Three Ways to Style Hand-Knit Shawl Shapes

I love knitting shawls and always have. For the longest time, though, I wasn’t quite sure how to wear knit shawls after I had finished making them. Part of that was because the shapes I had to chosen to knit were very traditional, and that didn’t fit well with my overall wardrobe aesthetic. I needed shapes that were more drapey.


Another issue was that the shawls I was making were too small. I couldn’t maximize their potential because they were too small for my shoulders. I needed something larger and more substantial. After some trial and error, though, I found a few shapes I really like and ways to wear them that work well for me. Here are three of my favorites.

The Crescent – Wear With Ease

This shawl shape is my favorite to wear because it stays put. Its natural curve means I can drape it around my torso without having to secure it with anything. To drape the crescent shawl, start with the fullest part of the shawl hanging in front of your torso and the two ends headed backward over your shoulder. Then bring one of the ends around your neck to the other side and drape it down the front of your torso. Do the same with the other end.

The Asymmetrical – A Twist on the Crescent

This one also has a bit of a natural curve that helps it stay on your shoulders, but tends to have a bit less of a wingspan, which means it can be a little bit more fiddly. To drape this shawl the way, start with the triangle of your shawl pointing downward along the front of your torso. Wrap the shorter end of the shawl up and around your neck first, then do the same with the longer end of your shawl. The longer end will hang down near the point of the triangle.

The Rectangle Shawl – A Classic

Finally, the good old-fashioned rectangle is a reliable workhorse shawl. It can be tied around your shoulders, doubled up and worn as a scarf, pinned with a pin, or worn in any number of creative ways. I’m a big fan just doing a loop and letting the ends hang. If I really need it to stay put, nothing beats a good, sturdy knot.

Learning how to wear knit shawls doesn’t have to be a total bear!  After some experimenting with these various styles, I’ve settled into a nice routine with them and often incorporate knit shawls into my regular wardrobe.

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper hand knit shawls? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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