How to Knit Triangle Shawls: Triangle Shawl Design

Today’s topic in our shawl design course are triangle shawl patterns. How does triangle shawl design work? How can triangle shawls be constructed?

There are various ways of approaching the design of triangle shawls: they can be knitted sideways, bottom up, top down, and eventually include center panels.

Triangle Shawls Worked Sideways

In German speaking countries, this shawl shape is often referred to as Josephinentuch, and it’s the perfect pattern if you want to knit an adjustable triangle shawl.

Triangle Shawl Design
Increases worked every row result in an increase angle of approximately 60°.

Working a triangular shawl from bottom up means starting at the tip, increasing to a certain size and binding off after adding a little border at the upper side of the triangle if desired. In the case of asymmetrical increases (working sideways), the increases are worked on one side only.

Triangle Shawl Design
Increases every 3rd row result in an angle of approximately 30°.

Don’t let the images mislead you: the grid is square but gauge usually is not! Therefor, the images do not reflect the resulting angles accurately.

Triangle Shawl Design
Increases every other row yield angles of approximately 45°.

Pattern Template for Triangle Shawls Worked Sideways

The outline of the shawl design process for a triangle shawl worked sideways in garter stitch with increases every row is as follows.

  1. CO 3 sts and purl one row.
  2. Next Row (RS): K1, YO, k to end of row.
  3. Next Row (WS): K to last stitch, YO, k1.
  4. Repeat the last two rows until shawl is of desired size.
  5. Bind off all stitsches loosely and block gently.

The outline of the shawl design process for a triangle shawl worked sideways in garter stitch with increases every second row is as follows.

  1. CO 3 sts and purl one row.
  2. Next Row (RS): K1, YO, k to end of row.
  3. Next Row (WS): Knit.
  4. Repeat the last two rows until shawl is of desired size.
  5. Bind off all stitsches loosely and block gently.

Knitting Triangle Shawls Bottom Up

Working a triangular shawl diagonally means starting at one tip and working increase rows until the shawl has reached its desired size. The only difference between this version and the variant worked sideways is that here increases are worked on both sides of the shawl. This results in symmetrical increases.

The increase angle can be selected at will. Increase two stitches every other row for an increase angle of 90° for instance.

In this setup is possible (and common) to work the edging at the same time as the shawl body. Either way, we start with casting on three stitches and increasing continually until the shawl is of desired width (or height).

Pattern Template for Triangle Shawls Worked Bottom Up

The outline of the shawl design process for a triangle shawl worked sideways in garter stitch with increases every second row is as follows.

  1. CO 3 sts and purl one row.
  2. Next Row (RS): K1, YO, k to last stitch, YO, k1.
  3. Next Row (WS): Knit.
  4. Repeat the last two rows until shawl is of desired size.
  5. Bind off all stitsches loosely and block gently.

Knitting Triangle Shawls Top Down

Working a triangular shawl diagonally means starting at the upper (wide) side, decreasing to a certain size and binding off.

The increase angle can be selected at will. Decrease two stitches every other row for an increase angle of 90°, for instance. In this setup is possible (and common) to work the edging at the same time as the shawl body.

Pattern Template for Triangle Shawls Worked Top Down

The outline of the shawl design process for a triangle shawl worked top down in garter stitch with decreases every second row is as follows.

  1. Work a swatch and measure gauge. Desire on the width of the shawl and calculate how many sts to cast on based on the gauge you got.
  2. CO the calculated amount of sts and purl one row.
  3. Next Row: K1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
  4. Next Row: Knit.
  5. Repeat the last two rows until 3 sts are left.
  6. Bind off all stitches loosely and block gently.

Triangle Shawl Design With Center Panels

The trick with this construction method is to start with a small band (shown on the top of the image below – in this case, it’s a three stitch garter border) until it is long enough to pick up enough stitches for the planned center panel (in our case, a three stitch stockinette section shown as the central vertical band below) plus two stitches for the side panels.

Triangle Shawl Design: Using Center Panels
Small version of a triangle shawl started from a small band at center neck, worked top down.

I made a short animation showing you how the setup for triangle shawls with side panels is created. It’s my first attempt on creating animations – please let me know if this video made the whole thing clearer for you, thanks!

Pattern Template: Triangle Shawl With Center Panel

Decide how many stitches your center panel will be ( = N). The template uses a three stitch seed stitch border on the longer (upper) side of the triangle, therefor we have to cast on 5 (3 + 2 for the edges) stitches.

CO 5 sts and work 2N rows in seed stitch, slipping the very first st of each row (wyb on RS rows, wyf on WS rows to ensure a clean edge for pick up later)

Panel Setup Row (RS): Sl1 wyb, work 3 sts in seed stitch, pm, k1, pm, pick up and knit N sts along edge, pm, pick up and knit 1 stitch, pm, pick up and knit 4 sts.

Panel Setup Row (WS): Sl1 wyf, work 3 sts in seed stitch, slm, p1, slm, p to next marker, slm, p1, slm, work in seed stitch to end.

Next Row (RS): Sl1 wyb, work 3 sts in seed stitch, slm, YO, k to next marker, YO, slm, work N sts in center panel pattern, slm, YO, k to next marker, YO, slm, work in seed stitch to end.

Next Row (WS): Sl1 wyf, work 3 sts in seed stitch, slm, p to next marker, slm, work N sts in center panel pattern, slm, p to next marker, slm, work in seed stitch to end.

Repeat the last two rows until shawl is of desired size, then work a few rows of garter stitch (or any other edging of your choice), then bind off all sts loosely. Weave in ends and block gently.


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19 thoughts on “How to Knit Triangle Shawls: Triangle Shawl Design

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  • August 19, 2016 at 3:23 am
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    I hope there is some discussion of the directions for the pattern template for triangle shawl with center panel. What does this mean, “pick up and knit N sts along edge.” Why pick up ? My N stitches are on my needle. Where is the edge from which I am picking up? Are there more directions ? Thank you, frustrated in Philadelphia, PA.

    Reply
    • August 19, 2016 at 7:49 pm
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      You are working a band first with a provisional cast on, so you have live stitches on one small end of the band, and provisional cast on at the other small end. You pick up stitches from the long side of the band for the center panel (N stitches) and two additional stitches becoming your side panel setup stitches. Is it really that hard to understand?

      Reply
      • October 30, 2016 at 7:22 pm
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        Yes, it is confusing. I don’t thing you should be rude to someone asking a question because they are frustrated. This is somewhat of a complicated pattern.

        Reply
        • November 1, 2016 at 9:10 pm
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          It’s a garter tape cast on, nothing more. I’ll have to think about how to explain it more clearly. Thanks for your input!

          Reply
      • November 17, 2016 at 2:49 am
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        Are you kidding me? “Is it really that hard to understand?” Firstly, your directions were not exactly replete with good instructions, to say the least. How dare you speak to someone like that? You’re lucky anyone dignified this post with a response.

        Reply
        • November 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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          Marjorie,

          I’m just really wondering if it is. Sometimes written words do not resemble the whole intention of the speaker, and English is not my first language so please forgive my unintended eventual rudeness. Sometimes things we consider to be fairly simple are not simple at all for others as it seems.

          Reply
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  • September 19, 2016 at 7:54 pm
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    Thanks a lot! A very helpful tutorial ideed. Exactly what I was looking for. The video is great! I have done the triangle shawl with central panel before but I could not repeat it as I have no scheme any more. Now I can easily figure out the process.
    It would be great to understand how to incorporate different boders and lace patterns for side panels as well.

    Thank you
    Anastasia

    Reply
    • September 22, 2016 at 2:55 pm
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      Thanks for your suggestion!

      Reply
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  • December 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm
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    Thank you Julia for the explanations and instructions. I understand the frustration of some of the persons posting comments. There’s nothing wrong with your explanations … but I believe that these are probably more intended for persons who are more experienced with knitting. I’ve only been knitting for 2yrs. and they were a bit complex … but a friend of mine who’s been knitting 20yrs. read them and understood all of the terminology and explanations. Thanks again !

    Reply
    • December 23, 2016 at 10:58 pm
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      Thank you for your kind words!

      Reply
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