Modifications for creating your perfect sized shawl

What does Adjustable Mean?

I love a shawl that is easy to make with whatever yarn I want to use. I personally find it frustrating to have the perfect yarn but not the right amount. I hate being 50 yards too short or having half a skein leftover at the end. So whenever possible, I design my shawls so that they work with whatever yarn you want to use.

When a shawl is listed at adjustable it includes directions to make the shawl exactly as the shown in the sample but it also includes instructions to make it in whatever yarn you want. This can be different weight yarns but also different quantities.

I like big shawls, but you're a fan of shawlettes.

I prefer fingering weight yarn but you might prefer DK.

The pattern still works for all these differences!

Types of adjustable shawls

Repeat until you run out of yarn

This is pretty self explanatory. I like this version a lot because it just makes it easy. The design has a multi-row repeat that works for any amount of yarn. A good example is the Cataline Shawl.

Based on Weight

This method uses percentages to determine when to finish one section and start to the next section.

I promise the math is easy!

This is a great way to use up every last bit of yarn. Several shawls use this method. I've done the hard math to make sure it works, you just need to weigh and multiply.
To adjust a shawl based on weight, you do need a scale that can measure grams of yarn. A nice kitchen scale works or you can purchase a cheap jeweler's scale like this one.

I'm a big fan of these scales because they are small and easy to keep in my project bag.

How to do the math!

We'll use the Refraction Shawl for this example. The shawl has 2 sections. The first section is worked until 80% of the yarn is used.

Step 1

Weigh the yarn you plan to use and record that amount.

For the refraction shawl, you need equal amounts of two colors. If each skein starts with 100 grams, you have 200 grams of yarn total.

Step 2

Calculate how much yarn each section uses.

For the Refraction shawl, Section 1 uses 80% of the yarn and Section 2 uses 20% of the yarn. Multiple the total yarn you have (200 grams) by 0.8 (or 80/100) to get the amount for Section 1. This will be 160 grams (or 40 grams of yarn left unused).

200 grams * 0.8 = 160 grams needed for Section 1

Now if you decide you want a smaller shawl, you can start the second section earlier, but as long as you don't use more than 160 grams in section 1 you will have enough yarn to finish!