The triangular form is certainly one of the more distinctive and classic styles there are. This is a shape that when fully knitted, is light and easy to carry.
Originating from the 1800s this traditional yet relevant style drapes nicely and is a great layering piece for the autumn time. The triangular shape is a very flexible pattern as you can use any one of your yarns to create an unlimited number of variations.
1. Top-down knitted, increased in the middle and at the edges
This is one of the most common ways of knitting triangular shawls. The shape starts with agarter tab cast on – most often with nine stitches - and increases in every RS rows with four stitches: next to the edges and on the two sides of the middle stitch. This means there is no increase in the WS rows. The rows are parallel to the sides of the shawl. The height of the shawl will be half of the width of the wingspan.
This shape can be easily draped over the shoulders of your outfit and creates a lovely silhouette.
Example for this construction: Ready Shawl.
1.a. More increases can be added on the WS along the edges
In this case the shawl is also increased on the WS along the edges. This makes the shawl wider than in the first case. This creates a less triangular form but it is possible to block it so that it forms a more triangular shape overall. An example for this style is theGo Shawl.
2. The second method is also knitted top-down, but it is decreased only at the sides
This is rarely used but a fun way to create a triangular shawl. A lot of stitches are cast on for the upper edge and are decreased only at the sides. The rows are formed parallel to the upper edge row. This method was often used to create Estonian lace shawls. This type of pattern often ends with just three stitches – minimal casting-off.
3. Knitted bottom up and decreased at the sides and also in the middle
This starts with the edging first – exactly the opposite of the first type that we looked at. Lots of stitches are cast on for the edges then decreased at the two sides of the middle stitch and next to the edges.
This is a great option for a shawl where the edge is knitted sideways; the stitches are picked up from one side of the stripe; and then afterwards worked into the body. Rows are created parallel to the sides. This usually ends with just 3 stitches.
My new shawl knitting pattern: Beautiful Bride Shawl -published last week in Knit Now, Issue 67 - is knitted this way.
4. Knitted bottom up, starting from the bottom corner
This method is rarely used: stitches are increased only at both sides. The rows are parallel to the wingspan. Bind off is at the upper edge.
Below is a good example of this type:
5. Knitted sideways
Starting with one corner, one side is increased until the shape is deep enough in the middle. It is then decreased on the same side, with the same rate as the increases right to the other corner. Rows end up being perpendicular to the upper edge. This creates a fairly shallow triangular shape that is really easy to wear and great to pair with other pieces in your wardrobe.
The Miso shawl is worked sideways:
6. Asymmetrical knitted, starting with one corner
You start at one corner with just one stitch. One side is increased and the other side is decreased but more slowly than it increases. The side where the increases are will become the wingspan. The other side where the decreases are will be one side of the shawl. The bind off will be the other side of the shawl.
There are no rules as to how often to increase and decrease. The result will always be different: if the ratio of the increases and the decreases is close to each other then the shawl grows slowly. The result ends up being more like a narrow scarf, and this style is definitely a lot sleeker. If the difference in ratio is larger the shawl will be deeper.
The Candied Apples Shawl is an example of this type of shawl and this knitting pattern will be released on the 30th November.