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Triangle Shawl Guidelines

Make the size triangle shawl you want in any of 4 yarn weights
by Jackie E-S

Triangle shawl designs in the HeartStrings pattern line are easy to adapt to using other yarn weight types than those specified in the original pattern. Use these handy guidelines to help you estimate how much yarn is needed and what needle size to use.

Yardage

Amount of yarn needed will depend on the type of yarn you want to use, and the size shawl you want. As a guideline, allow these approximate amounts:

 

LENGTH FROM CENTER-BACK NECKLINE TO TIP OF TRIANGLE

YARN TYPE

36 - 40” full-length shawl

24 - 30” shawlette or mid-length shoulder shawl

18” neckerchief

Lace weight

1250 – 1525 yards

(1150 - 1400 m)

550 – 850 yards

(500 -775 m)

300 yards

(275 m)

Fingering weight

1000 – 1250 yards

(925 – 1150 m)

450 – 700 yards

(400 – 650 m)

250 yards

(225 m)

Sport / DK weight

900 – 1100 yards

(825 – 1000 m)

400 – 625 yards

(350 – 575 m)

225 yards

(200 m)

Worsted weight

800 – 1000 yards

(725 – 925 m)

350 – 550 yards

(325 – 500 m)

200 yards

(185 m)

Needles

A rule of thumb is to use needles 3 to 4 sizes larger than suggested on your yarn’s label. The reason for this is that yarn label gauge is typically for a sweater fabric. But shawls are intended to have a drapier, flowing fabric than a body-fitting, firm fabric sweater. Thus, the increase of the needle size will allow the stitches to move more freely (but you don't want to increase the needle size so much that you get a flimsy fabric).

If you are dealing with an unknown yarn without an unlabeled or handspun yarn where suggested needle size is not available, you can use the Knitting Needle Gauge method to estimate a yarn label needle gauge as the the starting point, then go up 3 to 4 sizes from there.

Based on the yarn type, you can also use my guidelines to select a needle size:

For lace weight yarn, use US 4 or 5 (3.5 – 3.75 mm)

For fingering weight yarn, use US 6 or 7 (4 – 4.5 mm)

For sport or DK weight yarn, use US 8 or 9 (5 – 5.5 mm)

For worsted weight yarn, use US 10 or 10½ (6 – 6.5 mm)

Checking Your Work

HeartStrings designs for triangle shawls start at the lower back point or center back neckline or side tail with just a few stitches while you become familiar with your yarn and the stitch patterns. Examples are

Elegantly Simple Triangle Shawl
Elegantly Simple Triangle Shawl
starts at the lower back point
and worked bottom to top
Triangles within Triangles
Triangles within Triangles Shawl
starts at upper center back neckline
and worked top to bottom

This is the beginning of your shawl, but it is also a sample that can be easily redone if you mess up while you are first practicing, or things aren't working out with your chosen yarn and/or needles.

Stop after every few rows and take a moment to observe your knitting so far. Feel it; fondle it. Stretch it out a bit to open up the lace and get a sense of what the resulting fabric will look like. If everything looks all right, then proceed. If not, start over with smaller or larger needles, or even a different yarn. If you aren't quite sure, continue on until you have done enough for a Blocking in Progress.

Triangles Within Triangles shawl being knitted
Beginning of Triangles with Triangles Shawl

Blocking in Progress

Just because you start knitting your triangle shawl without a traditional swatch doesn't mean you have to worry throughout your project to see if you like are going to like your shawl after it is blocked.

I seldom make a traditionals sample swatch when working shawls that start on a few stitches. But I do believe in the merits of sampling. Whenever possible, I use the beginning of my projects to serve as my samples. This gives me a good-sized swatch, rather than hurrying through a too-small separate swatch that will be less valuable.

Blocking is something we usually think of as only doing in the final stages of completing the article — usually the very last thing! By blocking our sample swatch, it becomes a mini-vision of our final project — it is an early indicator of gauge/size, hand and look of the fabric. I call this blocking in progress.

beginning of Triangles Within Triangles shawl being blocked in progress
Start of Triangles with Triangles Shawl

Return to Index of Jackie E-S Articles & Tips.

Thank you for interest. I am here to serve you and help keep your knitting a pleasurable experience. If you have questions or need assistance with purchasing or knitting my HeartStrings patterns, let me know. Sincerely, Jackie E-S

Email address: jackie@heartstringsfiberarts.com
Phone: 678-262-6338 or 877-764-2747 (toll-free in US)
Postal address: HeartStrings, Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, 53 Parlange Drive, Destrehan LA 70047-2133 USA

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Last revised Wednesday, 12-Mar-2014 10:44:31 CDT