Barbara’s Asymmetric Shawl

Barbara’s Asymmetric Shawl

This name is because a) I bought the yarn;  b)  I imagined it would do well for an asymmetric shawl;  c) searched and YouTube for free patterns;  d) found this video by Barbara Benson.  So the least I could do is to name it after her, and (of course) give credit!


I learned this Barbara Benson’s Youtube video on her channel WatchBarbaraKnit!  Here is the link: and here’s the link to her Ravelry page:

This shawl is very straightforward:  there is a six-row set-up, then a four-row repeat.  The shawl starts in one corner and you can just keep going until it’s the length you like or you nearly run out of yarn.  You’ll want to reserve about five yards for the bind off.  Suggestion:  use an interesting solid or very long color-change yarn.

Yarn:  I used Lion Brand Ferris Wheel, a long, slow color-changing yarn that comes in 3 oz cakes (85g) for 270 yards or 247 meters.  You can use any yarn, large or small, because the gauge doesn’t matter.  It’s still worth doing a small sample swatch because you might find you want to change the needle size to make the fabric you want.  I bought the yarn first and searched for an asymmetrical shawl pattern because I thought it would show off the yarn nicely.

Needles:  I started with 5mm needles (size 8 US), and found I wanted a looser, softer fabric, so changed up to 6.5mm or size 10½ US.  You can use straight needles, but the piece rapidly becomes too big to fit on the average straight needle, so I used my favorite KnitPicks circular needles with the changeable tips.  I started with 24” cable and switched to a 36” one later.

Cast on and set up:

1.   Using your favorite method, cast on three stitches.

2.   K1, y/o, k2. (4 stitches)

3.   K3, bring the yarn forward, slip final stitch purlwise (slip 1). This will give you a clean edge.

4.   K2, y/o, k2 (5 stitches)

5.   K2, k1fb (knit into front, then back of the stitch to increase one); k1, slip1. (6 stitches)

6.   K2, k1f y/o b (knit one, yarn over, knit into back of same stitch, increasing 2), k1, ssk. (7 sts)

7.   K2, p1, k1fb, k2, slip 1. (8 stitches in total)

Repeat section:

1.   Right side: K2, k1f y/o b (increasing 2), knit to last TWO stitches, ssk.

2.   Wrong side: K2, purl to last FOUR stitches, k1fb, k2, slip 1.

3.   Right side: K2, k1f y/o b (increasing 2), *k1, p1* to last THREE stitches, k1, ssk.

4.   Wrong side: K2, *p1, k1* to last FIVE stitches;  p1, k1fb, k2, slip 1

Repeat these four rows until you run out of time, yarn, or interest.

Cast off with Barbara’s Elastic Lace Bindoff:

1.   Slip 1, k1, knit these two together through the back loop.

2.   K1, insert needle through (next) front loop, wrap and pull through. Slip first stitch over second stitch.

3.   Repeat until finished; clip yarn, pull through final stitch, sew in the end(s).  Wash and block.

Here is the .pdf file:  Barbara’s Asymmetric Shawl.