Seeking u-shaped shawl pattern

Hi, all. I love this site, although I don’t visit it frequently enough. I’ve referred other people to it for the great videos (thanks for publishing them).

I hope you can help with the following quest:

For several years now, I have searched in every book, pattern catalog, and website I can get my hands on for a simple u-shaped shawl pattern. I’m picky about what I want, but still I’m surprised none of my searches over the years have revealed a pattern that meets the requirements. I keep thinking others would enjoy a shawl in this style, too. Perhaps I’m using the wrong combination of search terms, so forgive me if there’s something published here (or elsewhere) that I haven’t found.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • a semetrical u-shaped shawl that will fit/drape nicely around the neck (straight lines of triangles and rectangles either leave gaps or get bunched up around the neck when pulled close)
  • not too lacy; cold wind nips through all those little holes
  • rounded at the bottom back, not pointy like a triangle
  • tapered from greatest width in middle back to more slender ends, so the ends can be tied loosely without a lot of bulk OR can just be left to dangle down the front of the body
  • no “sew on” parts (like the ties added to some stole patterns)
  • no “seam up the middle back” look that so many triangle shawls have (for some inexplicable reason, that seam thing just really bugs me)
  • icing on the cake would be if it also looks decent from both right and wrong sides.

If I had even a trace of pattern-making ability, I’d maybe be able to design something myself, but I fully lack that gene apparently. I’d be grateful for any help you can provide. Thanks, and best wishes.

Not too hard at all to design. Can you give me an idea of what you’re looking for as far as yarn weight, gauge, needle size, etc?

There’s the Weaver’s wool mini shawl which you could add an extra panel to

I’ve had good luck with taking a top down triangle shawl pattern that has a center spine' and just adding an extra section to it. So you have edge sts, panel 1,center st’, panel 2, center st', panel 3, edge stitch. This comes out with a U shaped neckline and somewhat of a 3/4 of a square bottom edge, but it's more rounded at thecorners’ than sharp angled. Oh, and because you’re doing 6 incs across the RS rows, the front ends/points are elongated so you can tie them.

“Not too hard at all to design…” Easy for YOU to say. :slight_smile: I admire anyone who can design; maybe with greater knitting experience I’ll someday be able to at least think some of it through without getting confused and ending up with a Dr. Seuss style garment.

I offer answers, although they may not be as specific as you need or want (using body parts for length rather than specifying inches). I hope that’s OK; if not, I’ll haul out a tape measure and try to be more precise. Despite my list of “must haves” in the quest, I do want to try to be flexible about pattern, density, and so on, especially since I am asking others for something I am unable to do myself.

Here goes:

Would like to use worsted weight yarn, needles of 10 or 10.5 size preferable (but give or take a size in either direction). I’m not sure how to answer about gauge.

Would like the shawl to be about waist length in back (give or take), drape around the shoulders to about elbow length on the sides, hang from neck/shoulder to front ranging somewhere between just below waist to almost crotch (give or take–which I THINK will make the ends long enough to tie and still dangle tastefully several inches but won’t be so long that when not tied they look weirdly out of proportion).

What I can’t picture is whether a side length of “to the elbows” would require too much pattern-narrowing in too short of a distance to achieve narrower/tie-able ends.

I hope this all makes sense and is helpful. If not, let me know and I’ll attempt a better description. I appreciate your willingness to consider developing a pattern.

Thanks for your reply and the link to the mini-shawl. It’s pretty, and I will download the pattern for future reference.

Let me see what I can come up with. I think I may be able to come close to what you want.

It might take me a day or two to write up.

I’ve looked for years for something like this, and I’m grateful for the response, so do not feel a need to rush. Best wishes, and thank you again for taking time to think about this. I really do think others will enjoy a shawl of this shape.


I am a new knitter and have never designed anything. At most I take existing patterns as a base and change parts. What I am trying here is a thought process and ask that people look at the process and critique. :??

1.All numbers and gauges are arbitrary as I’m at lunch and have no tape measure, yarn, needles, etc.
2.Assume that the gauge is 7 stitches per inch and 8 rows per inch.
3.Distance from waist to bottom of neck is 18 inches.
4.In order to create a smooth curve scarf will cast on to knit width not the length.
5.For a scarf 10 inches wide 80 rows will be knit.
[B]Now for the hard stuff.[/B]
6.I have a 20 inch neck for an inside circumference 10 inches or 70 stitches
7.To have a scarf 10 inches wide the outer circumference of the neck area needs to be about 42 inches or 294 stitches.
8.(Calculation: Radius [distance from center to outer edge for those of us long out of school] of a 20 inch circumference circle is little over 3 inches. Add 10 inches to that radius gives a radius of about 13 inches for the outer edge of the scarf. The circumference of a circle with a 13 in. radius is about 82 in. This makes the inter edge of the neck portion 10 inches long and the outer portion about 41 inches long.)
9.At 8 rows per inch the scarf is 80 rows wide.
10.The inter neck row would be 70 stitches for a 10 inches diameter.
11.The outer neck row would be 287 stitches and 41 inches in diameter.
12.Therefore there need to be an increase of about 217 stitches over 80 rows.
13.Using MS Excel I calculate a 7 stitch increase about every 1.5 rows.
14.Excel gives this table of increases.
No. Inc.
Row inc. every total
1 0 70
2 7 10 77
4 7 11 84
7 7 12 91
10 7 13 98
12 7 14 105
15 7 15 112
18 7 16 119
20 7 17 126
23 7 18 133
26 7 19 140
28 7 20 147
31 7 21 154
34 7 22 161
36 7 23 168
39 7 24 175
42 7 25 182
44 7 26 189
47 7 27 196
50 7 28 203
52 7 29 210
55 7 30 217
58 7 31 224
60 7 32 231
63 7 33 238
65 7 34 245
68 7 35 252
71 7 36 259
73 7 37 266
76 7 38 273
79 7 39 280
15.This should give you a fairly smooth curve.
16. Now there may need to be an adjustment for the curve / drape over the shoulders but I would assume (dangerous) some of this could be accounted for by the give in the knit.

Cast on 322 stitches. Place a marker after stitch 126 and 196.
Knit to first marker and begin increases.
After second marker knit straight no increase.

MMario again I am a new knitter and would have to try this before I would say that it is accurate but wanted to try and have someone look more at the thought process then the actual results. :??


If this is your first attempt at design, I would say you have a brilliant future in knitting ahead.
Maths are my weak point. I have been known to publicly fail to count to two correctly more then once. However your results agree with my calculator.

FURTHERMORE - (and much more importantly cough) your cunstruction is very similar to one of the three patterns I was going to propose.

I’m working up :
1 with short rows, knit end to end, the second was going to be a gradual increase, (which you have basically written) and the third is going to have a different style of increase commonly referred to as “pi shawl” shaping - though it really has nothing to do with pi.(or pie)

BTW - I know many knitters who are more then capable of taking the notes in your post and producing a finished shawl from it.

Bravo! Or is it Brava? grin!

The above comment on second read doesn’t say what I really meant it to, though it is true enough.

I think what I am trying to say is that what you wrote is a perfectly useable pattern for many people, though, like many of my own, it would freak many others out completely. Not only is everything needed to work the piece there, but the rational, so if someone wants to tweak your numbers they don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

MMario - thanks

I wasn’t shooting for a final pattern, I may try that tomorrow, just to see if the idea would work. Thanks for the help.

I am looking forward to the short row method. I tried to work that out on the way home tonight. With over a hour commute it gives a lot of time to work ideas out. However, I haven’t worked the short row out.

BTW - Real men wear kilts and are not afraid to knit LACE or is it that real men knit lace and are not afraid to wear kilts?

Wow, you guys are talented!

I would love a u-shaped shawl, I think that’s a fabulous idea. :slight_smile:

Okay! I’ve got pdf’s of two U-shaped. ONE (Slingshot) is done end to end with short rows - I didn’t put any patterning of any kind in it, just the basic shaping.

The other (Growler) is a combination of pi-shawl shaping on the body/back and triangle shaping on the front/ends. I threw in some cabling on the main part of this…

people can email me at mmario at familyoffaire dot com for copies - or if you happen to be a member of MMarioKKnits I should have them posted there tonight or tomorrow.


Chris: I read your reply and MMario’s comments that your math was right on. I confess, I didn’t understand the columns of numbers on first quick reading but am printing so I can read/absorb more slowly. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I think I will learn much as my brain wraps around this. Best wishes.

Seasons - sorry part of the problem is the way html handles spaces by compressing them.
Again, I assumed 7 stitches per inch and 8 rows per inch. I have a 20 inch collar and the scarf would have to go around only 1/2 of the neck. Therefore the inter part of the scarf would be 10 inches or 70 stitches. If the scarf is 10 inches wide the outer edge would be 41 inches or 287 stitches. This means that I would have to increase between 70 and 287 stitches over 80 rows (8 rows per times 10 inches).

The table is really 4 columns the first column is the row number Excel calculated for the increases. The second column is number of increases per row, evenly distributed across the row. The third column is the number of stitches between increases for that row. The last column is the total number of stitches after the increases ( a check figure).

What I am going to try is increase 7 stitches every other row until 287 stitches are reached. This number will probably need to adjusted some what as I test the concept.

Does this help?

Chris: Yes, that helps. Thanks again.

:woohoo: I went to a class on Sunday and got this simply pattern. Although it is made on large (13) needles with Alp Premier, Dazzle or Light yarns (by Feza), you can make it on size 10 with worsted yarn. You would just make as many rows as you want, then make the ties - or not make the ties.:slight_smile:

Cast on 25 stitches
K2, yo, k across to last 2 sts, yo, k2
That’s it - you do this for as many rows as you want. It will make a “rounded” bottom.

For the ties, when you just about reach the length you want, place a marker and cast on 5 sts. Knit those five stitches, slip the marker, k2, yo, k across to last 2 sts, yo, k2. Turn.

Place marker, *cast on 5 stitches. Knit those 5 stitches, slip the marker, k2, yo, k across to 2 stitches before the marker, yo, k2, slip marker, k5. Turn

Repeat from * until you have 15 sts on the end of the needle (before the marker). Now, you can continue stitching the make the tie rows longer, but don’t add more stitches onto the ends. Only your yo at the beginning and end of your rows as indicated in the main body of the shawl.

Also, you do not have to make ties, but just continue knitting in the main pattern until the shawl is as long as you want it to be.

BTW: The shawl stitched with the size 13 needles makes a delightful lacy shawl for dressy occasions or to wear to church on Sunday!:yay:

That’s great that you found a cool pattern, but you may not know that reposting the entire pattern in any forum violates copyright laws. Even a free pattern is owned by someone, in this case it would be the yarn company. I think this one is on Ravelry and at the yarn site - could you please edit your post to take out the pattern and put in a link to it?