Preventing Tight Shawl Edges

Tight shawl edges are a real problem for me. What can I do to prevent them?

You can try adding a yarn over after the first stitch. When you knit back, drop the yarn over. It makes the stitch next to it larger and thus a looser edge.


Yes! I just did this on Melanie Berg’s True Colors Wrap (it was written into the pattern), and it really eases the edge. The only trick is to be sure you drop that yarnover so that you don’t accidentally add an increase.

Here’s my post about that project, which has some other tips n tricks.


Thanks for the responses; I saw the yarn over idea on the bulletin board for Ysolda’s Gloamin’ tide and had 2 concerns:

  1. Forgetting and adding an extra stitch; and
  2. What about when there is already a yarn over just inside the edge, wouldn’t it make it really sloppy

Off to check out your post, Ann1 –

Ah ha! it’s where you add the yarn over! at the end – not the start

"Melanie Berg suggests that when ySince ou get to the end of a Right Side row, throw a yarnover between the penultimate and last stitch of the row. On the WS, drop the yarnover. This makes that long edge super stretchy, which is what you want when a shawl will go through a significant blocking that increases the overall size. "

Since it’s really recent you’re unlkely to accidentally forget it.



Very pink has a stretchy bindoff that does not use yarn overs that I like.

Another option is to bind off with a needle 2 or 3 sizes larger than the one you knit with. Won’t be as stretchy but also not tight.

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Thanks for the response but it’s not the bind off edge that I get too tight.

Oops sorry (can you tell I don’t knit that many lacy shawls😏)

I can vouch for this method. I use it all the time and have had great results with it. It is particularly useful for long skinny triangles that have you increase the first stitch on the right side, decrease the first stich on the wrong side, and increase the last stitch on the wrong side.


Good to hear that it works well. I’ll give it a try on my next triangular shawl.

Fortunately my Gloamin’tide shawl did block out well despite the tight edges.

I’m currently knitting another scarf by the author of the parallelogram scarf, out of fingering weight yarn. She has you pulling through three times the.length on the first stitch and then increasing 2 by knitting back, forward, back at the end of each row. This creates a triangular shawl with a lovely springy edge. This shawl is one of her sequence knitting patterns. Cecilia Campochiaro’s “Rizumu”

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Just noticed this thread. Tight shawl edges bothered me for a while until I came across a pattern on Ravelry called Simple Crescent Shawl designed by Jodi Lewanda. In her notes she says ‘To make top edge of shawl stretchy, at the beginning of every row, knit 1st stitch, place it back onto left hand needle, knit it again then continue row as instructed.’ it works perfectly and looks fine.


That’s an interesting idea. Thanks for posting it. I’ve been using YO before the last stitch and then dropping it on the next row with a lot of success.

I’ll try this on my next shawl and see which method I prefer.

Thanks for posting.


I’ve done the extra yo/drop method on a Melanie berg triangular shawl and it does give a stretchy edge. However I’ve decided not to use it again for a neck edge as I find it more difficult to ‘dress’ the shawl, particularly if the pattern is on one side. Instead of curling around the neck, it tends to flop over showing the wrong side. Looks great on the blocking mat though! I’m going to try a tighter edge for more of a crescent triangle than an isosceles triangle!!


Hello Tangoginny,

I’m beginning the Parallelogram Scarf and I’m having some trouble. It should be easy as pie: K2P2, but I must be slipping in another k or p somewhere because sometimes I get the start of rib pattern going. Can you tell me what the back side should look like? Should I be purling all the knits and knitting all the purls OR does do I knit one knit and the next knit is into a purl?? I just posted an advice please post, but because you’re on your second Cecelia C scarf I’m guessing you’ve already finished the Parallelogram.

Hi. Yes, indeed, I had the very same problem— you are knitting along, happy as a clam, and the darn thing starts to create a rib. I posed this question to Cecilia who graciously answered me on Ravelry. I have to admit I didn’t fully comprehend her answer. But I’ll go to Ravelry and try to copy it for you. I ended up just compensating by cheating every now and again. This tendency to lapse into ribbing probably happens because our minds wander. I can tell you that you will only be purling into knits etc only some of the time because it takes 6 rows to do a full repeat. Also, take heart: when you are finished, the scarf is great, mishaps and all. I’ll post a better answer soon.

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Hi Jangrimmer,
More of an answer. I was remembering what Cecilia Campochiaro replied to me regarding my Rizumu shawl, which had the same problem of lapsing into a ribbed section. But I think her advice applies to both pieces of knitting. (I’m not able to copy and paste her reply. ) I suggest you pose the question directly to her. You can use Ravelry to contact here. You will be asking about “shaped sequence knitting. “ Good luck. I’m remembering my first rows of the Parallelogram scarf knitted from the MDK booklet looked like yours; when I ripped them out and started again, I got a much bigger correct section. Remember that the pattern does not fall into place at the row’s beginning.
Sorry not to be of more help.

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Hi Jan,

I just started a new Parallelogram and am paying close attention. I believe where you (and I, in knitting my first one) get into trouble is in the execution of the kfkbkf at the end of the row when a new color is introduced. This move takes the last stitch and turn it into three stitches.

It’s possible to drop one of those stitches as you do them on the return, or even to work an extra stitch! So, count them carefully.

The pattern also suggests marking the end of each row so you don’t get confused.



Hi Ginny,
I am not sure I replied to you. Thank you so much for your help. I ended up frogging and now am distracted by Big Joy and FG13. I do love the Parallelogram scarf and will get back to it someday.


Glad to hear from you. I tried working a wider scarf, using a worsted weight Friea shawl ball. 149 stitches. Easier to see and work, but the color changes are not as pretty as the original fingering weight.
Ready for some Big Joy myself!:child:.