Aka Mai Knitter Archives
Knitting or crocheting your own shawl is a beginner level project that is only slightly more difficult than knitting or crocheting a scarf. The shape to follow is simple, just make a large square or circle enough to cover your shoulders. More importantly, the pattern you will need is only two dimensional, no need to make sleeves or neck holes unless you want to do a poncho. There are other ways to make a shawl, you can cut out and sew one with cotton, silk or polyester fabric. Many will embellish the ends of the shawl to achieve a certain style.
Crocheted shawls are usually done to showcase special techniques in crochet that would normally not be used other projects. Fancy crocheted shawls make beautiful handmade gifts for her that rival lace veils. Some crocheted and knitted shawls look good enough to use over formal wear for wedding and other occasions on a cold day. You will find crocheted shawls in flower patterns and edged with decorative fringe. Delicate threads are used for shawls and it is also not unusual to see metallic thread mixed in to make a shawl look more elegant.
Usint patchwork to create a shawl needs a lining but the effect or a patchwork can be rustic as a reflection of a folk art or it can also look contemporary depending on the fabric and colours chosen for the patchwork. Traditional Korean patchwork uses silk fabrics in pastel colors sewn in simple squares or rectangles and the effect is a feminine ensemble that compliments any contemporary style. Patchwork shawls can be complex when other techniques are applied such as embroidery or applique.
Choosing Fabrics for Shawls
Decide first if the shawl is meant for everyday use or just for special occasions. You can also decide if the shawl is meant for summer days or cold winter nights. Whatever fabric you do choose, make sure that it is soft and comfortable to the skin. Many formal shawls use handwoven fabrics or expensive fabrics that are especially soft and lustrous like pashmina wool and silk. You can also use polished cotton in a vast amount of options as these are the same fabrics usually used for skirts. As much as possible, keep away from fabric that is stiff as it will not wrap around your shoulders as well and will be difficult and awkward to wear. Wool is a favorite for warm shawls but you can also use fleece or other soft synthetic material.
How to Size Your Shawl
A too large shawl can double as small blanket and can be cumbersome to wear. If your fabric is heavy, keep the shawl smaller, just enough to cover your shoulders and upper arms. Light fabrics can be as extravagant as you want and you can buy meters of light fabric for a shawl with some drama. Lighter fabrics can wrap around the shoulders several times without getting heavy and allowing the wearers still some ease of motion.