If you want to design your own (lace) knitted shawls, here’s a few ideas on how to get you started.
Designing my own shawl is on my knitting bucket list. I started one in September after following the Craftsy class on shawl design. But life got in the way, and project got abandoned. Probably just as well, as I was really making thing far more complicated than they needed to be, though I couldn’t see it at the time.
After an accidental purchase of Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls (I meant to get a sample on my kindle only, really!), I got inspired to try again.
This time, I’m going to take a slightly different approach. I’ve taken another look at the Craftsy class (which is brilliant, by the way), but I’m using a few other resources too.
There’s an excellent list of resources for designing a lace shawl that was drawn up by the Knit Purl Gurl in 2011. It’s a great starting point. The cheat sheet for basic shawl shapes in particular is really handy.
But although it’s a good list, new online resources have appeared since the Knit Purl Gurl published her post (and sadly she won’t be updating it). And I’ve found some offline resource useful too, so I’d thought I’d share what I’ve found useful in addition to Knit Purl Gurl’s original list.
- Craftsy. Already mentioned, and most importantly, the Craftsy Lace Shawl Design Class by Miriam Felton. Not free, but truly recommended; read my review.
- This AMAZING series of blog posts by Holly Chayes on shawl shapes has proven extremely helpful. It’s a great reference on shawl shapes. She has also published a bunch of ebooks on the topic which I’m seriously considering purchasing. For now, the free blog does the trick for me though. Seriously, check it out.
- Stitch dictionaries. I like my paper ones, but there’s also a bunch of free stitch dictionaries available online.
- The above mentioned book of course, Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls, which turned out to be a really good buy; I’ll be publishing a review on it in the future.
- Then there’s the works of Elizabeth Zimmermann, whose approach to knitting I greatly admire. EZ, during her lifetime, advocated that knitting should not be following a pattern to the letter, but rather understanding the process that creates a garment. She has written on shawls as well: her pi shawl is famous.
- Following the same approach to knitting, I find Principles of Knitting is coming invaluable for any sort of stab a design, to help me understand how a shawl is shaped by various stitches.
So what have all these resources gotten me so far?
Well, lots of swatches!
Obviously, I’m still pretty far from an actual shawl, but I now have a pretty good idea of where I’m going with this. Tomorrow I’m going to my LYS and shopping for some yarn. I’ll keep you all updated!