So last week I participated in Frenchie’s 5 Shawls 5 Days Challenge (for more info go to Aroha Knits). Each day we got instructions for how to knit a certain shawl shape and how it’s constructed, and spent a half hour knitting up a little sample using whatever yarn we wanted. Most posted on social media (I posted mine in Instagram) and followed along with each other. It was really fun and I learned a lot since I’ve only knitted one shawl so far. I’ve crocheted many more. (Crocheting is like my native language and knitting is like a second one I’ve picked up and I’m not as fluent in it yet.)
Here is what I learned:
The yarn overs can be tricky and super frustrating if you’re a combination style knitter and have never done them before. I actually learned this a few years ago when attempting my first lace knit scarf but it applies here as well. If you’re not wrapping the yarn in the right direction, the yarn overs don’t work and it messes up all the rows after. Most knitting instructions are not written for combination style knitters so you really have to dig deep and learn the breakdown of exactly how knitting stitches are constructed so you can make your stitches come out the way they’re supposed to, which means, a lot of times, wrapping the yarn differently than in typical knit instructions, which are usually written for English style knitting. There are tons of combination knitting videos on Youtube that you can get this knowledge from and also your local yarn store staff, hopefully. That was who helped me. There are some famous combination style knit designers - Annie Modesitt is one who comes to mind.
Making small samples of shapes you want to learn to knit or crochet is a good way to not only learn how to make the full-size shapes but also you can use up scraps or those cute little mini skeins.
Here are my finished little mini shawls. So cute! I have more confidence I can design a full size knitted shawl now.