22
Apr
2013
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Shawl Geometry: Square Knit in the Round

This is the first post in a series about different shawl shapes and how to knit them. All the posts in the series can be found right here.

Shawl Geometry: all the knit shawl shapes you could even need

The easiest way to think about shawl shapes is to understand the basic geometric shapes: square, triangle, and circle, and then manipulate and decorate them to get all these other shawl shapes and styles.
But there are also multiple ways to create each basic shape: backwards, forwards, and sideways.

The Square Knit in the Round, is knit in the round. This shawl is shaped with four pairs (eight total) of evenly spaced increases (or decreases), worked every other round. The pairs of increases (or decreases) radiate outwards (or inwards) from the center of your shawl to the hem pushing (or pulling) the fabric to form the four corners of your square.

The Square Knit in the Round from the center out

The most traditional way to create a square is in the round from the center out. To do this you increase 8 stitches in pairs every other round.

Center Out Knitting Instructions

CO 8sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
{4 sections + 4 spines}
R1: (pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k1) 4 times.
R2: knit around.
R3: (sm, yo, k to marker, yo, sm, k1) 4 times.
R4: knit around.
Rep R3&4 to desired dimensions.
Bind off loosely.


The Square Knit in the Round from the hem out

You can also knit from the hem to the center by decreasing 8 stitches in pairs every other round.

Knitting any shawl from the hem inwards takes a little more planning than working one from the center out. With a shawl knit from the center out you can keep increasing until you reach your desired size, or until you run out of yarn. But knitting a shawl from the hem into the center requires that you know your size information before you begin, so you can cast on an accurate number of stitches.

Calculating your cast on

Determine your final gauge and desired width.
[Desired width] / 2 = [width from CO to BO]
[Width from CO to BO] x [rnd gauge] = [# of rnds]
[# of rnds] / 2 = [# of dec rnds]
[# of dec rnds] x [8sts decreased per dec rnd] = [# of sts decreased]
Make sure this number is divisible by 8.
[# of sts decreased] = [# of sts to CO]

Calculating your stitch marker placement

[# of sts to CO] / [4 shawl sections] = [# of sts in one section aka Y]

Center Out Knitting Instructions

CO [# of sts to CO]. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.
R1: (pm, ssk, kY minus four, k2tog) 4 times.
R2: knit around.
R3: (sm, ssk, k to 2sts before marker, k2tog) 4 times.
R4: knit around.
Rep R3&4 to 8sts.
Bind off loosely.
Break yarn leaving a tail, and thread tail through live stitches, pull tight and weave in your end. (The same way you would finish off the crown of a hat.)

So if you CO 48 sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. (This step is a total PITA.)
R1: (pm, k12) 4 times.
R2: (sm, k2tog, k8, ssk) 4 times.
R3: knit around.
R4: (sm, k2tog, k to 2sts before marker, ssk) 4 times.
Repeat R3&4 to 8sts.
Bind off loosely.

 



Get a Lifetime's Worth of Shawl Shapes!

Collectively the Shawl Geometry Series of books cover 75 shawl shapes from beginner to advanced, plus shawl shaping principles and theory. If you’ve enjoyed this blog post then check out the books, they cover enough shawl shaping to keep you happily knitting for a lifetime or two.

Get All the Shawl Shapes You'll Ever Need!

The previous post: Shawl Geometry Introduction
The next post: Wedge Circle


 

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