How To Knit a Simple Shawl

When you knit a garment, you're putting your skill, effort, and love into every stitch. A hand-knit gift doesn't just keep the recipient warm; it shows you care. When you wear your own knitted items, you're celebrating your effort and achievement, and have something uniquely yours. A simple knitted shawl is one of the easiest projects you can make, requiring only basic knitting skills. A shawl can be knit in big, fluffy yarn to keep you warm, or you can use a smaller yarn for a lacy look and a decorative accessory. Here's how to knit a shawl.

To knit a simple garter stitch shawl, you will need approximately 400 yards of yarn in worsted weight or larger, and needles appropriate to the size of your yarn. Be sure to buy enough yarn, so the color will be consistent. A long circular needle will be easiest to use. Size and gauge are not really important for a shawl, because you'll stop knitting when you think the shawl is big enough.

For a triangular shawl:

  1. Begin by casting on five stitches.
  2. Knit one row.
  3. On the next row, knit 2, yo (increase one stitch by wrapping the yarn over your needle), and knit to the end. Repeat this row until the shawl is as big as you want it to be.
  4. Once you have the size you want, bind off and weave in the yarn ends. Block the shawl, if necessary.

For a square shawl:

  1. If you want a square shawl, follow the above pattern until you've used about half of your yarn, or until the two sides of the triangle are as big as you want your square to be. Then begin decreasing, by changing to this pattern.
  2. Knit 1, k2tog (knit two stitches together), yo, k2tog, and knit to the end of the row. Continue in this pattern until you have five stitches left, then bind off and weave in your ends.

For a different triangular shawl:

  1. If you'd like a wider triangle, suitable for tying the ends together in front, try this easy pattern variation. This will make a shawl with horizontal ridges, so it will stretch more.
  2. Cast on five stitches, and knit one row.
  3. Row A: knit 2, yo, knit to the end.
  4. Row B: knit the whole row.
  5. Repeat rows A and B until you've used up half your yarn, or the shawl is half the size you want. Then switch to this pattern:
  6. Row A: knit 1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end.
  7. Row B: knit the whole row.
  8. Knit until there are five stitches left, then bind off and weave in the ends.

You can knit any of these patterns with bulky yarn and big needles for a quick project, or in finer yarn for something more formal.


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