photo of me wearing a knitted shawl in Dyrehaven, Denmark

Shawl with a cable border of twisted ribbing

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I am finally getting around to showing you the finished garter stitch shawl with a cable border of twisted ribbing. I love it! I am basically wearing it every day. If you have been following for a while, you may recall I began this shawl in October, when I fell in love with an unusual novelty yarn and had to pick the perfect pattern to match the yarn. I don’t know about you, but I think I made a great choice!

ball of yarn and detail of knitted shawl
The unusual structure of the Katia Louisiana yarn works really well with a simple garter stitch and the cable border of twisted ribbing is so beautiful! Read about my struggles to find the perfect pattern for a limited amount of a sold-out novelty yarn.

The finished shawl!

There are many ways to wear the shawl, but I think my favorite is to throw it around my neck like a scarf. I had less yarn than the pattern required so my shawl is a bit shorter, and that actually works really well for wearing it this way. It also really shows off that gorgeous cable border. It’s such a brilliant idea, adding cables to a border. There are so many things you could use this for.

three photos of my newly finished shawl
The shawl is the perfect accessory on a lovely spring day, casually thrown around your neck, or wrapped around your shoulders. The beautiful Celtic brooch is handcrafted from recycled electrical wire and is available on ETSY f rom Studio73Designs.
thee photos of a knitted shawl
A walk in Dyrehaven (the Deer Park) a forest park just north of Copenhagen, Denmark.
My shawl spread out in its full glory! The original design has more of a half-moon shape, but I cut out the middle portion because I didn’t have enough yarn for the full length. The nice thing about knitting a sideways shawl is that you can knit till you have used half the yarn, and then start decreasing without having to worry that you will lose a game of yarn chicken.

You can knit this shawl too!

So the yarn I used for my shawl is sold out, but this beauty would look good in any yarn. The pattern is Etude No. 5, designed by Emily Walton from Expression Fiber Arts, and it’s only $5. The pattern is suited for an advanced beginner (or an adventurous one). Most of the shawl is garter stitch and will knit up quickly and you only have to pay attention every time you get to the border stitches. The border is a twisted rib which is a stitch pattern I wrote a tutorial about last month. Check it out!

The twisted rib stitch

Counting your rows

The Etude No. 5 shawl is the kind of pattern where you really have to count your rows to avoid making mistakes. It’s a 12-row repeating pattern, where you have to increase (and later decrease) every few rows and you have to make a cable once per repeat. You always need to know which of the 12 rows in the repeat you are currently knitting. Luckily there’s a brilliant solution for this – chain row counters!

Chain row counters are a combination of a stitch marker and a row counter, and it works really well for simple pattern repeats. For example, when you have a pattern with a border, as you do for the shawl, you will generally place a stitch marker between the last border stitch and the first of the regular stitches. This is to remind you to switch to a different stitch. Now, instead of a ring stitch marker, you can use a chain row counter. It is a chain of rings, and each one corresponds to a number so that the first ring designates you are knitting the first row, the second ring corresponds to the second row, and so forth. Each time you get to the chain row counter, you don’t just slip it to the other needle, you change which ring is on the needle to match the row count. You will never forget to count because you have to move the row counter before you can knit the next stitch. Read more about all the different methods for counting your rows in my Ultimate Guide to Row Counting.

I used the KnitLinx row counter to keep track of my rows when knitting the shawl. The green ring is always the first ring/row. The shorter, second chain is telling me if I am counting from 1-6 or from 7-12. So, I am currently on the first of two repeats of 6 rows, meaning I’m on row 4 of the 12-row repeat. The stitches to the left are the plain garter stitches, and the stitches to the right are the border stitches.

Cable Knitting

If you have never knitted cables before, don’t worry. Cable knitting is one of those things that looks way more complicated than it is, and the Etude No. 5 shawl is a good project to get comfortable with cable knitting. All you are doing is knitting a few stitches out of order. I haven’t (yet) written a tutorial for cable knitting, but Expression Fiber Arts has a good video that demonstrates how to knit the twisted rib cables for the shawl. One piece of advice before you jump into cabling – I warmly recommend using one of the U-shaped cable needles, such as this open-end cable stitch holder. I find that they are much easier to use than the more straight cable needles. Add the stitches that are to be held aside on to the shorter end of the cable needle, and knit them from the longer end.

Will you be knitting the Etude No. 5 shawl?

I’m excited to hear if you will be knitting your own version of this gorgeous shawl with a twisted rib cable border. Let me know in the comments if you have been inspired to try it out. I will be happy to help if you are experiencing trouble with the pattern.

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