Favorites: 3 Style of Crochet Shawls

Mar 26, 2014

I have a really good friend who is obsessed with shawls. When I asked her how many shawls she owned, she laughed. Then she realized I was serious. Several minutes of intense concentration later, she settled on about two dozen. She has gifted at least that many-I myself have been a recipient-, and she admits to beginning five or six that were never finished.

Crochet shawls are the perfect accessory. Use a dense crochet stitch and a warm yarn such as wool or alpaca and create a stylish addition to your wardrobe for the coldest days. Or choose a lace shawl and pull out your silk, mohair, cotton, acrylic, or wool (most yarns will work in both dense and lace designs) for a beautiful light-weight piece that is great for both a touch of warmth or simply as a fashion accessory.

So how do you end up with two dozen shawls in your closet and a queue easily three times as big? There are not only infinite number of crochet stitches and yarns you can use, there are also a wide variety of crochet shawl styles.

Crochet Triangle Shawls

The triangle shawl is probably the most common shawl as well as the style we first think of when we talk about crochet shawls. This is also a common shape for prayer shawls gifted to friends and charities. Triangle shawls are all shaped like a triangle, but they can be constructed in multiple ways.

On common method is to begin at the top or widest point of the shawl and decrease in subsequent rows until you reach the tip. This construction is ideal for those people who worry about being sidetracked in the latter stages of the pattern (the lure of the next new pattern can be so strong). Because you decrease on each row or every few rows, you are continually working fewer and fewer stitches and the shawl seems to work up very quickly.

Another common method is to begin at the tip of the shawl, increasing on each edge until you have reached the width and height you desire. I love this construction method because it allows you to easily modify the shawls size. Work fewer rows to create a small kerchief or shawlette or work more rows to create a larger shawl.

You can also crochet a triangle shawl from edge to edge, increasing on one side until you reach the tip and then decreasing stitches on that same side. While this construction technique is not as frequently used, it can create beautiful designs.

Midsummer Night's Shawl by Lisa Naskrent    Zauber Shawl by Rebekah Thompson
  Icarus Shawl by Tracey McCorkle

Crochet Shawlettes

A crochet shawlette is a small shawl. The shape of the shawlette is not critical, but the ends of the shawl generally reach just past the curve of your shoulder and arm. Crochet shawlettes are primarily a fashion accessory and provide only a little warmth. A delicate crochet lace shawlette is beautifully paired with that little strapless dress you are planning to wear to a special occasion or a sleeveless sundress.

As mentioned above, you can modify many shawl patterns and create a quick shawlette before the summer rays arrive.

Seafoam Shawl by Kimberly McAlindin
  Bewitched Shawlette by Karen E. Hooton   Bonsai Shawl by Marty Miller

Crochet Stole

Crochet wraps do not have to be triangular. Another category is the crochet stole. Stoles are usually a simple rectangle, but the simplicity of the shape only highlights the beauty of the stitch used to create it. Like other crochet shawl designs, stoles can be created using joined motifs, a solid stitch pattern, or a lace stitch design. Crochet lace stoles are the most popular and with their simple shape are easy to make and design.

The crochet stole is frequently the go-to accessory to pair with your dress when attending a special event.

Foxglove Wrap by Robyn Chachula    Inspiration Stole by Lisa Naskrent
  Honeycomb Shawl by Kathy Merrick

Crochet Wrap

A crochet wrap is an umbrella term that is used to cover a wide variety of crochet shawls. And there are a lot of shawls that don't fall into one of the categories I've listed above. There are some beautiful designs that are somewhere between a triangle shawl and a stole. Some of my favorite patterns are organic shapes that don't quite fit into a category.

Rist Canyon Shawl by Kathryn Merrick   Equilateral Shawl by Ana Carranza    Emergence Shawl by Kathryn White

Featured Products

Midsummer's Night Shawl Crochet Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


A Malabrigo lace shawl.


Zauber Shawl Crochet Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


Crochet this Tunisian lace shawl.


Related Posts
+ Add a comment


wendygoerl wrote
on May 1, 2014 2:14 PM

To date, I've only made one (knit) shawl, a triangle that's a little too big to be a "shawlette" and a little too small to be a full shawl. I call it my computer shawl, and I wear it when my shoulders get a little cool working at the computer in winter. I've got a bug to knit a lacy one (unusual, because I'm not a "lace" person) and something large enough to work as a spring "jacket," but I haven't settled on a pattern for either.

Oh wait-a-minute. My first shawl was actually a crocheted gift for my French-and-Indian reenacting sister. It was worked in the round and each time the pattern repeated, it quadrupled, so no matter how you held it, only about a hand-sized area laid flat, the rest was ruffle. Probably took me over 200 hours, because at the outside, rounds were taking 3-4 hours each. And I omitted that last pattern repeat!

Rushinred wrote
on May 1, 2014 2:17 PM

Absolutely love Foxglove -