Just what the heck IS a shawlette? How is a shawlette different from a shawl?
Here’s my answer, not necessarily the textbook answer:
Shawlettes are small shawls. Anything ending in “-ette” tends to be smaller or more petite.
A shawl can mean many things to many people. For instance, I’ve seen very wide scarves called shawls (I think of those as “wraps” or “stoles”).
In fact, according to Merriam-Webster (the dictionary), a shawl is “a square or oblong usually fabric garment or wrapper used especially as a covering for the head or shoulders,” originating from the Persian shāl and first used in the late 1600’s (if you’re a word geek like me, this just filled you with a bit of happiness).
A long oblong that’s more narrow than a shawl is simply a … scarf.
But a circular or triangular shawl that’s smaller than the generous, cozy traditional shawl can be a shawlette.
Does it matter what we call it? No. Maybe. Yes. What do you think?
I don’t know about you, but the thought of knitting a large, lace shawl is overwhelming. But the thought of knitting a shawlette is doable. A shawlette might take a couple of dedicated weeks to knit. A shawl would likely take me more than a month to knit.
Also, shawlettes are often one skein projects, which makes them popular choices for that delicious skein of hand dyed or painted yarn that you’ve been hoarding. (Not that you ever do that. Yeah, me neither.)
And let’s be real. Finding a major mistake in the middle or even beginning of your huge lace shawl that requires frogging in order to finish your shawl properly is … a deal breaker. Not that this has every happened to me. 🙂 The same is not as horrendous with a shawlette.
I love shawlettes. I love designing them, knitting them, wearing them. Call it a triangle scarf, kerchief or shawlette: I love ’em. And I’m working on a few more designs (and am working on the patterns for those you’ve been patiently waiting for). I’m hoping to make all available with more than enough time for Christmas gift knitting.
But what about you? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Scared by ’em? And if so, what would make them a little less scary?