The Boomerang Shawl

The boomerang shawl became very popular in the last two years. The reason for the popularity is easy to find; you can make a fantastic boomerang shawl, with just 100g of fingering yarn! If you have a variegated yarn, it is even better as you won’t have to knit any intricate stitch pattern!

You can do this with any yarn. With thicker yarn, you will just need more than one hank. I love the effect of the fingering however. It is soft and drapes beautifully!

I made two shawls to show you the end result from this technique.

Shawl 1

This shawl, was made from a 100g hank from The Fibre Kitchen, a 50/50 blend of Merino/Silk fingering, on 4mm knitting pins. I only worked in garter stitch.

  • The depth at the widest point is ± 39cm.
  • The length is ± 130cm.

Shawl 2

This shawl, was made from a 150g hank from Electric Carnation, a 100% Blue Faced Leicester  fingering, on 4mm knitting pins.

  • The depth at the widest point is ± 45cm.
  • The length is ± 150cm.

The technique

There are a couple of things needed for this technique, to give the desired end result.

  • Use the crochet cast on to ensure a neat edge at the start.
  • You need to ‘move’ the stitches one up every second row, to create the slanted shape; we do this by an increase on the one side, and a decrease on the other side.
  • You have to increase only on one side, every second row, to increase the width.
  • You have to keep your edges neat so that you don’t have to do a border, which means you can knit up all your yarn! In this instance, I highly recommend that you slip the first stitch of every row knit-wise, and you purl the last stitch of every row. This video will explain it nicely.
  • If you are working with a fibre that doesn’t have a nice drape, use bigger knitting pins to create the drape. The yarns I worked with are all fingering weight. If I were to make socks, I would use a 2.5mm at the most, but for shawls, that require drape, I use a 4mm.

Let’s start!


  • st – stitch (sts)
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • kfb – knit into the front and the back of the stitch to increase with 1
  • k2tog – knit two stitches together to decrease with 1
  • slk – slip the stitch knit-wise from the left to the right hand needle

Cast on 3 stitches

We are going to do a small foundation to first get enough sts to work with. In this foundation section, we will only increase our stitches on the one side, we will not yet ‘move’ the stitches.

Row 1:  slk1, kfb, p: 4 sts

Row 2: slk1, k2, p1: 4 sts

Row 3: slk1, kfb, k1, p1: 5 sts

Row 4: slk1, k3, p1: 5 sts

Row 6: slk1, kfb, k2, p1: 6 sts

Row 7: slk1, k4, p1: 6 sts

Row 8: slk1, kfb, k3, p1: 7 sts

Row 9: slk1, k5, p1: 7 sts

Row 10: slk1, kfb, k4, p1: 8 sts

We are now ready to start the boomerang shape.

Row 11: slk1, k till 2 sts remains, kfb, p1

Row 12: slk1, kfb, k till 3 sts remain, k2tog, p1

Repeat rows 11 and 12, until you have only enough yarn left to cast off. You can measure this easily. When you get close to the end, spread you knitting out to full width and measure that. Reserve about 5x that measurement of yarn, for the cast off.

Cast off with a knitting pin 25% bigger than the one you were knitting with. With the shawls shown above, I cast off with a 5mm knitting pin as I was knitting with a 4m. This prevents a tight cast-off. There are various cast off methods you could use; a picot cast off will give a very nice end result, but will require more yarn than a normal cast off.

Play Time!

This is ideal for that ONE special hank of fingering, you paid so much for! You can use it up to the last little bit!

This technique works very well with variegated yarns. The focus is on the colour of the yarn, not on the stitch pattern. Garter stitch is more than sufficient and makes for nice knitting in company as you don’t have to concentrate much.

If you have made this once, you will make it again. And then you can start to play. Alternate garter stitch sections, with lace stitch sections. Make stripes with alternating colours! The sky is the limit!

Instead of increasing with a kfb, you could increase instead with a yo, which will create a nice row of decorative eyelets along the edge of the shawl!

I hope you find this tutorial helpful! If you do, share the link with your friends. And remember to post your boomerang shawls on the Yarn in a Barn Facebook Page!

Copyright Hilda Steyn / Yarn in a Barn 2017