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The shape of Shawls

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I’ve just started to work on my next shawl pattern, and for the last few hours I have re-knitted the first 20-30 rows at least 4 times!
I’ve checked the maths and all the calculations are correct but the shape is just... wrong.

The thing is, this particular issue I’m struggling with is quite a common one, one I have experienced myself in a couple of shawl patterns I’ve bought.
It has to do with how the pattern is written and many designers reliance on heavy blocking of the finished object to get the desired shape.  Please note, I said ‘shape’ not effect!
The full effect of lace often requires blocking and I have no issue with that.
The issue I’m referring to is of a finished shawl that has to be blocked into shape rather than actually ‘have’ the desired shape to begin with!

Let me demonstrate by showing you 2 pictures, both pictures show you the first 20-ish rows of the shawl I’m currently designing.

The first pic is my first attempt, knitted up by simply doing the maths for a half circular, slightly crescent shaped shawl - the edge doesn’t look very straight or crescent shaped at all, does it?!
Beginning of Shawl in need of blocking

And in this second picture you can see my fifth attempt.
Beginning of Shawl not in need of blocking

Both pictures show the beginning of the shawl in a completely relaxed state.  It’s pretty clear that the first picture shows a shawl that will have to be blocked into shape while the second picture shows one that have the shape worked into the pattern.

Lets face it, not everyone likes blocking – I know I don’t!  And some shawls benefit from keeping the springiness of the yarn, which is best kept by not blocking or not blocking too hard.
Or lets say you have knitted a shawl as a gift for a non-knitter?  Someone who isn’t very likely to know about blocking or even have the equipment to do it.
Surely if you wash a shawl and just lay it out to dry, it should have the basic shape without a 1000 T-pins stuck into it... shouldn’t it...

I know I’m slightly OCD but trust me, I don’t really enjoy re-calculating and re-knitting the first 30 rows again and again.  It’s not exactly the fun part of designing, but I do believe that if you pay for a pattern things like this should have been thought about and resolved by the designer.

What are your thoughts on this?
Please let me know by leaving a comment; am I too hung up on this or is this something that bothers you too?

 

Happy Knitting

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