Sunday, September 09, 2012

Short Row Shawls

The term "short row shawl" can be interpreted in several ways.  One, is making four wedges that all together form a triangle (I think it's four...).  Short rows can also be used to create a circle, or half circle shawl.  In this case, however, short rows are a bit different.  They really ARE short!

One technique is to use groups of needles, usually 3 or 4, separated by one or two needles out of work.  Start at the right edge of the bed, and put all but the two groups closest to the carriage into hold.  Go back and forth over these two groups for 6 rows.  Put the next group to the left into work, and knit to the left.  Pull the group over on the right into hold, so now you have two groups again.  Knit 5 rows, ending with the carriage on the right.  Continue across the needlebed, pushing the left group into work, knit across, pull the right group into hold, and knit 5 rows.

When you get to the last two groups on the left, you have two choices.  One is to knit on the two groups, and then start returning back to the right.  You'll have to do one extra row to get the carriage over to the left before putting the right group back into work.  The other option is to put the last group on the left into work, knit to the left, and put the right group into hold, so you're working on just the left most group of stitches, for how many rows you want.  This will create a scallop along the edge.

For the turquoise shawl, you start with 2 needles in work, two out, 2 needles in work.  I think.  If you look here you can see some pictures.  As you work across, and get to one side, you also put two more groups of needles into work, and you have to e wrap over them.  This creates the increasing triangle shape.  When you get to the width you want, work without increasing; and then you decrease to get the other angle.  That's where I had trouble, remembering how to do those decreases. 

There's also no law that says you have to do the same number of rows over each group as you go across.  Check out this shawl.  I started at one edge with only 3 rows between groups for about 5 groups, then 5 rows for 5 groups, then 7 rows for 5 groups, etc, and the scallop was made by doing several more rows than the group before. 

Other scarves include a red one and black one based on a Diana Sullivan pattern and the original white one posted higher in this post.  I hope to add some photos in the future, to show more detail about the edges.

This is a great technique that has endless variations.  Leaving two needles out of work between groups produces longer floats between the groups.  Doing more rows on each group makes the holes between groups bigger.  This is one time though that you don't want to knit too loose, or the yarn will loose it's shape and visually will not look as good.  I hope to get back to that brown and blue one, but I've decided that it won't be a shawl again....I'm going to do the same technique with some other yarn as I don't see myself using a blue and beige shawl, despite loving the colours together--it won't go with anything else in my closet!

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