Pinecone Shawl (free pattern)



Knitting in the summer seems like kind of an oxymoron. Why would you want to be handling yarn when it’s 90 degrees outside? There’s the camp of people who knit ahead for the winter, slogging through wooly fair isle and cables and by the time the weather is cool, they can actually wear their mittens, instead of just beginning them. Then there’s the professionals who work to meet magazine and book deadlines, always a season or two ahead (me, last summer.) Lastly, there’s the kind of summer knitter I aim to be this year, which is taking advantage of more free time for knitting little non-stuffy projects that let me experiment with cool cottons and lacy stitches.


I actually designed this shawl almost two years ago, while in the throes of fascination over shawls’ construction. Knitted from the center out, starting at the top of the straight edge, 4 strategically placed increases create the triangular shape. The pinecone lace grows within the two “wings”, expanding in a logical pattern you may not need the chart for after a while.

The yarn is lighter-than-air undyed cotton from Knit Picks (Simply Cotton Sport.) It’s a sport weight, absorbent and just warm enough, though the pattern would work with lighter gauges as well. If I were to make this shawl again, I’d choose a snappy bright color, maybe in a fingering-weight silk. Come winter, the piece would be equally gorgeous made in a rich jewel toned alpaca…and for the courageous, a lace weight cashmere.


Shawls are often seen as quaint, or unfathomably old-fashioned, but it’s really all in the way that you wear them. Worn with the point in back and the edges over your shoulders, you can evoke Little House on the Prairie (and hey, what’s wrong with Little House? The books, not the TV show– there’s lots wrong with the TV show, as entertaining as it can be, but I digress.) Nonchalantly wrapped around your shoulders or slung cowboy-style around your neck brings a fresh look. Heck, tie it as a sarong around your swimsuit (weird? Maybe. Only you can be the judge.) I wore this one as a shrug by tying the two front points in the back.

As a bonus, folded up and thrown in a purse or tote, a shawl takes up less room than a cardigan for wearing over sundresses in chilly movie theaters. Come fall, it works over a tee shirt and jeans as well as a scarf with your favorite denim or leather jacket. In fact, the original “fall” photo for this project was styled with a navy sheath dress and caramel riding boots.

To answer some requests in previous blog posts, this pattern is available within the post as well as a PDF for easy downloading and printing.

Pinecone Shawl Pattern

pineconeshawlcharts PDF Download

Pinecone Shawl PDF Download

pineconechartkey  PDF Download

Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Sport
100% cotton, 164 yards
4 skeins 5441 Marshmallow

Gauge: approximately 5 sts and 7 rows per 1”
Note on gauge: the lacy manner of the fabric means guage won’t be exact, nor is it terribly important to be exact—you can simply stop knitting when the shawl is large enough, even if you haven’t completed every pattern repeat.

US 9 24” circular needles
One size, 78” top edge length (tip to tip)
Shawl Body
CO 2 sts. Knit 10 rows.
Pick up 9 sts along the edge of the cord for a total of 11 sts. Begin charts:
Start chart: Go through entire chart once (work each row 1 time, rows 1 thru 21)
Body chart: Go through 1 time exactly as pictured (work each row 1 time, rows 1 thru 16.)
Begin the chart again, starting at row 1, but this time repeat what’s in the red boxes 3 times. Work rows 1 thru 16 in this manner.  Repeat this pattern again for your 3rd repeat of the chart, except now repeat what’s in the red boxes 5 times. Work rows 1 thru 16 in this manner.

4th chart rep: work red boxes 7 times.

5th chart rep: work red boxes 9 times.

6th chart rep: work red boxes 11 times.

7th chart rep: work red boxes 13 times.

8th chart rep: work red boxes 15 times.

Border: work 5 rows in k1, p1 ribbing. BO. Block thoroughly to open up lace pattern.



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