A Bold Beginner Knits Tutorial
Shawls can be constructed in many different ways, using many different shapes – triangles, rectangles, combinations of triangles and rectangles and other geometric shapes.
Footfall is a triangular shawl with a top-down construction which begins by casting on a few stitches and ends by binding off many. This shape is one of the simplest of all shawls, but its construction can still seem confounding to the eyes and needles of a beginner knitter.
The shawl’s single triangle is, in fact, made up of two separate triangular halves, that are symmetrically divided along a central ‘spine’. And these two triangular halves are, in turn, made up of stitches that seem (at a glance) to be formed in opposite directions. So where on earth does the knitting begin and end? How is the shawl constructed?
Shawls of this type begin by making a garter-tab, and casting on a few stitches at the centre top of the shawl (as marked).
The garter tab enables the shawl’s two triangular halves to be worked together, from the top of the spine downwards.
Knitting back and forth (as you would on any piece of flat stockinette) and adding yarnovers at the spine and edges, allows the shawl to grow.
As your stitch count increases, you are able to add in further repeats of the pattern motif.
On the illustration’s left side, the positions of the yarnover increases at the shawl’s spine and top edges are marked and, on the right side (and below), you can see how the number of pattern motifs grows together with the increasing stitch count. The motifs stack up, and tesselate, and the shawl expands.
Now you can simply continue knitting, adding in repeats and stitches, until your shawl is just as big as you’d like it to be. And when you reach that point, you simply bind off stitches along the bottom edge.
And ta-da! A top-down triangular shawl.