Armchair Athlete by Jane Murison

Armchair Athlete

March 2019
both are used in this pattern
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
19 stitches and 42 rows = 4 inches
in Garter stitch, blocked
US 4 - 3.5 mm
766 - 984 yards (700 - 900 m)
One size, but adjustable if you want to use more yarn and make it bigger. The sample is 233cm/92” wide x 40cm/16” deep.
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I love sportswear more than I love exercise. The colour combos, stripes and weird textures. I’m never going to be an ultra marathon runner (respect if you are!), but I’m delighted to sit in front of the telly wearing a pair of over-engineered trainers shouting criticism at professional athletes: ‘Just hit the ball you donkey!’

This is a shallow asymmetric biased triangular shawl designed to go with those trainers. It’s got stripy bits, weird textures, track marks and a final lace and tuck border that sprints round a dogleg like the 200m.

While it uses a bunch of techniques the pattern describes them in detail, and none of them should make you cry. There’s a couple of simple tucks, a slipped stitch cable pattern, picked-up stitches, a novel bind off, and a lace mesh so easy you could do it while running a steeple chase.


At least two 100g skeins of contrasting 4ply/ fingering weight yarn of at least 365m/400yds). The main colour (MC) uses nearly the whole skein, the contrast colour (CC) approximately 60- 70g. Or, you can use scraps and multiple colours in place of a single contrast colour.

Sample MC: It’s A Stitch Up Favourite Sock (4ply/fingering weight; 100% superwash merino; 365m/400yds; 100g) x 1 in ‘ZX’.
Sample CC: Countess Ablaze Grande Merino (4ply/fingering weight; 100% superwash merino; 400m/437yds; 100g) x 1 in ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’. (this base is not currently available but could be replaced with Tia Merino or Lady Persephone)


3.5mm (US 4) circular needles, at least 80cm/32”


Cable needle, 2 removable stitch markers, tapestry needle, electronic scales (optional).


My hope is to give you, the knitter, space to make your own choices and to encourage you to see my patterns as a springboard for your own creations. It’s a long-distance collaboration between you and me and the person who dyed the yarn. It’s your garment, your yarn, your choice. With that in mind, this pattern is a set of building blocks to put together how you like:

  1. Shawl body rows
  2. Tuck motif - Tucks are simple to execute and give warmth and texture.
  3. Tyre track motif You can add this motif at nearly any point in the shawl.
  4. The Border The border is added by picking up the edge to add to your existing stitches, creating full row tucks and mesh lace panels, then binding off.