For those knitters who can knit and purl and easily do simple stitches (or are willing to learn), I’ve found two free shawl knitting patterns.
The word “beginner” is relative. I’ve been knitting for many years, yet I consider myself a beginner knitter. I say this because every time I try a more difficult pattern, I have trouble. I have a lot of stitches to learn. Fortunately there are some good video tutorials out there to help with that.
Many shawls begin with a garter-tab cast-on (see link at the bottom of this page for how to make that type of cast-on). That type of cast on can really difficult to comprehend. Neither of the FREE shawl patterns, which are listed at the Ravelry site, use that type of cast-on. They begin with a simple cast on and then expand from there.
Stitches You Will Need to Know
Besides casting on and basic knit and purl stitches, you will need to know how to do the following stitches.
K2tog (Knit 2 together)
YO (Yarn over)
Kfb (Knit front and back)
Picot bind off
I have saved some video knitting tutorials at my Pinterest Knitting board which cover knitting stitches listed here (all except seed stitch which is k1,p1 and doing the opposite on the next row)
Link to the “Simple Shawl”
The Simple Shawl pattern, which is a free download at Ravelry, begins with a cast on of 3 stitches. I have started this pattern, but don’t have a finished product to show you. See images at the link to the pattern.
Begin by casting on 3 stitches.
Row 1: KFB (knit front and back), K1, KFB – the knitting front and back at the edges makes increases, as does the center increase by doing a yo, k1, yo.
Doing increases this way (YO, K1, YO) makes “holes” in the center part of the shawl. I suggest using 2 stitch markers – one on either side of the center stitch – because that center stitch can be difficult to locate.
For the bottom edge of the Simple Shawl you will need to know how to k2tog (knit 2 together) and then do a picot bind off. I have never done picot (pronounced “pee koh”) but I have some video tutorials at my Pinterest board (link above).
Click the Simple Shawl pattern link above for the download to see the remainder of the pattern.
Link to the No Fuss Shade-Loving Shawl Pattern
Below is a photo of the No Fuss Shade-Loving Shawl Pattern I knit which has this same center increase. It is also a good one to try if you are not an experienced knitter. It is the first, and only (so far), shawl I’ve ever knit! View the blog post where I have made notes on my experience knitting this NFSL Shawl.
More Helpful Links For Shawl Knitting
The Craftsy site has a page about Tips for Shaping a Top Down Shawl which may be helpful if you try other types of shawls, or make one up yourself!
Because a lot of shawl patterns use the garter tab cast-on, it’s a good idea to eventually learn how to do it. If you are interested, learn how to do the garter tab cast-on at the Tin Can Knits site. Their photos with explanations are better than videos I’ve found, and believe me, I’ve watched many horrible videos.
***To keep track of rows, I use a sticky note and place it beneath the row I’m working on. I move it only when I am ready to begin a new row. Also I can make notes on the paper as needed.