I really enjoy making handmade gifts all year round, but Christmas gives me more reasons to whip out my needles and start creating. I love going shopping for colorful yarn and maybe even some patterns. Christmas knitting and crocheting starts very early, usually in September. The weather is cooler and I don’t have to much yard work to do anymore. Crocheting is so much faster, but knitting is far more elegant. I’ve been pondering making a shawl and I’m looking through my books for a knitted pattern. My mom is a very fast knitter and she made a beautiful shawl in about a four or five days for a family member.
Knitted Leaf Shawl
Shawls are wraps that offer warmth, comfort and solace. They can be made from any refined wool or yarn and the designs are unlimited. A shawl to me is triangular shaped and filled with a beautiful pattern. I love all the vintage lacey patterns where the shawl is made from fingering yarn or thinly spun wools, silk, angora, alpaca or yak. My mom has six spinning wheels and she is always blending various fibers to create just the looks she’s going for.
I don’t have any spinning wheels, so I purchase blended yarns that are colorful, have a nice texture and are easy to care for. There are so many beautiful yarns available and you have the choice of solids or variegated. I’ve seen shawls in all colors and prints and they all look gorgeous, so it’s a matter of taste. You also have to consider your budget. Some of the more fancier yarns are $8 and up per skein or ball.
The shawl shown above is made from a no dye lot worsted weight yarn that you can pick up just about anywhere. It’s a pretty oatmeal color with micro flecks of brown, black and beige. It’s neutral and will go with anything. I think my mom got this pattern from an afghan book. She liked the pattern and made it into a shawl.
You can usually find free patterns for all experience levels online from Ravelry or All Free Knitting, but there are many other sites to explore. I like to get out my big book of stitches, choose a pattern I like and create a shawl. But I realize not everyone will want to work out the stitches to create a shawl, it’s so much easier to follow a pattern.
Shawls were once thought only for the elderly, but now they’ve become a savvy accessory for both men and women. Whether handcrafted or off the rack, more and more people are donning eclectic wraps that add that bit of pizzazz their wardrobe needs.