Knitting makes me happy, computers keep me humble.

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My Town - Jerome, Arizona

January 9, 2009
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Erica Raspberry






Knit Along with the Knitting Novices! Jessica's Instructions :-)

OK, it's the official start of the KnittingNovice's Knitalong!

An overview of the basic guidelines of our knitalong:
1) Anyone can participate; No one has to :-)
2) To begin, simply get the indicated pattern (always free, on the web) pick your yarn & your needles, and get started.
3) Post to the list with your progress and any questions, comments, tips, ideas, problems, successes, etc.
4) The length of each knitalong will be determined by: the size of the project and listmom's available time to begin a new knitalong.

So here we go - by popular demand, this time the knitalong is a shawl. The basic pattern we will be using can be found here. The Shawl Workshop is accessed by clicking "Make a Shawl" on the left.

Hint - when you choose your yarn (and you can use ANY yarn) look at the recommended needle size on the label. We don't need to worry about gauge for a shawl but you may want to use a needle one or two sizes bigger for a lacy affect. Ask your friendly yarn store owner for suggestions :-)

Please take note of the "Block a Shawl" link-we'll need this when we're done with our shawls. Just want to make a garter stitch or stockinette shawl? Pick your yarn & needles, and get started!

EXTRA CREDIT: Lace shawl! This knitalong will have extra credit: insert a lace pattern in the center! I toyed around with designating a specific lace pattern to use, but decided to leave it up to each knitter. There are a few sites with different patterns:
Or, perhaps you have a book that gives stitch patterns, or visit your local library.

Some tips for choosing a lace pattern for newer knitters, so as to avoid complicating matters too much: Avoid patterns with lots & lots of rows or with lots of stitches in the repeat. Also avoid patterns where the stitch count changes on each row. Avoid patterns that have patterning on both sides (i.e. every other row should be all knit or all purl) I also avoid patterns that have a row that start with YO. It just bugs me.

New to reading patterns? Try this site:

After you've picked your pattern, here is how I go about inserting a pattern into a triangular shawl. Make a note as to how many stitches you'll need to start. The pattern should state something like "multiple of 6 plus 2", which would mean you need 8 stitches to start the pattern. Now, is the pattern garter stitch based, stockinette based, or a mixture thereof? If the wrong side rows are all purl, it's stockinette. All knit, it's garter. A mixture? you got it, it's a mixture, so you need to choose whether you want to add in stitches in garter or in stockinette.

Now, you'll start the shawl, using one of Erica's patterns. Continue to the division for the borders. Now keep your center stitches in the stockinette or garter, whichever you chose. Continue until you have enough stitches between your borders to begin your pattern. Erica has you place a marker just after & just before each border. We'll be adding 2 more markers: one at each end of your patterning, so we will have: Border, marker, increasing section, marker, pattern, marker, increasing section, marker, border! (Really, it's way easier than it sounds) The increasing section will be worked in either stockinette or garter, as you have determined.

But to be more explicit: You're ready to begin row 1 of your pattern. Knit to first marker. Slip marker, YO, place marker. Work row 1 of your pattern. Slip marker, knit to end. (You should have 3 markers placed) Now, row 2: knit to first marker. Slip first marker, YO, place marker. Work row 2 of your pattern. Slip marker, work stitch as you have determined you need to, slip marker, work to end. (You should have all 4 markers placed) Row 3: knit to first marker. Slip first marker, YO, work stitch, slip marker, work row 3 of your pattern, slip marker, work stitches, slip marker, knit to end. Row 4: knit to first marker. Slip first marker, YO, work stitch, slip marker, work row 4 of your pattern, slip marker, work stitches, slip marker, knit to end.

Continue as above, working in pattern, and working a YO after the first marker on each row. Once you have enough stitches in each increasing section to add another repeat of your lace pattern, remove the 2 middle markers, and now work 3 repeats of your lace pattern in the center.

Start new increasing sections, placing the middle markers again. And continue on and on and on and on...until it's as big as you want it!

Return to Erica's site for how to finish the shawl and block it. Good Luck & Have Fun!