Filling a Triangle with Lace – with Sivia Harding

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This weekend I spent most of my time at a Sivia Harding’s first rendition of her workshop ‘Filling a Triangle with Lace’, put on by the West Coast Knitters Guild.

Sivia Harding showing her inspiration shawl

Under Sivia’s instruction we learned the basics of shawl construction, how to fit patterns of our choice into the template and how to surround the whole beautiful creation with a border.

Shawl Design with Sivia Harding

Triangular shawls are actually rather interesting in that their construction is quite simple. Here are a few nifty tricks that I learned.

  1. For the most part, triangular shawls have 4 structural increases.  Any other increases are paired with decreases and are design elements.  This means that to keep things simple, you balance the number of decreases and increases every row.
  2. The best pattern to fit into a triangular shawl, without having to do much ‘fudging’, is a pattern that is about twice as long as it is wide, and the closer it is to diamond shaped, the better (by better I mean simpler, easier and much less frustrating)
  3. The key to having a pattern ready to swatch is to find the point where it repeats, and the sooner the better.  Some patterns take many, many rows to repeat, which means that the knitter will have to have charts the size of her/his living room to knit the shawl.  No one likes to have huge, complicated charts.
  4. The fiber, the gauge of yarn and needles as well as the colour can make or break a shawl.  Don’t be discouraged when something doesn’t work out the way you thought, it might just not work with the tools you are using.
  5. Only through knitting can you really see what you have created.  What I had looked excellent on paper, but when I knitted it, I found that the ‘fudged’ areas were too busy, and would have been just fine left plain, counter to every desire in my body!
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  1. Donna
    Donna11-27-2009

    These were great tips – this sounds like a fun workshop, because I love Sivia’s designs.

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