The art of knitting may seem like a thing of the past, but with accessories like scarves and shawls rising in popularity, you may want to whip out your knitting needles from the attic. Starting with a basic knowledge of knitting, you can easily pick up this fun hobby that will add variety to your closet and keep a few extra bucks in your pocket.
For a basic rectangular shawl pattern, you need a size 11 knitting needle and 555 to 740 yards of yarn. Read the label on the yarn to see how many yards are in each bunch or skein, as it is known to the savvy knitter. Most patterns will take at least three skeins and will be approximately 24 inches wide and 48 inches long, depending on the yarn's elasticity.
Cast three stitches onto the end of your needle. Begin the first row with three knits and then three purls, going back and forth until you reach the end of the row. This pattern will have a total of 54 stitches. However, this shawl can be done in any multiple of 3, such as 54, 57 or 60, depending on your size preference. When choosing your yarn, keep in mind that if it is multicolored, you need to match up the colors when adding on a new skein. The start of a new skein will be really obvious if there is a break in the color succession. Also, it is best to start a new skein inside the body of the shawl rather than on an edge in which a break can show.
When starting the next row, use the opposite pattern with which you used on the prior row. For example, the second row would be three purls, then three knits. Always be careful to follow this rule when starting a new row, especially if you are picking up your knitting after a break. It is an easy mistake to make that will greatly affect the uniform appearance of your shawl. Continue until your shawl has reached the desired length, then bind off the end. If desired, adding a fringe to the end of your shawl can really complete the beauty of your hard work. For an 8-inch fringe, wrap the yarn around a piece of cardboard 9 inches wide. Cut only one end and separate the pieces of yarn into three groups. Take one group and double it over. Then with a crochet hook, insert the yarn into an end stitch from back to front and pull the loop through. Insert the ends of the yarn through the hoop and pull it taught. Continue looping yarn onto your shawl until you reach the end.