The Secrets of Swirl Shawls And Vortex Shawls

Swirl Shawl Secrets

Question of the day: “How do you achieve a vortex shape in shawl knitting?”

Well, the answer is simple: by introducing asymmetrical decreases on one edge of the shawl. But this answer actually raises more questions: why the heck is that?

What Turns A Triangle Into a Vortex Panel?

I tried to answer this question in detail today while working on the chapter on vortex and swirl shawls of Shawl Design in Plain English: Fancy Shawl Shapes: the key to vortex panels is the knitting direction, actually.

Assume we are knitting a vortex shawl with the following parameters: one increase every row combined with three bound off stitches every sixth row. This results in a total of one stitch increased every second row. (6 – 3 = 3 total stitches increased in 6 rows (1 in 6), cancelling out results 1 stitch increased every second row – 1 in 2).

Theoretically, it should look like shown below. (Gray: normal stitches, green: increased stitches, magenta: decreased / bound off stitches).

swirl shawl secrets
A vortex panel for a swirl shawl with a total of one stitch increased every second row.

But it does not. The result is a vortex. Why? Because we are not knitting vertically! The actual knitting direction is an arc as shown below.

swirl shawl secrets: vortex panel
This is how a vortex panel for a swirl shawl with a total of one stitch increased every second row actually looks like when knitted.

This is what turns a triangle into a vortex. The knitting direction as shown above (the black arrow).

The shape shown above is the basis for each and every vortex shawl and swirl shawl. More than one of this shapes can be combined, and if the number of panels is matched against the increase angle, a swirl shawl (a circular shawl in fact, but achieved differently than described in the chapter on circular shawls in the shawl design course.

Combinations of Vortex Panels: Fans and Swirl Shawls

If some vortex panels are combined, fan-like shapes are the result.

fan shawls
Combinations of vortex panels form fan-like shawl shapes.

Swirl Shawls: How Many Panels?

When it comes to swirl shawls, it’s very important to match the increase angle with the number of vortex panels worked in the round. To make your life easier you can download a spreadsheet for easy calculation of the number of panels:

SWIRL SHAWLS CALCULATOR (METRIC)

SWIRL SHAWLS CALCULATOR (IMPERIAL)

Details are provided in the upcoming volume three of my book Shawl Design in Plain English: Fancy Shawl Shapes (published Sep. 8th).

Any more questions? I’m happy to hear them!

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Adjustable Shawls

all about adjustable shawls

Welcome to Adjustable Shawls!

In this blog post series you are going to learn everything about adjustable shawls: how to create them, how to make specific shawl shapes adjustable, how to turn existing shawl knitting patterns into adjustable shawl patterns and much more.

What Are Adjustable Shawls?

An adjustable shawl is a shawl where you can freely decide how many repeats you knit and no matter how many repeats you decide to work, the design still works. Adjustable shawls are adaptable in size and yarn usage can be calculated in advance so left-overs can be minimized.

all about adjustable shawls

Adjustable Shawls: The Course Schedule

  • What Makes a Shawl Adjustable? (Sep 5)
  • Adjustable Square Shawls (Sep 8)
  • Adjustable Stoles (Sep 11)
  • Adjustable Triangle Shawls (Sep 14)
  • Adjustable Circular Shawls (Sep 17)
  • Adjustable Rhomboid Shawls (Sep 20)
  • Adjustable Faroese Shawls (Sep 23)
  • Adjustable Vortex and Swirl Shawls (Sep 26)
  • Converting Existing Patterns Into Adjustable Shawl Knitting Patterns (Sep 29)
  • Example Patterns

I’m looking forward to working through the adjustable shawls course with you!

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How To Create a Knitting Pattern, Day 14: Checklist

How To Create Knitting Patterns, Day 14: Checklist

Are you a knitter dying to create your own knitting patterns but don’t have a clue where to start? Make yourself comfortable: let’s get you started on my tutorial series on how to create a knitting pattern. Feeling lost? Find the article series overview here!


Welcome to Day 14 of the Knitting Pattern How To series! Today, we are creating a knitting pattern checklist and walk through it step by step.

How To Create Knitting Patterns, Day 14: Checklist

 

Implementing Processes

In the last post in this series, I talked about proven processes in the creation, testing and publication stages of knitting pattern creation and the importance to define and follow these processes. The ultimate goal are error-free knitting patterns, and implementing processes helps us achieving it. So what we are going to do is creating a checklist to follow during the creation of knitting patterns as an implementation of these processes.

The check lists are actually two: one general one to implement before you create the first pattern, and one applicable for each single knitting pattern you create.

Checklist I: The General Checklist

  1. Create your own knitting pattern template.
    • Using the post on Knitting Pattern Templates (day 12 of this series) as a basis, implement your own knitting pattern template.
    • You might want to create one template for each item category. A pattern template for a shawl has¬† different sections than one for a sweater, for instance.
    • Create an empty template with your favorite software and use it for each and every pattern from now on.
    • Don’t limit yourself to a static template: in case your template turns out to be incomplete or otherwise not ideal, improve it as necessary. Listen to your customers and their suggestions.
  2. Create a style guide.
    • Decide which font(s) and font sizes to be used.
    • Define a set of colors (also called a color scheme, or palette) to be used in your patterns. Colored section headers are a good way to a clearly structured pattern, for instance.
    • Agree on abbreviations to be used.
    • Define common knitting pattern elements (e.g., listing of yarns to be used) to include.

 Checklist II: Knitting Pattern Creation

  1. Does the yarn selection match the item? (e.g. no usage of bulky weight warm wool for summer items)
  2. Did you use yarns which are readily available? If not, did you provide alternatives?
  3. Did you knit a swatch?
  4. Does the swatch fabric match the intended use of the pattern?
  5. Do you like the yarn/pattern combination in your swatch?
  6. Did you knit a swatch big enough to make sure you get your math right? (If your swatch is too small, rounding errors might pile up)
  7. Has your pattern been tested exhaustively?
  8. Does your pattern follow your style guide?
  9. Did you use your pattern template?
  10. Are your pattern pictures clear, in focus, and do they show all relevant details?
  11. Is all information needed to knit the item provided in your pattern?
  12. Is your name stated clearly on the pattern?
  13. Are your website/blog and your social network profiles (Twitter, …) stated on the pattern?
  14. Does your pattern provide any information on copyright?
  15. Did you provide a short bio and eventually a picture of yourself?

I’m sure there is more – I always keep forgetting important bits and pieces. Tell me if you find something or have a suggestion!

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<< Day 13: Quality Control | Day 15: Publishing your pattern >>

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Friday Freebie Pattern Poll: Free Knitting Patterns For Shawls

free knitting patterns for shawls friday freebies

Which free shawl pattern do you want to see as this week’s Friday Freebie? There are three lovely free knitting patterns for shawls to choose from this week. Shown from top to bottom: Ester, Hannah und Dora.

friday freebies free knitting patterns for shawls ester

Hannah free knitting patterns for shawls

FFPa Dora

 

 

Vote here for your preferred free knitting patterns for shawls to be featured in this week’s Friday Freebie!

Which pattern should be the next Friday Freebie?

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Happy voting :) #fridayfreebie

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free knitting patterns for shawls poll

 

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Friday Freebies: White Atlantic Free Shawl Knitting Pattern

FFPa White Atlantic

Welcome to this week’s Friday Freebies here on jriede.com! The free pattern poll this week had a clear winner – thanks to all who voted! We all love #fridayfreebies so I’ll not let you wait any longer.

Today’s free knitting pattern is White Atlantic, a knitting pattern for a stole featuring traditional Shetland lace motifs.

FFPa White Atlantic

You can download the free shawl knitting pattern in the shop for the next 24 hours.

yarnhugs_mittel

Feel free to drop me a note if you knit your own version of this lovely shawl, I’d love to see yours. Enjoy your free shawl knitting pattern!

Happy knitting! Feel free to share & spread the word :)

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