Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Circular Shawl from Doily Pattern (Actually, more than 360 degrees)

There has been interest in how to make a circular shawl from a doily pattern. There is an article from the Spring '95 Knitter's Magazine on how to do this if you want to go to the source material. The article is by JoAnne Besold and is titled "More than Circular". She took a doily pattern and used larger and larger diameter needles to make the shawl bigger. The result is a nice circular shawl that ends up being more than 360 degrees in circumference. As a result, it actually stays put on your shoulders. I've made several in the past and they really did stay on my friends shoulders without always falling off. Especially if made in a cotton or linen.

How To

Select a doily pattern that is at least 75 rows long (90 rows is better) or one that was originally 18" to 20" in diameter. You will need about 1,000 yards of laceweight yarn for an elbow length shawl and aprox. 1,500 yards for a 62" diameter shawl. (She showed examples of "Snowflake" from Gloria Penning's Knitted Heirloom Lace II to which she added an additional lace edging, also knit "Snow-on-the-Mountain, a Coats and Clark pattern and added beads to the points at the ends)

Cast on with a size US 5 needle. Work a 3 inch radius in the pattern.
Change to US 6 needle. Work until 1/3 of the doily pattern is done.
Change to US 8 needle. Work another 1/3 of the doily pattern.
Change to size US 10 or 10.5 needle and finish the pattern.

If your pattern will allow it, and if you want the shawl longer, add a knit lace edging to the shawl either with the US 10 or larger needle.

Wash/block (I actually did not block flat because mine was more than 360 degrees. I folded the shawl in half and then blocked it more like in a crescent shape).

If you have a pattern you like, but it is not enough rows, it is suggested that you might knit "relief" rounds into the pattern to lengthen the pattern
Purl one round, Knit 3 rounds, (YO K2tog) for 1 round, Knit 3 rounds, Purl 1 round, Knit one round.

That is essentially it. If you don't already have any doily patterns, there are a lot of nice ones available. Gloria Penning has some very pretty one's at her site at (http://www.knitlacepatterns.com/) You could also check out some of the free pattern sites as well.

That's it for now. Good Luck with it if you decide to give it a try! Let me know how it works out.


alice said...

Thanks for sharing, Jane! I will file this away in my little brain for when I get tired of teeny tiny doilies.

Opal said...

What a great article, Jane. I have a ton of doily patterns that would make great shawls.

Jane said...

Hey everyone!

It's a nice way to make a shawl that's not going to be really taxing because at least you can see the stirches well and it doesn't go on forever! As an alternative,you could just do what Meg Swanson does in the shawls for "A Gathering of Lace". Just use size 10 needles for the whole thing and add more repeats of the motif until you get the size you want. It's a bit more complicated to do this but I know some of you out there are totally up for that challenge:)

knitsteel said...

Thanks for posting the info. I'm also picking that book up from the library today, as it seems I need something to look at as I knit.

Jane said...

Dear knitsteel,

There are very nice patterns in "A Gathering of Lace" and if you can copy them from the book so you just get the ones you like then it's worth a trip to the local library. Is that copyright infringement? I have no idea. After all, it's only for your own use so I think not!

Thanks for checking in!