No More Short Rows: Crescent Shawls Worked Sideways

Crescents have been very popular shawl shapes for a few years and don’t seem to lose any popularity among knitters all over the world so far. Guess it’s time to devote some time to explain crescent shawls in detail: how do they look like, and how can they be constructed?

Please note: this is the third part of the Complete Guide to Crescent Shawls. You can find the first one (and links to all the other parts) here:

>> The Complete Guide to Crescent Shawls <<

Crescent Shawls Worked Sideways (Tip to Tip)

Crescent shawls can be worked sideways without much hassle, and this construction method has some clear advantages: there are no short rows (an issue for lots of knitters!) and stitch patterns can easily be introduced as well as lacy edgings or other design elements. The only thing to consider: as we are working sideways, any stitch patterns will be oriented in this way, too.

Crescent Shawls Worked Sideways
The construction principle of crescent shawls worked sideways: knitting direction is from left to right (or vice versa).

Construction Principles for Crescents Worked Sideways

The construction principle is relatively easy:

  • Work a swatch to determine the number of stitches (=N) needed to achieve the width you want. (For example numbers please see the introduction post in this series. As we’re working sideways, width refers to what usually is referred to as height: measured from neck down!)
  • Cast on approximately N/2 sts – or less if you want pointy corners.
  • Work increase rows until you have N stitches on the needles.
  • Work straight rows until shawl is of desired length, then
  • Work decrease rows until all increased stitches have been decreased again.
  • Block into shape.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s really one of the easier shawl shapes to knit!

Pattern Template: Crescents Worked Sideways

In case you need a recipe, here you go.

  • Work a swatch to determine the number of stitches for the final width of your shawl (=N). CO N/2 sts and work 4 rows in pattern.
  • K1, YO, k to end.
  • Knit one row.
  • Repeat the last two rows until your crescent is of desired width. Record the number of rows worked until desired width (=A).
  • Work in pattern (knit all sts) until shawl is of desired length minus the length of the increase part.
  • K1, ssk, k to end.
  • Knit one row.
  • repeat the last two until all increased stitches have been decreased again.
  • BO all sts loosely.
  • Block into crescent shape.
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  1. Judy missey says:

    Julia, I’m delighted to see your information on “crescent shawls worked sideways”. I hand knit and machine knit. I should be able to knit the crescent shawl worked sideways on my knitting machine. Thanks!!

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