Shawl Geometry: Square with a Diagonal Slit

This is the thirteenth 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

Square with a Diagonal Slit from the center out

The Square with a Diagonal Slit is a variation on the Square Knit in the Round. Instead of being knit in the round, the Square with a Diagonal Slit is worked flat, with the “slit” splitting one pair of increases (or decreases).

This shawl shape sits sort of like a cape. It rests easily on your shoulders and doesn’t slide around. Plus, no need to fold your square in half, hiding part of your pattern.

Knitting Instructions

CO 11sts.
{4 border sts + 4 sections + 3 spines}
R1: k2, (pm, yo, k1, yo, pm, k1) 4 times, k1.
R2: purl across.
R3: k2, (sm, yo, k to marker, yo, sm, k1) 4 times, k1.
R4: purl across.
Rep R3&4 to desired dimensions.
Bind off loosely.

Square with a Diagonal Slit from the hem in

Like many other shawl shapes, the Square with a Diagonal Slit can also be worked from the center out, and from the hem in.

Calculating your cast on

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

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

Knitting Instructions

CO [# of sts to CO].
R1: (pm, ssk, kY minus four, k2tog) 4 times.
R2: purl across.
R3: (sm, ssk, k to 2sts before marker, k2tog) 4 times.
R4: purl across.
Rep R3&4 to 8sts.
Bind off loosely.


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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.

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The previous post: Rectangles
The next post: Circles with a Slit


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