Shawl Geometry: Square with a Slit

This is the eleventh post (out of 16) in a series about different shawl shapes and how to knit them. The introduction post, which lays out the game plan can be found… thisaway.

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

Square with a Slit Center Out

A very basic variation on the basic worked-in-the-round square (the first square we talked about) is to work it flat. Working this shawl flat creates a slit from the center to hem, which means you can simply drape it over your shoulders, eliminating the need to fold part of it over, hiding part of your pattern.
This variation sits sort of like a cape in that it rests comfortably on your shoulders and doesn’t have a tendency to slide around.

To shape this shawl you still increase 8 stitches every other row in pairs of two with 1 stitch at either edge, but you work flat, and add border stitches.

To work this shawl top down (center to hem):
CO 11sts.
R1: P across.
R2: K1, [k1, yo, k1, yo, pm] 4x, k2.
R3: P across.
R4: K1, [k1, yo, k to marker, yo, sm] 4x, k2.
R5: P across.
Repeat R4&5 to desired dimensions.
Bind off.

Square with a Slit Hem In

To work this shawl from the bottom up (hem to center):
Determine your final gauge, and decide how wide (from side to side, not corner to corner) you want your square to be.
Divide your desired width in half (this is how wide your shawl will be from hem to center).

1. [number of rows per inch] x [number of inches from hem to center] = [number of rows total]
2. [number of rows total] / 2 = [number of decrease rows] you divide by two because you decrease every other row
3. [number of decrease rows] x [8 stitches decreased per decrease row] = [number of stitches decreased] make sure this number is divisible by 8.
4. [number of stitches decreased] + [11 bind off stitches] = [number of stitches to cast on]

Cast on and decrease 8 stitches, in three pairs of two and 1 stitch at either edge, spaced evenly, every other row, until you have 19 stitches left on your needles, then work a final row of decreases before binding off.

So if you CO 59 sts:
    R1: P1, [p14, pm] 4x, p2.
R2: K1, [k1, ssk, k9, k2tog, sm] 4x, k2.
R3: P across.
R4: K1, [k1, ssk, k to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sm] 4x, k2.
Repeat R3&4, until you have 19 sts on the needle.
R5: P across.
R6: K1, [k1, sk2p] 4x, k2.
Bind off.

The books this series spawned:
Shawl Geometry I: the math of shaping shawls for non mathy people
Shawl Geometry II: 16 more shawl shapes to design and play with
Shawl Geometry III: the relationships behind the numbers


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

Get All the Shawl Shapes You'll Ever Need

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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