look more at the thought process then the actual results.


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Old 12-03-2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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If this is your first attempt at design, I would say you have a brilliant future in knitting ahead.
Maths are my weak point. I have been known to publicly fail to count to two correctly more then once. However your results agree with my calculator.


FURTHERMORE - (and much more importantly *cough*) your cunstruction is very similar to one of the three patterns I was going to propose.

I'm working up :
1 with short rows, knit end to end, the second was going to be a gradual increase, (which you have basically written) and the third is going to have a different style of increase commonly referred to as "pi shawl" shaping - though it really has nothing to do with pi.(or pie)
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:46 PM   #10
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BTW - I know many knitters who are more then capable of taking the notes in your post and producing a finished shawl from it.

Bravo! Or is it Brava? *grin*!

The above comment on second read doesn't say what I really meant it to, though it is true enough.

I think what I am trying to say is that what you wrote is a perfectly useable pattern for many people, though, like many of my own, it would freak many others out completely. Not only is everything needed to work the piece there, but the rational, so if someone wants to tweak your numbers they don't have to re-invent the wheel.
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