Get started on your first shawl with this easy to follow guide that takes you through each step of the knitting process. With clear instructions and plenty of photos, you’ll be ready to knit a shawl in no time!
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Knitting a shawl is a great way to improve your knitting skills and create a beautiful and functional garment. Shawls can be made in a variety of shapes and sizes, and with a variety of yarns, so you can customize your shawl to suit your needs. In this guide, we’ll show you how to knit a shawl in eight easy steps.
What You’ll Need
Before you begin, you’ll need the following supplies:
-A skein of worsted weight yarn in your desired color
-A pair of size 8 knitting needles
-A tapestry needle
Before you can start knitting your shawl, you need to cast on. This creates the foundation for your work and allows you to start knitting the body of the shawl. There are many different ways to cast on, but the long-tail cast on is a good method to use for a beginner.
1. Measure out a tail that is about three times the width of your shawl. Use a yarn needle or your fingers to create a slip knot in the center of the yarn tail.
2. Place the slip knot over one of the needles so that it sits snug against the needle. The working yarn (the end that is attached to the ball) should be over your index finger, and the tail should be over your pinky finger.
3. Wrap the working yarn around the needle in your right hand ( clockwise if you are right-handed, counterclockwise if you are left-handed), and then poke the needle through the loop on your index finger (from back to front).
4. Now use your index finger to grab hold of the working yarn (the strand that is attached to the ball) and pull it through the loop on your index finger until there is only one loop left on your needle (i.e., you have made one stitch). You can now let go of the strand with your index finger; it will be held securely by the needle.
5. Continue wrapping the working yarn around your needle and then poking it through loops until you have cast on the desired number of stitches for your shawl
Knit the Shawl Body
To knit the shawl body, you will need to:
1. Cast on stitches. For a rectangular shawl, you will need to cast on more stitches than for a triangular one.
2. Knit the required number of rows.
3. Cast off stitches.
Shape the Shawl
Start by casting on three stitches. Knit two rows.
On the next row, increase one stitch at the beginning and end of the row by knitting into the front and back of the first and last stitch—you will have increased by four stitches.
Next, knit two rows.
Repeat this pattern until you have cast on 60 stitches, including the four that you increased in each odd-numbered row.
The bind off is the process of finishing your knitting project so that your stitches are secure and your work can be taken off the needles. There are many different ways to bind off, but the most important thing is to make sure that your stitches are not too loose or too tight.
1. Start by knitting two stitches in the usual way.
2. Then, use your left needle to lift the first stitch you knit over the second stitch and off the needle. You have now bound off one stitch.
3. Knit one more stitch in the usual way and repeat step two. Continue until you have only one stitch left on your needle.
4. Cut yarn, leaving a long tail, and pull through the last stitch to secure it. Pull tight and weave in ends.
Weave in the Ends
The final step in any knitting project is weaving in the ends. This helps to secure the loose yarn, prevents it from unraveling, and gives your project a polished look. Here are 8 easy steps to weaving in your yarn ends.
1. Cut a tail of yarn that is about 6 inches long.
2. Thread the tail of yarn onto a tapestry needle.
3. Weave the needle in and out of the stitches on the edge of your knitting, going back and forth for about an inch.
4. When you have reached the end of your row, turn the work so that you can weave the tail in along the side edge of your knitting. Again, weave the needle in and out of the stitches for about an inch.
5. Trim the excess yarn, leaving a tail that is about 1 inch long.
6. To finish, thread the tail onto a tapestry needle and weave it through the stitches on the wrong side of your work for about ½ inch. Trim the excess yarn and pull tight to secure.
Block the Shawl
The final step is to block your shawl. To do this, simply wet the shawl with cool water and gently squeeze out the excess. Next, lay the shawl out on a flat surface and pin it into place. Allow the shawl to dry completely before removing the pins. Voila! You’ve now completed your very own knit shawl.
Add a Fringe (optional)
Adding a fringe is an optional way to finish your shawl. If you decide to add a fringe, do so after you have bound off the final row of your shawl.
To make the fringe, cut eight 24-inch (60 cm) lengths of yarn. Fold the yarn in half and, using a crochet hook or your fingers, pull the fold through the end stitch on your bind-off row. Then pull the ends of the yarn through the loop to secure. Repeat this process seven more times, for a total of eight fringes.
To finish, trim the fringes evenly.
Enjoy Your New Shawl!
Now that you’ve completed your shawl, take a moment to enjoy your handy work! You’ve knit a beautiful and unique piece, and we hope you’ll wear it with pride. If you follow the care instructions below, your shawl should last for many years to come.
First, make sure to hand-wash your shawl in cool water using a mild detergent. Gently squeeze the water out of the shawl and then roll it in a towel to remove any excess moisture. Next, lay your shawl flat on a blocking board or clean surface and smooth it into shape. Once it’s blocked (dried and shaped), you can store your shawl folded in a drawer or hanging on a Peg-Board.
We hope you enjoyed this project and we look forward to seeing what you knit next!