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How To Knit A Shawl For Beginners Step By Step


In this blog post, you will see how to knit a shawl for beginners step by step

If you’re a beginner knitter looking to start knitting, an easy shawl pattern is a great project. 

You will learn step by step how to knit a shawl with yarnover stripes for beginners. 

With a bit of patience and practice, you can create a beautiful shawl that you can wear or give as a gift.

So let’s get started!

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

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How to knit a shawl for beginners Step By Step

Asymmetrical Knit Shawl Pattern

Skill Level – Easy (For Beginners or Advanced Beginner Knitters)


This shawl pattern is a simple project for makers of any skill level. 

Working in simple garter stitch and yarn overs running along the body of the shawl, you will create a beautiful asymmetrical knit. 

Working on an entire shawl using this repeating pattern is a great way to practice your knitting skills. 

You will also learn to work basic increases and decreases to achieve the asymmetrical shape.

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

The shawl belongs in the Muses collection – 12 Summer Knits (The Muses Collection)  

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, please provide a link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.
Knitted shawl

Size Information

One Size.

Length tip to tip (wingspan) = 66 inches/168 cm.

Width at the widest point = 25 inches/64 cm.

Gauge – 16 sts/24 rows in 4 inches/10 cm in garter stitch.

The supplies you need…


  • The Pima Cotton from We Are Knitters in Copper (This cotton is 100% Pima Cotton / 100g/3.05oz/232 yds/212m.
  • Use my code – MGM4VHHAT – for 10 off on your WAK yarn order.
  • This is an Aran/Worsted/10 Ply yarn.
  • You will need 4 balls = (400g/928yds/848m).



  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch marker
Knitted shawl close up detail

Knitting Abbreviations

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue
  • K – Knit
  • KFB – Knit into the front and back of the stitch (increase)
  • K1fbf – Knit into the front, back, front (increase)
  • K2tog – Knit the next two stitches together (decrease)
  • Sl1wyif – slip 1 st with yarn in front (slip 1 st as if to purl, holding the yarn at the front of the work)
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
  • YO – Yarn over – How To Knit A Yarn Over (YO) + A Video Tutorial

To learn how to work the garter stitch pattern, check out this post – How To Knit Garter Stitch

Video Tutorial

You can view a tutorial on my YouTube channel showing you how to knit the shawl.

Pattern Instructions

Worked flat knitting back and forth on two needles:

Tip – Place a stitch marker on the RS of the work – so you know which side you are making the increases on.

Set up

  • CO 3 sts.
  • Row 1 (WS): K3.
  • Row 2 (RS): KFB, K1, KFB.
  • Row 3: sl1wyif, K4.
  • Row 4: sl1wyif, K1fbf, K to the last 3 sts, K2tog, K1. (6 sts)
  • Row 5: sl1wyif, K5.
  • Row 6: sl1wyif, K1fbf, K to the last 3 sts, K2tog, K1. (7 sts)
  • Row 7: sl1wyif, K6.
  • Row 8: sl1wyif, K1fbf, K to the last 3 sts, K2tog, K1. (8 sts)
  • Row 9: sl1wyif, K to end.

Rep rows 8 and 9 until you have 20 sts.

The main body of the shawl

Start working the pattern repeat as follows:

The Yarn Over Stripe

  • Row 1 (RS): sl1wyif, K1fbf, *YO, K2tog – rep to the last 2 sts, K2.
  • Row 2 (WS): sl1wyif, K to the end of the row.

Please note you may have two or three stitches remaining, if you have two, K2. If you have three, complete one last YO, K2tog and K1.

The Garter Stitch Stripe

  • Row 1 (RS): sl1wyif, K1fbf, K to the last 3 sts, K2tog, K1.
  • Row 2 (WS): sl1wyif, K to the end of the row.

Rep rows 1 and 2 until you have knit 30 rows in garter stitch.

(This looks like 15 garter ridges on both sides of the knitted fabric).

Continue to repeat the yarn over rows and garter stitch rows until you have your desired length or have completed a total of 10 garter stitch sections.

You can add more or fewer sections depending on the size that you want the shawl to be.

End with a section of 30 rows in garter stitch.

Cast off all sts.

Finishing and Blocking

You may wish to block your shawl; you can do that as follows:

  • Make sure all ends are woven in using a tapestry needle or method of choice.
  • Gently block by filling a sink or water basin with lukewarm water, add a small amount of rinse less wool wash.
  • Place the items in the water and gently massage out any air bubbles.
  • Drain water, gently squeezing out any excess water from the item, then roll in a towel, and stomp on the towel roll to remove any more excess water.
  • Lay the item out on a towel to approx. finished wingspan measurements and allow to dry completely.
  • Tutorial – Blocking Knits – How To Block Knitting Guide
Asymmetrical shawl

How To Block A Shawl? 

Blocking a shawl is an essential step to enhance its appearance, shape, and drape. 

Start by soaking your knitted shawl in lukewarm water with a gentle wool wash or mild detergent for about 15-20 minutes. 

Gently squeeze out excess water, being careful not to wring or twist the fabric. Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place the damp shawl on top, smoothing it out to its desired shape and size. 

Pin the edges of the shawl to the towel using rust-resistant T-pins or blocking wires, stretching gently if needed to open up lace patterns or straighten edges. 

Pay attention to any decorative edging or points, ensuring they are properly aligned and shaped. 

Leave the shawl to dry completely, which may take a day or two, depending on the yarn and humidity levels. 

Once dry, remove the pins or wires and gently steam the shawl if desired to set the shape. 

Your blocked shawl will now showcase its stitch patterns beautifully, ready to be worn or gifted with pride.

Garter stitch shawl knitted

What Supplies Do You Need To Knit A Shawl?

To knit a shawl, you’ll need several essential supplies. 

  • Firstly, select the appropriate yarn for your project, considering factors such as weight, texture, and drape. Fine and thinner yarns, such as lace-weight or fingering-weight yarn, are commonly used for delicate shawls, while DK or worsted-weight yarn can create thicker and warmer designs. Choose a yarn color and fiber content that suits your style and preferences. For a spring-summer lightweight shawl, a cotton yarn is a great choice. A hand-dyed yarn, or a variegated yarn, is perfect for making gorgeous shawls without working with different color yarns.
  • Additionally, ensure you have the right knitting needles for your chosen yarn weight and pattern, whether circular knitting needles or straight needles. 
  • Stitch markers can be helpful for keeping track of pattern repeats or shaping, especially in lace patterns. 
  • You might also need a row counter, which is an easy way to keep track of your rows. 
  • A tape measure is essential for checking the gauge and measuring the size of your shawl as you knit. 
  • You’ll also need scissors to cut yarn, a yarn needle or tapestry needle to weave in ends, and a blocking board to shape and finish your shawl once it’s finished. 

With these supplies, you’ll be well-equipped to knit a beautiful and cozy shawl to wear or gift with pride.

Pro tip! Make sure to make a gauge swatch; you won’t need much yarn.

Knit shawl wrap

Which Shawl Is Popular All Over The World?  

One shawl that has gained popularity worldwide is the “Faroese Shawl.” 

Originating from the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, this traditional shawl design has captivated knitters across the globe with its intricate lace patterns and unique construction. 

The Faroese Shawl is characterized by its distinctive shaping, featuring a center panel with increases worked on either side to create triangular wings or “gussets” that wrap around the shoulders. 

This shaping ensures a comfortable and secure fit, making it a practical choice for wearers. The lace motifs commonly found in Faroese shawls often draw inspiration from the natural world, with designs resembling waves, leaves, or birds. 

Knitters appreciate the challenge and beauty of these lace patterns, which can range from simple and geometric to intricate and delicate. 

Whether crafted in traditional wool or more contemporary yarns, the Faroese Shawl remains a timeless and beloved accessory cherished by knitters and shawl enthusiasts worldwide.

The Sontag Shawl {History and Patterns} 

Knitting Lessons

If you are a new knitter and need help with the knitting basics, check out these posts here and be your own knitting instructor – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know.

Including how to cast on, how to bind off, how to knit the basic knit stitches, how to knit the knit stitch, how to knit the purl stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, short rows, how to yarn over, how to measure gauge, how to fix knitting mistakes, and a list of knitting abbreviations (UK + US terms), and more. 

For easier projects, check out this pattern category; here, you will find a range of knitting patterns – Beginner Knitters

And if you need more video tutorials to help you practice your basic knitting skills, check out my YouTube channel here Handy Little Me – YouTube. 

Could you share your work with us?

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making this shawl, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Handylittleme Facebook Group and share a photo.

You can also check out my Facebook page here.

You can also find us on Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.

I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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