Constructing New Shawl Shapes – At 36.000 Feet Altitude

Most people complain about lack of inspiration, but honestly I’m not one of them. Ideas strike me all the time, like last Saturday morning, constructing new shawl shapes while sitting on a plane from Thessaloniki to Berlin.

I was sitting there with my laptop, the current knitting project buried deep in my backpack stored above my head. Sitting next to the window I didn’t want to bother the people next to me to get up for reaching it; so I decided to continue editing illustrations for volume two of Shawl Design in Plain English instead.

Constructing new shawl shapes at 36.000 feet altitude

Crescent shawls and their construction methods were what I focused on, and while editing the specific chapter I suddenly realized how limited our ideas about their construction are.

We all know about short row crescent shawls. We have heard about constructing crescent shawls using trapezoids and blocking the hell out of them, and how to achieve this shape using increases as we go.

But what if we wanted a center panel like in triangle shawls with center panels?

Constructing New Shawl Shapes: Crescent Shawls With Center Panels

What if we wanted to construct a crescent shawl with a center panel, like outlined in the picture below?

New shawl shapes: crescent shawls with center panels

Oh my.

First, I tried to figure out how to implement center panels into crescent shawls to construct new shawl shapes using short rows. Totally possible if you are used to designing shawls, but writing a pattern for such a thing sounds like a serious nightmare.

Full disclosure: I hate providing support for my knitting patterns, not only for mine, I hate support in general. As I want to be supportive for my customers nevertheless this sometimes creates a conflict of interest. I’m doing my best to solve this by writing clear, easy to follow knitting patterns which need as little support as possible. The simpler the explanations, the better. Complex instructions? No, thank you.

Just in case you happen to just LOVE support feel free to drop me an email, I’m looking for help with customer support currently.

The next thing I tried to imagine was knitting two halves of a trapezoid and joining them with a center panel. Totally possible too, but I like the crescent shape achieved by short rows much better.

So what to do?

I stared at the screen showing the illustration shown above. My husband, sitting next to me as a non-knitter, started to stare, too.

“This Odd Shape You’ve Been Knitting Recently”

Glancing at the computer screen, he finally suggested: “This looks like the funny shape you’ve been knitting recently. You know, these cornucopias.”

He was perfectly right. Looking at two halves instead of the whole thing, it becomes clear we’re looking at two mirror images of the very same cornucopia here.

New shawl shapes: crescent shawls with center panels

Did I mention how much I love him recently? Thank you, Steve.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Berlin

We landed at Berlin Sch├Ânefeld airport an hour later, and I was dying to put this idea into a real shawl. As I only brought my current knitting project suddenly I had a new problem: We were hungry, heading to Kreuzberg where we had parked the car in front of a friend’s house who was working night shift still asleep and not answering his phone, and I had no yarn nor knitting needles handy.

No yarn and no needles. I was in serious withdrawal.

Constructing new shawl shapes: the quest for yarn

Not hungry anymore, with a peckish husband next to me, I looked for yarn shops on our way to Kreuzberg, passing by Neuk├Âlln where I used to live. (A place I really enjoyed living at. Got married there, after all!)

We ended up in a small local yarn store called Needles & Pins near Bergmannstrasse. The shop owner spotted my withdrawal symptoms and was joking about it all the time, but of course being very friendly. I finally managed to get fours skeins of Lana Grossa Linea Pura in a men friendly blue color (“If you drag me around Berlin searching for yarn instead of letting me have lunch, you should at least consider knitting this shawl for ME” – you get the point).

Phew.

Finally, we managed to get him some food at Kreuzbergstrasse shortly after. I was knitting all the time on the passenger seat from Berlin to Bavaria, but it had become too dark to take any pictures at that time.

The new shawl shapes are a work in progress now, being half finished. I’ll update this post tomorrow with more pictures and results, but so far it looks more than promising!

If you’re interested in testing or sample knitting this new shawl shape just leave a comment below.

Love, Julia <3


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