How many stitches to pick up to keep the shawl square?

Hello, I have a very specific question. I hope I can explain it in writing! :slight_smile: I am making this Spanish Christening Shawl for my daughter. It’s supposed to be a baby blanket, but at the rate I’m going, it might be a shawl before I’m finished! :mrgreen:

Anyway, I’m finished with the inside part and it’s time to pick up the stitches for the border. I cast on 195 stitches, like the pattern said, but only knit the pattern 24 times. The pattern called for 28 times repeat, but my blanket was square after 24 times, so I stopped there. Now, the pattern says to pick up 197 stitches along the first vertical edge, then 195 along the cast-on edge, and 197 more along the other vertical edge. Then you knit the border, and at the end of every other row of the border, join with one picked up stitch from the main blanket. That makes total sense to me, and I understand the instructions.

But my question is, do I pick up 197 stitches along each vertical edge like the pattern says, or my equivalent (167 st)? I keep going back and forth in my head trying to think which way will keep the blanket square. It seems like I’m either going to stretch it longer vertically, or squish it up vertically.

The border is knitted at a right-angle to the main blanket, so it seems like to keep it square, I would want the same number of border rows along each edge???

Of course, I could always try it one way, and if it doesn’t work, rip it out and start over. But I’d much rather get it right the first time! :wink:


If you didn’t make it as long as the pattern, then yes, pick up less stitches. But not 1 st per row, more like 3 sts for every 4 rows, or 2 for every 3 rows, whichever ratio fits along the edge comfortably.

That’s kinda what’s confusing me. I did make it as long as the pattern, in that the final size is the same, but it took me fewer rows than expected to do so. And the number of cast-on st matches the pattern. I’m just worried that if the length of the edging on the sides don’t match the length on the top and bottom, that it will come out not square. Does my worry make sense?

About the ratio of picked-up st, the pattern calls for 7 stitches in 6 rows (pick up 6 slipped stitches, then make a stitch, repeat).

If it’s a square now, it will be a square after you pick up stitches. Keep to the same ratio as recommende in the pattern then, however, it seems like picking up 6 sts and an extra will make the edge ruffly rather than flat. Though if you’re knitting the entire edging on smaller needles, that may lay flat.

Ok, thanks. I’ll be careful about the ruffly part. I’ll just keep an eye on it as I go and keep my fingers crossed that it works well the first time! :slight_smile: