How to Knit Square Shawls Diagonally

Welcome to the next episode of my Shawl Design for Everybody series! Today’s topic in our shawl design course is how to knit square shawls diagonally.

Working a square shawl diagonally means starting at one tip, increasing to a certain size and repeating the reverse process for the other half of the shawl.

How to Knit Square Shawls Diagonally

As an increase angle of 90° is desired, you need to increase two stitches every other row during the increase section of the shawl body. For the decreases the same principle applies – decrease two stitches every other row.

In this setup it’s possible to work the edging at the same time as the shawl body. Either way, we start with casting on three stitches and increasing continually until the shawl is of desired width at the center diagonal (the position of the widest width).

How to Knit Square Shawls Diagonally
When working the edging together with the shawl body, the section outlined in orange has to be worked first during setup.

Design Outline

The outline of the shawl design process for square shawls tip to tip is as follows.

  1. Work a swatch and measure gauge.
  2. CO 3 sts and purl one row.
  3. Optional (edging): work increase rows until edging is of desired width (upper edge of the orange triangle shown above).
  4. Work increase rows until shawl is of desired width.
  5. Work decrease rows until 3 sts are left, then bind off.

Knitting Pattern Template

Our example assumes we are working a garter stitch edging together with the shawl body. The width of the edging (upper edge of the orange triangle) shall be two inches (one inch per side).

Work a swatch and measure gauge. Example: 5 sts / 6 rows per square inch.

Decide on the desired width at the widest point (diagonal) of the shawl. Example: 30 inches total width (incl. edging).

Calculate the relevant stitch counts: we need 6 stitches per side for the edging, (5 stitches per inch plus one selvedge stitch on the outer side) and

30 inches * 5 stitches/inch = 150 stitches

total width.

Pattern Template: Square Shawl Worked Diagonally

  • CO 3 sts and purl one round.
  • Increase row: sl1, m1R, pm, ktbl, pm, m1L, k1. (5 sts)
  • Next row: knit.
  • Increase row: sl1, k to next marker, m1R, slm, ktbl, slm, m1L, k to end of row. (7 sts)
  • Next row: knit.
  • Repeat the last two rows until there are 13 sts total, then start shawl body:
  • Increase row:sl1, k to next marker, slm, YO, ktbl, YO, slm, k to end of row. (15 sts)
  • Next row: knit edging stitches, purl body sts.
  • Increase row: sl1, k to next marker, slm, YO, k to next marker, YO, slm, k to end of row. (15 sts)
  • Next row: knit edging stitches, purl body sts.
  • Repeat the last two rows until there are 151 stitches between the markers.
  • Decrease row: sl1, k to next marker, slm, ssk, k to 2 sts before next marker, k2tog, slm, k to end of row. (149 sts between markers)
  • Next row: knit edging stitches, purl body sts.
  • Repeat the last two rows until all increased stitches are decreased again (until 3 sts are left total), then cut yarn, put through stitches and pull tight.
  • Weave in ends and block gently.

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