15
May
2013
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Shawl Geometry: Octagon Circle

This is the fifth post in a series about different shawl shapes and how to knit them. All the posts in the series can be found right here.

Shawl Geometry: all the knit shawl shapes you could even need

The Octagon Circle (or a Circle with Concentric Circles of Increases) is comprised of eight acute triangular wedges, which are formed using eight pairs (16 total) of increases (or decreases) worked every 4th or 6th round.

This particular way of shaping a circular shawl goes by plenty of different names. Sometimes it’s called the Traditional Circle, sometimes it’s the Wedge Circle, sometimes it’s just called the Circle. I call this the Octagon Circle because this name seemed the best fit for how I went about explaining this shawl’s shaping.

Working your Shaping every 4th vs 6th round

The shaping in this shawl can either be worked on the 4th round, or the 6th round of your knitting. Which round you work your increases (or decreases) on depends on your gauge, yarn, needles, and stitch pattern.
So, how do you figure out which round to work shaping on?
Option 1: Swatch.
Option 2: Pick one, and block aggressively.
If you go with Option #2, I’d suggest working your shaping every 4th round, because more frequent shaping means you have more fabric to work with.
It’s far less nerve wracking to block a ruffle at (since you know that at the very least you have more than enough fabric to go around), than it is to try and make not-enough-knitting stretch flat. It also means that you don’t risk distorting your stitch pattern (or snapping a thread) with over aggressive blocking trying to get your shawl to lie flat.

Octagon Circle from the center out

This way of creating a circle is similar to working a square shawl from the center out. However instead of working 4 pairs of increases every other row, we work 8 pairs of increases every 4th or 6th row.

Knitting Instructions

For a shawl that increases 16sts (8 pairs of increases) every 4th round:
CO 16sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
{8 sections + 8 spines}
R1: (pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k1) 8 times.
R2, 3, 4: knit around.
R5: (sm, yo, k to marker, yo, sm, k1) 8 times.
R6, 7, 8: knit around.
Rep R5-8 to desired dimensions.
Bind off loosely.

For a shawl that increases 16sts (8 pairs of increases) every 6th round:
CO 16sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
{8 sections + 8 spines}
R1: (pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k1) 8 times.
R2, 3, 4, 5, 6: knit around.
R7: (sm, yo, k to marker, yo, sm, k1) 8 times.
R8, 9, 10, 11, 12: knit around.
Rep R7-12 to desired dimensions.
Bind off loosely.

Whether you increase every 4th round or every 6th round depends on a lot of factors, including, but not limited to, your gauge, your stitch pattern, your yarn, your personal preference, etc.


Octagon Circle from the hem in

I’ve included here the calculations and instructions for working an Octagon Circle from the hem in with your shaping worked every 4th round.

Calculating your cast on

Determine your final gauge and the desired radius of your shawl.
The radius is half the width of your final shawl, or the length from the center of your shawl to the edge.
[Rnd gauge] x [desired radius] = [# of rnds]
[# of rnds] / [4 rnds in a dec rep] = [# of dec reps]
[# of dec reps] x [16sts decreased per dec reps] = [# of sts decreased]
Make sure this number a whole number that is divisible by 16.
[# of sts decreased] = [# of sts to CO]

Calculating your stitch marker placement

[# of sts decreased] / [8 shawl sections] = [# of sts in one section aka Y]

Knitting Instructions

CO [# of sts to CO].

R1: (pm, ssk, kY minus four, k2tog) 8 times.

R2, 3, 4: knit around.

R5: (sm, ssk, k to 2sts before marker, k2tog) 8 times.
R6, 7, 8: knit around.

Rep R5-8 to 16sts.

Bind off loosely.

 



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The previous post: Pi Circle
The next post: Right Triangle


 

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