One of the questions I get all the time about my shawlettes and shawls is “Can I make it bigger?”
And the answer is yes. It’s a conditional yes though. Sadly when you’re a grown up there are very few times you get a yes with no strings attached. So here’s the conditions to consider:
1. Do you *really* have enough yarn to make it bigger?
I have had recent requests from some folks to make Sardinian bigger. But you have to consider that the knitted-on border for Sardinian takes about 10,000 stitches worth of yarn. So honestly for something like that you might have to have an entire extra skein of yarn if you made the body (and therefore the border) much bigger. So many of my designs are worked top down. Some of the two skeins projects will use one skein for the first say 60-80 rows and then the second skein for just the last 20-30 rows and a bind-off. See what I mean?
2. Are you comfortable with figuring things out a bit?
Sometimes when you increase the size of more complex lace patterns you need to figure out how the lace transitions to the bind-off or border. Some of these transitions are easy. Let’s look at Montadale. You can keep working the body of the pattern, just making sure to end on rows 12, 28, or 44. And then you can work the edging rows. For the pattern as written you end on row 12, and the first edging row begins and ends with a k1. If you end with row 28, you have to begin and end the first edging row with a k2tog. And if you end with row 44, you have to begin the rows with a k2tog and end the first edging rows with a k1.
Not super complicated, and if someone emails me to ask and it’s a quick question that I will happily answer for them. But if it requires some more fussing you might have to be able to figure it out yourself. Which some folks find super fun, and other folks not so much!
3. Do you *really* need to make it bigger?
Sometimes folks get nervous when they are knitting lace. It looks so small, so scrunched up, like the first picture of Charollais. Not pretty and drapey like the second picture of Charollais above. That my dear is the magic of blocking. If you really think you are making the tiniest most compact lace shawlette ever, do a swatch. Yes, swatch. Swatching is love and magic and puppies. (Not kittens because I am allergic.) Cast on a repeat of the lace, knit it up, and measure it. It’s tiny right? Then soak it in warm water for 20 minutes and then pin it. Really stretch it. Open up the lace and pattern. Then measure it again. See what I mean? Blocking is even more magical than swatching. If you still don’t like the openness of your work, go up a needle size!
If you ever are working on one of my patterns and want to make it bigger and need some direction, shoot me an e-mail. If it’s a quick answer I’ll spell it out for you. If it needs some legwork I can give you some direction to get you going! But if you just want something nice and big to wrap up in I would recommend Cassian, Sardinian, or Natessa right off the bat. I’m a good sized girl and those shawls make even me feel delicate!