Avoiding ‘the spine’ in a triangular shawl

When making a triangular shawl there are 3 basic constructions:

  1. Knit from the point to the top or top to the point.  This produces rows that go straight across the shawl.
  2. Start at one side and work to the other, this method produces rows that go down the shawl or scarf.
  3. Start at the back of the neck and work out to the edge or start at the edge and work in to the back of the neck.  This produces V shaped rows.

The third method, top down is my preferred construction however most patterns made from the top down to the edge have a spine down the middle of the shawl.  This is because the design requires an increase at either end and 2 in the middle of every second row.

If you don’t like the spine however you can modify it by using different increases or changing the position of the increases.

Garden stripes has a spine.  This is formed by YO k1 YO at the centre of every second row.


A handsome triangle from Victorian Lace Today has a strip of stocking stitch between the YOs


The Bison Shawlette from Luxury yarns One skein wonders has the increase incorporated into the lace either side of the centre. ie The lace pattern has 2 more increases than decreases in each right side row so an extra increase at the sides and centre are not required.  The centre is therefore simply a couple of stitches of stocking stitch. (This pattern is actually 3 triangles not 2 but the same principles apply)

K2 between end of section 1 and start of section 2

The garter stitch wrap from Scarf style has increases that don’t cause holes.

YO then Knit into back of stitch in following row

Another option is to leave a strip 6 or 8 stitches wide in the centre and vary the position of the YO so that you get Vs or Diamonds down the centre.

Here is an example taken from my lace cowl pattern of what can be done:

inverted Vs

When designing a triangle to be used as a scarf or shawl think about the overall design and what you want the centre to look like.  Can you incorporate the increases into the overall design?  Do you want a straight line of YOs or would you prefer a column of Vs or Diamonds.  There are many more options for the centre than simply ‘the spine.’

4 thoughts on “Avoiding ‘the spine’ in a triangular shawl

  1. Wow! Its like you’ve been reading my mind! I’ve been thinking about exactly this subject as I mull over a new shawl design . . . are you psychic? Very informative post – will certainly help with my planning! Thanks!

    • It’s called the candlelight pattern and you can find it on page 66 of heirloom knitting by Sharon miller. Must have book for all lace knitters!

  2. I adapted Birch from Rowan 34 to knit from the point up. It didn’t work out exactly the same but it worked really nicely.

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