Craft · Crocheting

The Ponderer Ponders Shawls

Shawls are popular in the knitting world if nowhere else. It’s always something that’s baffled me considering how little people wear them unless they’re handmade; why is it the shawl that makes knitters flail about in a frenzy trying to knit as many as possible?

There have only been two times until now that I’ve decided to give in to that particular brand of peer pressure. Both times I took the rebel’s route – yes that’s right, they’re crocheted. I bought some gorgeous orange yarn from the Sanguine Gryphon and made it into a Small Talk Shawl which for some reason lost to antiquity is named ‘Rave Spider Shawl’ in my projects. Yeah, I dunno.

I am not as grumpy as I look, I swear.
Considering I was only just regaining sight from IIH, I think I look quite cheerful.

As you can see I totally failed to make it into a shawl. I sewed up the edges and made it into a shrug. I was a newbie back then though who forgot to account for the fact that certain types of yarn tend to grow when they’re worn and seeing as I was in the process of shrinking myself due to IIH, we inevitably parted ways.

The other shawl I made was Eva’s Shawl. It’s a beautiful pattern for its simplicity; it is the same three rows over and again resulting in a highly adaptable pattern perfect for long colour repeats which usually I dislike greatly.


Seeing as my local yarn store had some King Cole Riot on sale and I’d been eyeing up the weird colours in it for a while, I made another one that I finished over Christmas. This one’s a bit larger and is perfect considering I’m always cold, though I’ve found it almost impossible to wear when I’m surgically attached to the hoody my girlfriend bought me at the Grand Canyon.

And I hung it out on my spindly plants.
And I hung it out on my spindly plants.

In all honesty I still don’t see the appeal of shawls to the point of obsession in the knitting world. They were once a functional and easy-to-make warmth-provider but we’re past needing that now. All I can think is that it’s the perfect way to showcase fancy skills and elaborate stitches and I can see the appeal of that although I tend towards simpler projects.

That said… I just signed up for a mystery knit-a-long for a shawl. Tune in next week (or next freaking year considering my posting tendencies) to find out more about that.


11 thoughts on “The Ponderer Ponders Shawls

  1. I have to agree with you… Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m the 1st in line to OOOooo & aaahhhh over a beautifully constructed shawl, I admire the skill & grit it takes to design & knit such a marvel but I acknowledge my own limitations especially in the ‘patience’ department!! give me a shrug any day 😉


    1. Oh I adore looking at shawls and occasionally buy the yarn to knit myself one but not once did I actually get started on it. Shrugs are clearly superior. 🙂


  2. Must admit, I agree…. but I feel like a bit of an oddity on Ravelry for thinking so. It seems as though you’re a nobody in the knitting world unless you’ve produced a stunning lace shawl…. yet how often do people actually wear these things?


    1. I don’t think us shawl-bewildered people are an oddity. The lace shawls are great and I do see people wearing them – I wear my crochet ones – but I’d be too scared to wear something that lacy and fine anywhere but stock still in the middle of an empty room in case it snagged.

      I can see the fun of knitting a wedding shawl though.


  3. I’ve knit one shawl – and it was such a hellish experience I have yet to return to it.. It was like my first ‘big’ project, so it was probably moronic for it to be a giant lace shawl. It was pretty, but I never wear it because it catches on everything and it was white so I worry about staining it… I admire the super intricate, super fine ones, but I really don’t think they’re for me! I don’t even know how to wear them in general tbh..


    1. Ooh la la that is one fancy shawl. TALLER THAN YOU? That is amazing! I hope you hang it up somewhere obvious in your house and make people gaze at it adoringly before you’ll let them sit down.


      1. I don’t make people do it now, but now I’m thinking I should!

        The pattern I followed was for a huge shawl and I blocked it out to a 6′ x 6′ square. The yarn had so much give that I probably could’ve taken it to a 7′ x 7′ if I had the floor space.


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