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Flat Section on a Curved Shawl?

V’s Question

Dear Aoibhe.

I am almost halfway crocheting through your lovely Lunula shawl but have a question re the “36 L40tr” stitches on Panel 3 -does this mean 36 rows of 40linked trebles without increasing or decreasing?

If so, I am confused as I thought the shawl was circular.
Is the midpoint of the shawl the middle of these 36 rows?

Could you clarify this for me please?
Many thanks!
– V

Aoibhe’s Answer

Hi, V!

Thank you for your insightful email.

To answer your question, your interpretation is correct.
I can confirm you are being asked to make 36 x L40tr as you thought you were.

Here’s the logic behind it, so you know you’re on the right track;

The purposes of the [increases] at the beginning and end of Panel 3 and later the Short Rows that are added is twofold;
First, yes, they are there to increase the number of stitches and help bring your shawl into a curve, but they’re also there to help compensate for the growing stitch height.

Without all those increases and short rows the open edge of Panel 3 would get quite tight and wouldn’t lie flat.
It’d be unwearable.

So, while I know it seems like a sudden shock to stop increasing all of a sudden, you will notice in that 36 stitch stretch we also stop growing the height of the stitches, so we’ve way less need for the short rows at that point. That section will lie flat without any outside help.

The 36 stitch stretch is there for a few reasons, too;

Firstly, it’s a good breather and gives the crocheter a chance to take stock, make sure your stitch counts are working out and then to work on from there. It’s a good time to count the stitch spaces you have remaining to you, and to make an adjustment if you have too few or too many.
(just add extra L40trs if you have too many sts left, or pull back a few if you’re running low)

But secondly, that big solid gold block is the shawl’s main feature, so I thought adding short rows to it which would interrupt the gorgeous flow of that golden yarn would be doing it a disservice.
Panel 4’s increases will help ease that flat section into a curve, so it won’t look out of place.

Your shawl will indeed curve as you want it to, so worry not.

I do appreciate your question though. Thanks for asking.

Happy Crocheting!
A x

PS. Hey, crochet fans! If you’d like to have a go at Lunula, you can find it here!

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