Basic Shawl Recipe Questions

I’m just knitting a garter stitch triangular shawl (sans pattern) for my grandma. How do you determine how wide and long the shawl should be? Do you measure their armspan; the length of their back? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Everything I’ve read about making your own pattern for shawls suggest the width should be the armspan (I make mine about 60" wide). As far as depth goes, mine are usually somewhere between 30-35". Hope that helps!

That’s pretty much how you do it, measure handspan and back of neck to waist or hip length.

Do you have maybe another shawl or a scarf or a towel or even a throw that you could wrap around yourself to get a feel for how big around feels right?

Certainly armspan is a wonderful place to start.

To me, it depends on how you anticipate fastening it around yourself. Do you want to tie the ends into a knot? Do you want to fasten it with a broach [sp?]? Will it rest in the crook of your elbows?

And do you want the shawl long enough to sit on the center tip? To go down to your knees?

This is all a matter of personal taste. Some like long graceful shawls, others are happy with just-below-shoulder-blade length.


I really have no idea how I want it. And like an idiot, I did not knit it oon circs (of course, I couldn’t find US size 19 circs at my LYS) - so it’s very difficult to tell how wide it is. Right now it extends from the base of my neck to just above my behind. I only have a bit of yarn left on the ball - so I’ll most likely just knit until I run out of yarn and that will sort of dictate the measurements… :aww:

That sounds like it should work just fine. Try it on - if you need to lengthen it or widen it, maybe you could block it.

That’s the beauty of shawls… they are soooo versatile and adaptable!

Good for you for making one. How about one for yourself? :wink:


You could probably find the center and measure from there to where you started. Usually the width is about twice that measurement. Or put the sts onto scrap yarn so you can spread it out.