Friday, June 29, 2007

Note on yarn weights

I have noticed over and over that people especially newer spinners seem to think that shawls are knit only with lace weight. This is far from true. Many patterns are made for other weights of yarn. My favorite shawl is actually is a big hug of comfort made in handspun worsted weight yarn.

Many of the prettiest lace designs are designed with fingering weight yarn or heavier weight yarns in mind. Fiber Trends is well know for having patterns that list a number of yarn sizes for their lace shawl patterns. Many Sivia Harding designs are made for fingering or sport weight yarns. So spin a yarn you like and are comfortable spinning then go looking for a pattern.

Just a sampling of some lovely patterns on the web using other then lace weight yarns. The Bell Shawl is designed for sport weight yarn. The Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl was originally knit in a mix of DK yarns. Lion Brand has a beautiful triangle lace shawl that is done in Homespun which is a bulky thick and thin yarn! For those that can see it here is the Lion Brand link Homespun Diamond Shawl.

The moral here is whatever weight you can spin and whether it is thick and thin or smooth there is a shawl pattern out there that can show it off.


Laura said...

Thanks for this great reminder and the pattern links!

Laura Sue said...

Thank you very much for this as the posts are beginning to look like a competition: who can spin the finest yarn? A shawl is a shawl. It doesn't even need to be lace, for goodness sake! Truly, we needed to be reminded and I appreciated the links.

Sherry W said...

The shawl I'm working on for this project is a light worsted weight yarn.

Kristine said...

Aye! Aye! I completely agree with you. Shawls can be knit out of a very large range of yarn. Also, a shawl does not have to be triangular. It can also be a large rectangle. I lived in India for 2 years which is where I began to where shawls. All large, woolen, rectangular wraps are called shawls.

Crow Calling Woman said...

Not forgetting that if you use a heavier yarn for pattern that calls for lace yarn, it will be bigger-much bigger (ask me how I know?!! HA!). So keep that in mind too. I love knitting lace shawls out of worsted weight. They are warm, cozy, and the pattern is easier to see. :) Shawlettes (shoulder shawls) end up being full size shawls when using a heavier yarn. Works really well for the "Scarf" pattern (it's more of a shawlette) for the Wing of the Moth shawl found on . Happy big yarn lace knitting!!