Stornoway Throw

When I first purchased the Celtic Journey pattern book, I knew I was in love with this throw. My brother-in-law recently moved into a nstornoway-throwew apartment and has always been fond of Celtic-inspired things, so I knew this would be the perfect house-warming gift for him and his girlfriend.

This pattern is set up for two different sizes, the small is 24″ by 32″ and the large is 48″ by 64″. For my purposes, the large was the better choice. But this would certainly make a great baby blanket if made in the smaller size, so I must keep that in mind for future projects.

I chose Caron Simply Soft for my yarn as it’s one of my favorite go-to worsted weight yarns. I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but I just adore the way the yarn glides off the needle, and the drape of the finished product always feels luxurious. This time, I chose Autumn Red for the color as it best suited their decor.

One side-note about the Autumn Red: it stained my knittiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAng needles!
I’ve never had any yarn by Caron (or any yarn period) stain my knitting needles, but this one certainly did. I’m not sure if it was just a bad batch of yarn where they failed to set the dye or if it’s something about this color, but beware if you plan on using this color. It’s a machine wash and dry yarn, so I advised my brother-in-law to wash it separately unless he wanted red dye to get on other things in the wash.

While working with this pattern, I did notice a fair amount of mistakes and general vagueness. It seems to be a running theme with this pattern book, as the Dubline Cardigan also had a couple head-scratchers as well as the Flidais Stole which I have yet to finish and blog about. Fear not, once finished I will share a full account 😉

I don’t want to post any images of the original or altered knitting chart (y’know, copyright laws and whatnot) so I will do my best to describe my alterations as if you have the pattern in front of you.

The first thing I noticed was the knitting chart for the main body of the blanket. It shows blocks of moss stitch set against a stockinette stitch background. A simple idea that adds some interesting texture to the body of the blanket. But the number of stitches between each block of moss stitch didn’t quite add up and working it up exactly how the pattern shows made them look oddly crammed rather than evenly spread. The obsessive-compulsive in me just had to change it. I moved one block to the left by one stitch and left the other in its original place, making the blocks evenly spaced on both sides. It’s important to note that I did not change the total number of stitches across in a row, these are important to keep track of when working up the border.

The second thing I noticed was that the materials list wound up coming up a bit short. You will actually need more than just a circular knitting needle size 8 and your cable needle. Once the body is finished, you will need to pick up stitches along all four sides of the body to begin OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAworking the border. Up until that point, the circular needle is all you need. But once you begin working the border, you’ll realize you need at least one straight needle size 8 to work with your circular needle, and the other end of the circular needle will not be used. I recommend using a circular needle set that allows you to change the needles on the cord instead of a fixed circular needle, as the stitches tend to fall off the other end while you’re working the border. I switched out the end I wasn’t using with the biggest size needle in the set to keep the stitches from falling off. It was also very useful in picking up the edge stitches as I was able to switch to a much smaller needle, making it infinitely easier to pick up the stitches.


Now to address the border cable chart itself: this one was a doozy. And don’t bother with the “corrections” posted on the Knit Picks website, they would have you changing cabled knits into purls and creating a whole other mess. Do this instead. I noticed when I got to row 13 that something didn’t look quite right with rows 9 and 11. In the celtic knotwork, the cables should be coming smoothly together to eventually criss-cross and then smoothly separate again for the longer 0 shape, then it repeats. But with the way it had you do the cables, rows 9 and 11 had a weird S bend to them. So I took the outermost cables from row 9 and moved them up to row 11. I did the same on the opposite end of the chart, moving the outermost cables from row 45 to row 43. This will smooth out the way the cables first come together and separate before and after each knotted section.

In the knotted section itself, I likewise had to make some adjustments. Rows 19, 27, and 35 are the rows where the “corners” of the knots are, so the cables must turn sharply inward to go back to center and cross each other again. The original pattern would have you do so with stitches 10, 11, and 12 and 25, 26 and 27. But doing so will cause one of the purls from each side to be cabled forward, and that just isn’t right. I had to move each of those stitches toward the center by one stitch, making it a cable with stitches 11, 12 and 13 and 24, 25 and 26 instead.

Also, the directions for each of those corner cables are as follows: 2/1 RC, put last st on CN behind work, put 2 sts back from right to left needle, K the st from CN, K2 and 2/1 LC, put last 2 sts on a CN in front of work, put 1 st back from right needle to left wyib, K the 2 sts from CN, K1. Essentially for the first one you move two stitches from the left to the right needle, put the third stitch on a cable needle in back of the work, move the first two stitches back to the left needle, and proceed to knit the stitches from the cable needle and then the left needle.

Well, after doing these instructions a couple of times, I got to thinking, “aren’t I just doing a regular cable-3?” and it turns out that yes, yes I was. For some reason the pattern is written to have you cross the stitches prior to stitching them by moving them around from the left and right needles, creating a bunch of unnecessary steps. If you simply hold the stitches you’re cabling in front or behind the work and work them like a normal cable, it will look just the same as if you do the extra steps. Save yourself the time and replace the special corner instructions with a regular cable-3 front or back as appropriate to the work.

Now the other thing that happened is I realized that the cable-4 sections that come right after the corners would need to be changed since I changed what stitches it was all happening on. So for rows 21, 29, and 37, the outermost cable-4 sections should become a cable-3, and the cable-4’s in between those cables remain as cable-4’s. I know you must be thinking “But Niki, won’t that make the cables not line up and bend weird? I dunno about this”. Trust me, though, it looks just dandy. The cables are turning so sharply and crossing each other so often in such a small space that the difference by making a couple cable-4’s into cable-3’s won’t be noticed at all.

The cable chart for the corners of the border is worked similarly to the straight sections, except that you decrease as you go until only a few stitches are OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeing worked and the border angles up and out, then steadily increase stitches so the corner wraps smoothly around the corner of the body. The pattern contains the same mistakes as the straight section, so change stitches accordingly. However, when you get to row 71, the cable-4 on the left will remain a cable-4 and not be changed to a cable-3. This is because you will not be doing the left corner on row 19. In fact, there are no left corners at all on the corner chart. It took a little bit of playing around to figure out how to make the cables from row 19 line up with those in row 71, but I got it.

Tl;Dr Too long; Didn’t read: The pattern contains some pretty hefty goofs, and I was overly-descriptive in how to fix it for those of you who might be frustrated and ready to throw the whole project out the window. Don’t do that. Take a deep breath and work through the pattern with the fixes as I’ve detailed them here. It helps if you grab some graph paper and draw it out on your own, or highlight the sections that need fixing directly in the pattern book itself.

Unfortunately, I neglected to take a finished-product photo of this one. I was just so relieved when I got it finished that I wanted to give it to my brother-in-law and his girlfriend right away. It is now in its new forever-home to be (hopefully) enjoyed for years to come. If I can get him to take a photo of it, I’ll be sure to update my post, so check back if you’re curious.

Follow my blog for all things knitting and the scoop on my latest projects!

As always, happy stitching.


21 thoughts on “Stornoway Throw

  1. Brianne says:

    I’m just starting the first corner of the edging on the Stornoway throw and need some help. How does one do the corner edge bind off to cause the slanted edge? Is there a tutorial available?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Brianne!

      It isn’t so much a bind off as it is slipping stitches in a particular way as you work back and forth across the rows. As each row is worked, you’ll do fewer stitches so that they’ll slowly slant up and out. Then at row 49 you’ll start working increasing amounts of stitches.

      The symbol on the chart that looks sort of like a loop (first seen in row 9 stitch 35) calls for you to slip 1 stitch, turn, then slip the stitch again with yarn in back. If I recall correctly, you have to bring the yarn through the needles before slipping the stitch again – this sets up your even-numbered row to work back out to the edge.

      I hope this helped, let me know how you make out!


      • Not that I know of, I know I haven’t made one.

        When you first slip the stitch and turn the work, it will seem counter-intuitive to bring the yarn to the back before slipping the stitch again. It makes the yarn wrap around the stitch instead of going in it, but it is the correct way to do it so you don’t end up with gaps.


  2. Brianne says:

    So . . . slip the stitch (as if to purl), turn the work, and slip the stitch back to the right hand needle. The yarn is now in the back. What do I do when I am supposed to purl the next stitch on the left hand needle?


    • Slip the stitch as if to purl, turn the work, bring your yarn to the back of the work, slip the stitch again as if to purl. If your first stitch going back on the wrong side is a purl, bring the yarn back to the front of the work.

      I know it seems crazy and weird, it took me a little bit to get it right because it doesn’t seem like it should be right, but it is. You’re basically wrapping your working yarn around that unworked stitch that you slip back and forth.


  3. kmcasanova says:

    Also working on the first corner.
    Ready to rip it all out and make a simple cable throw.
    Which stitch is the wrap and turn? Is it #37, or the one on the one on the body of the throw?


    • Don’t rip it all out!

      The first stitch that you do the wrap and turn on will be stitch 35, and then on the next right side row it will be stitch 33. While you’re working the corner you’ll be leaving the body stitches alone as you work back and forth and each row decreases in the number of stitches you do until you start increasing again on row 49.


  4. Diana says:

    I’m just starting the border and already intimidated! Before casting on the 37 stitches to begin the border, the instruction tell me to knit 4. Knit 4 where? Will this move my beginning of the border up 4 rows?


    • The knit 4 will go down the side where you started the round of purl stitches. That way the border doesn’t start exactly at a corner and the beginning will be a straight edge that you’ll sew to the straight edge of the last row when you’re done.


  5. Diana says:

    Hi, Nikki! I’ve just finished the 4th cable pattern and find that I have 30 stitches left on the bottom of my blanket before the exact corner. That means that I have 26 rows that don’t fit into the border format. I counted and recounted stitches before I began to border. What do I do? Take it all out and start over? The very thought is overwhelming! 🙂 I could send a photo to you if that would help to make my problem more clear.


    • Hi Diana!

      I’m so sorry for my delayed reply, things have been hectic around here this past week.

      I’d double-check your count of picked up stitches on the long and short sides of your blanket, and double-check the number of rows worked in the cable edging. When working the edging chart 1 it’s easy to skip a few rows at the beginning and end because they’re long stretches of rows without doing any cabling, so maybe some of those rows were left out? I’m not really sure what else could have happened other than missing rows or an incorrect number of picked up stitches before you began the edging. I hope you don’t have to rip it all out and start over, but with this one you might have to :/


      • Avery Prince says:

        Hi, Niki! I’m working on this project as a gift to someone, too, and I’m a little paranoid about the number of times the moss stitch needs to repeat before I have enough stitches on the sides to pick up later to start the border. The version of the pattern I have says I need 197 on each long side, but 12 or 24 doesn’t divide into that evenly. What did you do?


      • Hi Avery!

        I also did the large version of this throw, and I followed the pick up instructions to a T. I’m not sure where you’re getting 12 and 24 from, as from this point on you’ll be working with the edging chart and the corner chart. The edging chart consists of 54 rows that will be repeated until it’s time to start the corner, and the corner is 88 rows, only some of which connect directly to the main body. Also, once you’ve picked up the correct number of stitches and are ready to begin the edge, you will knit 4 stitches first before casting on for the edge, so your first edge row will begin 4 stitches into the 197 you picked up on the long edge.

        As long as you keep track of which row you’re on and you don’t skip any picked up stitches, you should be just fine. The math does work out, so try not to worry about that too much.


      • Avery Prince says:

        I’m saying 12 or 24 because that’s the numbered row you have to end the body pattern on before you can start picking up stitches for the edge. All the instructions say is to keep knitting until the blanket is 50 inches long instead of ‘repeat until the moss stitch pattern has been done x number of times.’ I don’t know if I’m gonna end up saying the body is finished when it’s actually to soon or too late, and I don’t know if I’ll have to skip or make stitches along the edge because the number doesn’t seem consistent when I try to do the math


      • Yes I see your concern now. Sorry, it’s been a little while since I did this blanket.

        As I recall, I knitted until the body dimensions were correct and then counted how many rows I had. I had fewer rows than the 197 stitches I had to pick up, so I subtracted my number from 197 to see how many additional stitches I would need.


      • Avery Prince says:

        Yeah, that’s what I thought I might have to do. Did you keep knitting, or did you use something like yarn overs to increase?


      • My strategy was to pick up all the edge stitches before working them. That way I could double-check my count before putting in the round of purl stitches. I didn’t use any yarn overs while picking up my edge stitches, instead I picked up the extras from behind the edge, slipping my needle through basically any loop big enough.

        It helped to have a set of circular needles where you can switch the needle on the cord instead of having one that’s fixed, it allowed me to put a smaller needle on while picking up stitches and then switch to the correct size needle to do the round of purls.


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