Monday, February 13, 2017

Circular shawls

This is the last installment on my shawl shape series.  They all stemmed from a conversation with my daughter in law last year when she asked me about how to create a triangle shawl.  It sparked my thoughts as I washed dishes.  It commanded time in my dreams during the time of not quite asleep yet not quite awake.  It's amazing what you can come up with during that time.

Circles are the last shape I will be tackling.  5+ sides are better suited to motifs rather than whole shawls.  My mind has come up with 3 ways to create a circle.  One is possible on paper but not in practical knitting or crocheting and so won't be mentioned except here.  Start with 3 - 5 sts and in rows keep increasing out so you create rounded edges on the "sides".  Work 3 - 5 rows straight then follow the amount of increases back down to the same beginning 3 - 5 sts.  In practice this doesn't work.  It cups horrendously because of the rapid rate of increases/decreases.  Cupping will be worse depending on the stitch used. 

Method 1  Start with either a magic circle and 8 or 12 sts worked into the circle in crochet or 2 dpns and 12 sts evenly distributed.  When knitting, follow Pythagorus' rule and every time you double the number of rounds, double the number of sts on the needles.  An example of this is rd 1, k, rd 2 kfb around, rd 3 k, rd 4, kfb around, rd 5-7 k, rd 8, kfb, rd 16 kfb, rd 32 kfb.  Keep this increasing pattern until you have the diameter you wish.  Any increase can be used.  YO, k1 can be used instead to add to the lace effect or to give a very definite line of demarcation.  Any stitch can be worked in the solid bands between the increase rds with the exception of things that cause waves such as feather and fan pattern stitch.  These don't fare well without extensive planning due to the changing stitch count every increase round.

When working with crochet, double the number of sts on rd 2, work 1 single stitch and a pair of sts all the way around on rd 3, work 2 singles and a pair all the way around on rd 4, 3 singles and a pair on rd 5 and continue in this fashion until you are large enough.  Pythagorus doesn't work as well for crochet due to the less flexible nature of the fabric created.  This is in my experience. 

This is fabulous for adding a border and edging due to all live stitches on the edge.  You will also have a really ;nice "bag" to hold your ball of yarn and needles once you get onto a large circular needle.

Method 2 Starts at the outside edge and works into the center.  Follow the same pattern for increasing here except decreases will be substituted.  Again be mindful of the stitch patterns you choose.  The first rds will be extremely long but once you start the decreasing, they happen quicker and quicker as you go.  This can work great as long as your edge is not too tight.  You also don't have to worry about having an ever increasing number of live stitches to drop.

Method 3 uses motifs.  Pick one major motif and a secondary smaller motif for filling in during the joining up phase.  These can be very elegant but not necessarily easy to wear. 

There are no pictures this time.  We all know what a circle looks like and with this few  methods, I didn't deem it necessary.

Go forth and knit or crochet.  Have you chosen your shape?  How about a stitch pattern?  Many of the stitches I'm sharing here during the #yearofcrochetstitches and #yearofknitstitches can be used successfully for almost any shawl shape.