Knitting Crescent Shawls the Austrian Way

The increase crescent shawl construction method is one I came up with during a recent knitting summit, Austrian Yarn Club’s Wollness Weekend. It starts with a handful of stitches and is shaped by increases on every row.

An outline of this construction method for crescent shawls can be found below. (Yes, I know it looks counter intuitive but give it a try – it really works this way. Promise!)

austrian crescent shawls

The benefits of knitting crescent shawls this way are that they are both

  • Adjustable in size, as well as
  • Adjustable in shape.

Resizing is easy: Just knit more rows for a bigger shawls.

Re-shaping is easy, too: You only have to adjust your increase rate (in this case, the number of stitches to be cast on using the backward loop method at the end of each row). Use more increases for a wider shawl, and less stitches (for instance, one instead of two as shown in the pattern template below) to get a wider, but not so wide crescent shawl.

Twenty or thirty stitches are a good start to avoid the prominent center bump in similar constructions. The number of increases to work depends on your target size and increase rate.

Knitting Crescent Shawls: Pattern Template

A pattern template for an Austrian crescent shawl using two increases every other row is given below. It’s a very easy method of creating crescent shawls indeed!

  • CO 23 stitches and knit one row.
  • Next Row: Knit to end of row, CO 2 using backwards loop cast on.
  • Repeat the last row until shawl is of desired size.
  • Bind off all stitches and block gently into crescent shape.

An example chart for an increase crescent with two stitches increased every row can be found in my recent article about adapting stitch patterns for crescent shawls, Crescent Shawl Lace Patterns.

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