We're slowly thawing out in the northern hemisphere, so that means it's time to trade our fluffy scarves and cowls for soft, flowing shawls. The capricious weather of early spring means you might experience a warm day in sleeveless shirts and shorts, but cool evenings that call for something a little more substantial. I often lament how I live in an unfriendly climate for a knitter (Texas), but you can fit knitting into any season! I have rounded up seven beautiful lace shawl designs you can start now and complete before spring begins. I hope you can find one that you love.
Photo via Craftsy member Kate's Twirl Designs
First of all, I love the name of this pattern. The Birthday Shawl! Secondly, garter stitch. Garter stitch! It's the easiest, peasiest stitch a pattern can call for and this shawl is almost entirely garter stitch. Yet, see at how beautiful it looks knit up in a lace yarn with a lace edge. It is GORGEOUS! The edge is also knitted on, which means you cast on a small set of stitches at the end and then cast off the body stitches as you knit the border! It's a really awesome technique.
Photo via Craftsy member The Sweatshop of Love
This adorable shawlette is REVERSIBLE! It's a smorgasbord of reversible, highly textured, and just downright gorgeous stitch patterns. I can picture it in a variety of colors to accent your spring wardrobe. My favorite line from the pattern description is "no matter how you wear it, or what side is showing at any given time, it will look awesome and show off your mad skills." Yes! Show them off.
Photo via Craftsy member ClassicCableKnits
Another lovely pattern that features a large garter stitch body. That part of shawls like to get scrunched up by your neck, anyway. You should click on the link for the pattern and read the description because it is almost as lovely at the shawl itself. "The floral lace that flowers out of the garter stitch is meant to mimic the way the flowers of spring pop up and stand out in contrast to the earth that seemed so fruitless only a month or two before." I'm in love.
Photo via Craftsy member Mind of Winter
A two-for-one deal! You receive instructions for knitting both a shawlette and a full-size shawl when you purchase this pattern. The gorgeous scarflette is knit from the bottom up and features decreases and short-row shaping, culminating in a lovely lace crescent, the perfect way to perfect making lace edgings.
Photo via Craftsy member Heather Zoppetti Designs
This fun little shawlette is named "Strawberry" and I think that's perfect. The eyelets in the body definitely resemble the seeds on the fruit.
Photo via Craftsy member Caryl Style
"Surya" is a pattern with shawl and shawlette instructions. The sun-like pattern of the main body reminds me of a turtle shell. The border rows are my favorite part, though. I love the soft waves created by the stitch pattern.
Photo via Craftsy member Kristen Hanley
This beautiful shawl pattern includes instructions for creating different sizes. It features an all-over lace pattern and various lace edging options. It would look gorgeous in solid or semi-solid yarns.
Tips for selecting spring-friendly yarn
There are many, many, many beautiful wool yarns available for creating lace shawls. If for some reason you find yourself wanting a different fiber (perhaps you are allergic to wool?), I have nothing but love for cotton! You can often find it blended with other fibers, like bamboo or rayon, that give it superb sheen and drape. These plant-based fibers are perfect for warmer weather items. Above: left, Cascade's Ultra Pima; right, Three Irish Girl's bamboo cotton (discontinued).
If this is the first time you've knit lace, don't be too intimidated! I have blogged about some things to consider when you are beginning a lace journey. Read it here: "Beginner Lace Knitting: Tips for Getting Started."