Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to Knit a Larger Sentiment Shawl

Photo © Kathy Cadigan, 2013

Even though it's still summer here in the northern hemisphere, this bulky shawl, Sentiment, has been my best seller this month! The super chunky stitches are surprising and impressive, and make for a rewarding and quick knit. 

The wingspan is as it's written is 48 in/122, and lots of knitters have asked how to make a larger shawl. It isn't complicated and just takes a little bit of math. I wrote an easy formula below, along with a step-by-step explanation of how to use it.

The lace pattern repeat that starts off the shawl is 14 stitches (+1 edge stitch), if you want to increase the size of the shawl, you’ll need to add multiples of 14 to the cast-on number. You can then work the lace section of the shawl using the written or charted instructions given on page 3 of the pattern. When you finish that section, you’ll have worked some shaping, so you’ll end up with 12 fewer stitches than you cast on.

For the short row shaping section, you’ll want to have 7 center stitches that are not worked during short row shaping. Here’s the math for figuring out how many stitches to work in Row 1 of the Short Row Shaping:


Total Number of Stitches - 7 (center stitches) = A
A ÷  2 = B (the number of stitches on either side of the 7 center stitches)
B (first set of stitches) + 7 (center stitches) = C (number of stitches to work in Short Row 1)


So Short Row 1 would read, “KC (instead of 54), w&t.”  Then you could just work the remainder of the pattern as written, though with different stitch counts.

At the gauge given in the pattern, each lace repeat gives you about 6 inches of finished width. In order to make a shawl that’s a foot wider than given in the pattern (60 inches instead of 48), I’m going to start with 2 extra lace repeats. 

Pattern Cast-On Number: 113
Stitches in 1 Lace Repeat: 14

113 (CO #) + 28 (2 extra Lace Repeats) = 141

Cast-On Section
I need to cast on 141.

Lace Section
In the Lace Section, 12 stitches are decreased.
141 (cast-on number) - 12 (decreased in shaping) = 129

Short Row Section
129 (Total Stitches) - 7 (center stitches) = 122
122 ÷ 2 = 61 (number of stitches on either side of the center 7 stitches)
61 (first set of stitches) + 7 (center stitches) = 68

Short Row 1 would read, “K68 (instead of 54), w&t.” 

Then continue working the pattern to the end as directed, being aware that you’ll have different stitch counts than are given in the pattern.

If you do choose to make a larger shawl, you’ll need more yarn than called for in the pattern. Since I haven’t knit it larger, I can’t be sure how much more, and it can vary a lot, particularly if you’re using a different yarn than called for in the pattern. 

Please share your projects on Ravelry! I’d love to see some XXL Sentiments this fall!

Photo © Kathy Cadigan, 2013

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