Shawls are a great project to knit or crochet, because they have so much to offer. For one thing, they are practical. Nice to drape around you on a chilly autumn morning, or to wear to the movies and survive the temperature of the air conditioning. They are elegant as well, and when done in a lustrous color or sparkly metallic, will dress up that evening wear or church outfit.
Another way they make a great project is for the learning skills you develop as a knitter or crocheter. Shawls can be a simple rectangle, or they can be a bit more involved by becoming a triangle or semicircle. Patterns abound using short rows to create gentle curves, and others start at the deep center with a garter tab.
I worked up this shawl recently with the Intermediate Knitter in mind. It's semi-circular in shape, and it has a nice texture at the finish that looks pretty complicated, but is deceptively easy. The look occurs at the bind off, and all you do is drop the 10th stitch off the needle and pull it down all the way.
You all have dropped a stitch before. It's easy to do: look up to watch that exciting scene in the movie you've been listening to, get your pet tangled up in your yarn, have too many stitches oozing over the edge of your needle.
A dropped stitch can be a mistake. Can be is the operative phrase. WIth this shawl, the drop stitch is the desired effect. And, it helps offer a bit of a cheat: it added length to my project without me having to actually knit to that length.
I did this on Lace Ball, a superwash wool. Wool is a sticky yarn that likes to cling to itself, so I had to convince the stitches to drop all the way, and it even looked like I was wrestling my shawl at times. For the beginner who is timid about intimidating their project by tugging on it forcefully, look for a mercerized cotton, a bamboo or a silk yarn. Something nice and slippery that will drop all the way down like a child on a playground slide: whee! Faster!
Here's the pattern. Enjoy
Purposeful Drops Shawl
Fingering weight yarn, 450 yards (sample was done with Schoppel Lace Ball, 800 meters (I used half)
Size US 10 circular needle, 40 inches long
Finished Size after Blocking:
60 inches long by 15 inches deep at center
5 sts per inch in garter stitch
Gauge is unimportant for this project.
Shawl is a semicircle with increases done on each end every row. Use whichever increase you like best. Sample was done with K f/b, but a yo,K1 would look fantastic, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the M1.
CO 30 stitches
1. K1, work your favorite kind of increase over stitch #2, knit to last two stitches. Work favorite increase on next stitch, end K1.
Repeat row 1 until there are 230 stitches. Piece should measure at least 12 inches from cast on. If it is too short, then keep doing Row 1, ending your total stitch count with a multiple of 10. (I.e., 240, 250 stitches, etc. )
BO 8 stitches, drop next one from left needle off. *BO 9, drop next stitch, BO 9*. Repeat to end.
If your drops are uncooperative, gently tug the ladders out and help the stitch fall to the bottom of the work. A crochet hook helps also.
Wet, block to size, weave in ends and enjoy!