A start for a top-down triangle shawl

One of the difficulties of knitting a triangle shawl with a two-stitch garter selvedge from the center of the long edge outward is making a smooth transition along the center. The difficulty is that the stitches of a provisional cast-on that go up are offset by half a stitch from the ones that go down.

A solution to this came to mind based on a traditional technique described by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in Ethnic Socks & Stockings.

I am reasonably certain that I’m not the first person to come up with this shawls tart. Nonetheless, here it is. I hope you find it useful. (It will be of most use to knitters who are already familiar with triangle shawls.)

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The key is the twisted loops at the bottom of a long-tail cast-on. Summary: cast on a backwards loop (brown loop at the upper right), then cast on two stitches with a long tail cast on. The next step will be to work a yarnover at the left, followed by picking up and knitting a stitch in each loop marked with an X above.

one backwards loop on needle
click any photo to enlarge

You will want two needles for this, whether 2 double-pointed needles, 2 circulars, or one of each. (Straight needles won’t work.) Here is a backwards loop on the needle. The tail crossing in front and then to the bottom right is the cut end; the tail crossing in back toward the lower left is the working yarn.

2-more-stitches-cast-on

 

Here are two more stitches cast on, with gaps in between to make the loops as loose as possible. With your second needle, work a yarn over, then pick up and knit a stitch in the loop where the arrow is pointing.

yo-and-k1-in-base-of-first-stitch

Pick up and knit another stitch in the loop above the middle stitch on the bottom needle.

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There should now be three stitches on each needle. The working yarn is attached to the upper right stitch.

Turn the knitting over to work a U-shaped r0w: knit 2, purl 1, knit 1, and knit 2 together.

after-1-ws-row

Turn the work again.

The basic setup is done. I’ll knit a few more rows to show how the standard triangle shawl shape emerges from this:

row-2

Row 1: k2, yo, k1, yo, k1. (This can all be worked straight on one needle at this point.
Row 2: k2, p3, k2.

row-6

Row 3: k2, (yo, k1) x3, yo, k2.
Row 4: k2, purl to last 2 sts, k2.Row 5: k2, yo, k3, yo, k1, yo, k3, yo, k2.Row 6: k2, purl to last 2 sts, k2.

row-8

Row 7: k2, yo, k5, yo, k1, yo, k5, yo, k2.

And so on…

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