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Book Review: Shaping Shawls by Anna Dalvi

Shaping Shawls, Anna Dalvi, Cooperative Press, 2011, 109pp.

Enamored of all the lovely shawl patterns out there & thinking of maybe trying to design your own?  Make sure you grab a copy of Shaping Shawls first!

Not just a collection of patterns (though a lovely example of each shawl shape is included), Dalvi first gives you an overview of shawl design then walks you through different silhouettes to include rectangular, triangular (worked neck to edge or edge to neck) & triangle variations, and square.  She begins with an indepth discussion of calculating stitch counts for each row, ensuring that the stitches decreased match the stitches increased (and, if not in that row, at what point during the pattern repeat they do match), then proceeds to blocking, stockinette vs garter stitch shawls, gauge, design tools, cast ons & bind offs.

The following chapters each address a particular shape, and begin with a discussion of designing details pertinent to that shape.  An example pattern follows.

Each of the 10 patterns includes schematics and clear, easily read charts.

© Kristen Caldwell Photography, LLC

The Chandelier shawl, knit in Slackford Studio Nimbus Cloud in True Blood, shown, left, is my favorite — though it’s hard to pick just one!

Anna chose to work with various indy dyers for the yarns used, including the above mentioned Slackford Studio, as well as Rocky Mountain Dyeworks, Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Zen Yarn Garden, and more.  The photography (with three different but all gorgeous models) is very striking, featuring the brightly colored shawls against dark, dark gray backdrops.

To round it all up Dalvi includes some sample graphs for you to fill in and a list of recommended resources.  Have at it!

Disclaimer:  I received my review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

3 comments… add one
  • Ellen July 22, 2011, 8:11 am

    A very timely post! I was just venturing out to design a shawl! I’ll get the book ASAP!

  • Susan July 27, 2011, 5:26 pm

    The Chandelier Shawl is my favorite, too! Thanks for mentioning my yarns on your review!

    -Susan, Slackford Studio

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