A Girl’s Best Friend Hand-Knit Shawl Review [+Tips & Tricks]

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A Girl’s Best Friend Shawl is a gorgeous pattern from Isabell Kraemer. You will find a full review, but more importantly tips and tricks for making your very own shawl.

I’m not a collector of yarn.

You would probably disagree with me if you saw my stash.

But stick with me for a moment while I explain.

99.99% of all the yarn I purchase is for a specific project(s). I find yarn I know I will use and then, when it goes on sale, I will buy quite a bit to “fill the larder” up, to use a cooking analogy.

I’m able to shop my own stash any time I’m ready to cast on something new.

But my last project broke all of my own carefully constructed rules.

A Girl's Best Friend knitted shawl

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When I visited the most adorable little yarn shop in the southern coastal town of Beaufort, South Carolina, I wanted to take back something that would remind me of my visit.

Check out the entire post about this quaint little yarn shop.

The shop owner patiently showed me around and helped me choose the most gorgeous hand dyed yarn. When I left the shop, with my hand heavy from my little brown shopping bag, I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it.

Find all the gorgeous fingering weight yarn at LoveCrafts!

Hand-knit shawl shoulder detail

Check Out My Latest YouTube Video

A Girl’s Best Friend Shawl

Finally I settled upon A Girl’s Best Friend Shawl from the designer Isabell Kraemer. It was an ambitious project for me to undertake, but I didn’t let my own ignorance stop me from trying something new.

These are the perfect knitting needles for this gorgeous project: ChiaoGoo Red Lace Stainless Steel Knitting Needle Size US 4 (3.5mm)

The first time I cast on the project, I quickly became frustrated and put away the yarn. I wasn’t in the proper frame of mind to tackle new skills.

About a month ago I started feeling the itch to wrestle with something challenging. I grabbed my project bag and summoned my determined spirit to help me, my husband calls that stubbornness.

Ultimately I learned a few new skills and of course, am sharing them with you as well.

Picking Up Stitches

The first obstacle I faced came early in the pattern. Thankfully, Youtube came to the rescue and I found the perfect tutorial for picking up stitches along a garter edge.

You can find the tutorial from Knit Purl Hunter here.

A Girl's Best Friend knitted shawl pom pom

Once I discovered how simple that technique was, I became more excited about the pattern.

Actually, I had a hard time putting the shawl down.

How to Make 5

My next challenge was learning how to Make 5.

It’s an increase stitch, obviously, and once you learn how ridiculously simple it is you’ll want to do it over and over, which is a good thing because you will do it A LOT in A Girl’s Best Friend Shawl.

You simply alternate knit and purl stitches into one stitch without finishing that stitch until you have five stitches on your needle. How many times can I use the work stitch and its variations in one sentence?

Check out my video above for a tutorial for how to Make 5 – you’ll find it at ______add time here______

Making Pom Poms

I like big poms and I cannot lie.

Up close detail of pom poms from knitted shawl

I hope you get the reference. If you don’t, think super popular song from 1992. Think – Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Now let’s see if you can get that song out of your head for the rest of the day… you’re welcome.

I digress. Back to big pom poms. I am a fan. The bigger the better in my opinion. My favorite pom pom maker is this one from Knitter’s Pride: Pom-Pom Makers

These pom poms look amazing at the three points of the shawl, but I can’t imagine that they would look bad anywhere you decided to put them.

Blocking

Why do I always forget to take before and after photos?

Blocking is an absolute must for A Girl’s Best Friend shawl.

If you think the shawl looks beautiful before you block it, wait until you see how gorgeous it is after blocking.

I had never blocked a human sized garment before so I reached out to my knitting guru, Julie Cashin, from the Button Jar Studio.

Check out my favorite Blocking Mats for Knitting here.

Julie has been teaching knitting for decades and she’s my go-to for crafting information.

Thankfully she had a full Instagram story highlight titled “Blocking” and I followed her directions exactly.

I simply used Woolite and washed the shawl in my clean kitchen sink. Julie uses Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash.

At Julie’s advice, I added the Shout Color Catcher Sheets to my wash to ensure that if my hand-dyed yarn bled, it wouldn’t make a mess of all my hard work.

Finished Shawl

I am absolutely blown away with totally selfish make. I cannot wait to wear it out into the world and shamelessly brag about my accomplishment.

As much as I adore knitting and crocheting toys, I am going to begin incorporating a few wardrobe makes into my routine.

Maybe one of these days I will learn how to knit socks and have a drawer full of colorful handmade garments for my feet.

How about you? Do you like to knit garments for yourself?

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6 thoughts on “A Girl’s Best Friend Hand-Knit Shawl Review [+Tips & Tricks]

  1. Such a beautiful shawl! I have made quite a few shawls, cowls, mittens, socks, etc. but I love making the little critters the best! For the time being, I’m not making any more of these accessories as I have so many and really no place to where them due to this crazy pandemic world we are in now!

    • Thank you so much, Kathy! I love making toys the best too! But I really really want to learn how to knit socks!! That just sounds wonderful to have a drawer full of them! πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ‚

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