Welcome to Day 3 of the Adjustable Shawls series! Today, we’re talking about adjustable square shawls, or how to resize square shawls.
What are adjustable square shawls? Assume your yarn supply is limited, for example you only got one skein of a specific yarn you plan to use for a shawl. How do you make sure you don’t run out of yarn? That’s when adjustable shawls come in handy.
The most important tool for any adjustable shawl is a scale (we talked about this yesterday). Any digital kitchen scale should be sufficient. Why is it so important? To make sure you won’t run out of yarn we have to plan yarn usage accordingly. As we cannot measure the wound skein, we use the weight of it instead.
Read the label on your yarn to find out how many yards / meters are in one skein, and to find out how many grams your skein has. An example: lace weight yarn usually comes in hanks of around 880 yards per 4 oz (800m/100g).
So if we don’t want to run out of yarn we have to plan. Let’s start.
Square Shawls Basics
There is a whole bunch of information about square shawls available in my Shawl Design For Everybody series here on knitting.today. If you don’t know anything about square shawls and how they are constructed yet, feel free to browse the series and learn about
- Square Shawls Worked From Center Out
- Square Shawls Worked Hem to Hem (Shetland & Orenburg Style Shawls)
- Square Shawls Worked Diagonally
How to Resize Square Shawls
Square shawls are adjustable by default when worked hem to hem, diagonally or from center out. Square shawls worked from hem inwards cannot be turned into adjustable shawls: the size of this shawl type is determined in the moment you are casting on.
For alignment of pattern modules in square shawls, the same principles as outlined in the post What Makes Shawls Adjustable apply.
The most intuitive form for explaining the principles of adjustable shawls is the square shawl worked diagonally (from tip to tip). The point in knitting where you have to make sure you still got the minimum of half the yarn left is the center diagonal – the position where the increases stop and the decreases start.
In the example pattern below, differences between the original pattern template and the adjustable one are marked green.
- Weigh your yarn and write down the number (we call this weight W from now on).
- CO 3 sts and purl one round.
- Increase Row: K1, YO, k to last stitch, YO, k1.
- Next Row: Knit.
- Repeat the last two rows until W/2 grams are left or until desired size.
- Decrease Row: K1, ssk, knit to 3 sts before end of row, k2tog, k1.
- Next Row: Knit.
- Repeat the last two rows until all increased stitches are decreased again (until 3 sts are left total), then cut yarn, put through stitches and pull tight.
- Weave in ends and block gently.
That’s it! Give it a try and let me know how it goes – and let me know if you have any questions or suggestions by leaving a comment below!
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