Basic Top-Center-Out Shawl Recipe

Top-Center Out Shawl Recipe | Ask Me Monday | Vickie Howell #knitting

Basic Top-Center-Out Shawl Recipe

This week on Ask Me Monday, I show a Basic Top-Center Out Shawl Recipe using 3, easy steps to design your own triangle shawls, shawlettes, and bandit scarves. 

This episode of Ask Me Monday is sponsored by Knitter’s PrideKnitPro

See more KP products during “Vic’s Tips” segments of The Knit Show!

Products shown in this video tutorial: Knitter’s Pride Ginger Interchangeable Needles


Basic Top-Center-Out Shawl Recipe: Beginning Formula

The number of stitches you choose to cast on will vary based on yarn weight and your preference. Regardless, you’ll always cast on stitches for the left side, center tab (which will create a nice bit to sit at the nape of your neck, as well as a column of stitches to act as a sort of spine for your shawl.)

CO small amount (*even or odd number) of stitches for Left Side; place a stitch marker; CO an odd number (because this portion will ultimately be the tip of your triangle point) of stitches for the Center Tab; place a stitch marker; CO small amount (equal to Left Side) of stitches for the Right Side.

For the Love Triangle Shawlette, designed in a chunky-weight yarn and Stockinette & Garter body, the CO is 6 sts for Left Side; 3 sts for Center Tab; 6 sts for Right Side.

*NOTE: If you’re designing in a pattern stitch that requires an either even or an odd number of stitches OR multiples of a specific number, you’ll need to take that into account when determining how many stitches are cast on for the Left and Right sides respectively.

Top-Center Out Shawl Recipe | Ask Me Monday | Vickie Howell #knitting

Basic Top-Center-Out Shawl Recipe: Increase Formula

For this method, you’re actually creating two triangles that then form the larger triangle-whole. To create that, you’ll need a series of FOUR increases every RS row.

Allowing for at least 1 edge stitch, increase ONE stitch (in whatever method desired) at the Left Side; increase ONE stitch before the first marker (i.e. on one side of the Center Tab);increase ONE stitch after the second stitch marker (i.e. on the opposite side of the Center Tab); increase ONE stitch (in whatever method desired) at the Right Side, before edge stitch(es). — 4 stitches increased

For the Love Triangle Shawlette, for which I chose YOs as my increases for the lacy effect, the first RS (aka increase) row looks like this:

K1, yo (<– Left Side increase), k to marker, yo (<— Center Tab increase #1), slip marker, k3, slip marker, yo (<— Center Tab increase #2), k to 1 stitch before end, yo (<– Right Side increase), k1.

From here you just continue working your increase RS rows (in any stitch pattern you’ve chosen), then WS plain rows (without increases) until the piece is as wide as you want minus the edging and/or at the right stitch count multiples for the edging.

Basic Top-Center-Out Shawl Recipe: Edging Formula

It might seem overwhelming to calculate an edging doer the entire bottom of a shawl, but when calculating with this method, instead of working with the entire amount of stitches on your needle, you simply break the item into pieces: Left Side, Center Tab, Right side.

When considering the edging stitch pattern you choose for your piece, there’s really only one number you need to know, the amount of stitches of one of the sides minus edge stitch(es). Let’s call this number Side Body.

i.e. Left Side stitches – edge stich(es) = Side Body

Plug in the stitch pattern multiples into the Side Body amount. This same amount will apply to the opposite side.

All that’s left now are the Center Tab Stitches which will not change in stitch pattern, so you’ll continue as established, increasing on either side. The stitches created by the increases can be worked in Stockinette or Garter, and don’t need to be considered. They will create their own panels. 

For the Love Triangle Shawlette, I chose an edging that required a multiple of 6 stitches + 1. The Side Body number is 43 stitches (44 – 1 edge stitch). 6 (stitches) x 7 (repeats) = 42 + 1 = 43.

You will need to add additional stitch markers for the edging to help decipher between the increase panels that will be created on both Sides and on either side of Center Tab.

For the Love Triangle Shawlette, that looks like this:

Top-Center Out Shawl Recipe | Ask Me Monday | Vickie Howell #knitting

K1, yo, pm, (<— to mark separation between Side increases and edging stitch pattern) k1, [work stitch pattern] 7 times, pm, (<— to mark end of Side edging stitch pattern) yo, sl m (<— center increases), k3, sl m, yo, pm, (<— to mark end of opposite side center increases), k1, [work stitch pattern] 7 times, pm, yo, k1. — 4 additional markers placed, 4 sts inc. 

Top-Center Out Shawl Recipe | Ask Me Monday | Vickie Howell #knitting

Want to try knitting a top-center out project first before designing your own? Make the Love Triangle Shawlette in this month’s YarnYAY! subscription box. Yarn, stitch markers and pattern included!  (Only 15 left in stock!)

Get the Love Triangle Shawlette Box!

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