Rainbow Afternoon Shawl


Rainbow Afternoon Shawl


Lovely enough for a movie star, this light as air striped shawl is knit from bottom to top in a drop-stitch garter pattern with a gathered peplum and shawl collar. Make your own shawl with or without a knit-in fringe. You'll love making this knitted shawl pattern for yourself and all your closest girlfriends. Note from the designer: The design was inspired by a shawl worn by Ashley Judd in the TV show "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the original name for this shawl is "Whose Shawl Do You Think This Is?"


Knitting Needle Size6 or 4 mm, 9 or 5.5 mm, Circular Knitting Needles

Yarn Weight(3) Light/DK (21-24 stitches to 4 inches)


Construction Notes: Collar and peplum shaping are worked after knitting by adding, on the inside, a few rows of slip stitch crochet - with more gathers at the collar for a nice ruffly front and not as many across the back for a comfortable fit. Adjust as desired.

Gauge: 18 sts and 17 rows = 4" / 10 cm in pattern stitch using smaller needles.  Because the fabric is so loosely knit, stitch and row gauge can vary widely depending on how the fabric is laid out, but their product should be fairly constant.  Aim for a gauge of 300-310 sts per 16 square inches / 100 square cm.


Finished Size: Approximately 75" / 190 cm long by 21" / 53.5 cm wide.



  • Size 9 needle for cast on and bind o_, size 6 / 4 mm circular needles on a long cable; size F-5 / 3.75 mm and size B-2 / 2.25 mm crochet hooks; tapestry needle.
  • Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
  • Sunday Knits 3 ply, 1 20 gm / 90 m skein each:
    • Nirvana (92% merino 8% cashmere): berry, cedar, earth, espresso, twig
    • Angelic (75% merino, 25% angora): aqua, black, chestnut, nut
    • Eden (100% merino): aster, chocolate, curry, prune, raisin, violet


Note on yarn substitutions:  The yarn used here normally knits at a gauge of 25-28 sts per 4 inches in stockinette stitch using needles size 3-5 US / 3.25-3.75 mm. If substituting, use a yarn of similar gauge in a wool or wool blend. The finished fabric should be very light and somewhat sheer. See Glossary for suggestions regarding color selection.


With larger needle CO 280 sts. Switch to smaller needles.
Row 1 (WS): K1, [yo, k1] to end.
Row 2 (RS): K1, [drop 1 (the yo), k1] to end.
Rep Rows 1 and 2 for remainder of shawl, switching colors every row or two according to Color List below, by either splicing the yarns together (see Glossary) or working knit-in fringe (see Glossary).


Color list
black - cast on
black - 2 rows (Rows 1 and 2)
*espresso - 2 rows
cedar - 2 rows
violet - 2 rows
prune - 2 rows
raisin - 2 rows
chestnut - 2 rows
nut - 1 row
curry - 1 row
chocolate - 1 row
aster - 2 rows
berry - 1 row
earth - 2 row
twig - 2 row
aqua - 2 rows
twig - 2 rows
earth - 1 row
berry - 1 row
aster - 2 rows
chocolate - 1 row
curry - 1 row
nut - 2 rows
chestnut - 2 rows
raisin - 2 rows
prune - 2 rows
violet - 2 rows
cedar - 2 rows
espresso - 2 rows
black - 2 rows
Rep from * once more.
With black work 1 more row.
Using larger needle BO while dropping the yarnovers.


Wash or rinse and lay out to dry.


Gather for peplum:
With larger crochet hook and aqua or twig and beginning 25 rows from cast on and 20 sts in from end, *slip stitch 1 crochet stitch per 1 knitted stitch for 240 sts. 
Move 2 rows over and repeat from *.


Gather for collar
With larger crochet hook and aqua or twig and beginning 25 rows from bind o_ and 20 sts in from end, *sl st 1 crochet stitch per 1 knitted stitch for 60 sts, switch to smaller hook and sl st for 120 sts, switch to larger hook and sl st for 60 sts.
Move 2 rows over and repeat from *.
Dampen or block over gathers and weave in loose ends.


Splicing yarn:  Attempts to weave loose ends inconspicuously into such a loosely knit fabric may be futile. But by splicing the end of one color yarn to the end of the next color, the yarn will appear continuous and the striping effortless.

The Russian splice is especially nice for this application: If using a 3 ply yarn, separate the plies at the end of one color strand, break of one ply 2" / 5 cm from end, break of a second ply 1" / 2.5 cm from end. Repeat with the other color strand. Fold the 2 yarn ends - each a little over 1" / 2.5 cm from its end - over each other like interlocking fingers. Lay the folded yarn in palm of hand, moisten fingertips and roll the splice vigorously until heat, friction and moisture cause the fibers to felt together.


Optional knit-in fringe
At the end of every row, cut or break yarn to a length of 5" / 10 cm. Measure the yarn to be used for the next row also to a length of 5" / 10 cm. Knit the first stitch of the new row with both strands together, then work remainder of row with new strand. Pull fringe snug but not tight. When shawl is finished, trim fringe using a rotary cutter and board, or a scissors. Tie a small knot near the end of each strand pair for added weight.


Suggestions on substituting colors:  Select thirteen or more colors that look great together. The more colors, the richer the finished fabric. Pick colors in dark, medium and light shades. Pick lots of soft or neutral tones, and a few saturated ones.  When laying out the colors for this shawl, consider dividing them into two or three groups, going from dark to light, both within each group, and overall. Be sure to swatch before casting on for the shawl, as colors may interact in surprising ways.


Slip stitch (crochet):  Insert crochet hook into stitch, wrap yarn over hook and draw the yarn through the stitch, leaving one loop on hook - first slip stitch. *Insert hook into stitch, wrap yarn over hook and draw the yarn through both the stitch and the loop.  Repeat from * across row.


BO - bind off
cm - centimeter
CO - cast on
k - knit
mm - millimeter
rep - repeat
RS - right side of work
sl st - slip stitch (crochet)
st(s) - stitch(es)
WS - wrong side of work
yo - yarn over


For more free knitting patterns from Carol Sunday, visit her company profile page: Sunday Knits!




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so pretty but not a clue as to how to negotiate the peplum and collar nor can i see them really ... very vague instructions, i probably have to experiment ... haven't knit in a while.

home decor

Not everyone who knits crochets-maybe there should be a category or site for patterns that require both.

how does one print out this pattern - because I just love it and it will be perfect for western NY winters.....

This caught my attention because it has the much-appreciated addition of a COLLAR!!! Though I'm still on the youngish age scale, I have arthritis in my neck---a collar is a definite PLUS!! I also like the way the shawl hangs on the too-small "front view"--it looks like the layered tops shown in Department Stores (the layered-look style). I agree with Grandmabee56--I think that a variegated yarn would look just as nice (or BETTER), and would eliminate having to deal with 15 different colors!

I'd like to try this with a varigated yarn

go to sundayknits.com and you'll find the front view of this shawl. Looks very different and much bigger front front view.

Same thing as the comment below. I would like to see the front and where is the link to print the pattern? It looks beautiful from the back.

has anyone made this? i'd also like to see the front before starting this....

Where is the link to print out the pattern??

It looks cute from the back but what does the front look like?


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