Tag Archives: mitered square

Mitered square, redux

Here’s the second mitered square. Looks just like the first one, except it’s 10 inches (as requested), not 11 inches, on each side. Much better! This picture is truer to the color than yesterday’s post.

square 2

In other news, we had a house finch building a nest in the wreath on our front porch last week.


I was excited to see an egg in the nest. But apparently, Mama Bird got spooked. When she realized that it was a high traffic area, she decided to get out of Dodge. I think she broke the egg and split. See the piece of speckled shell on the left edge of the nest?


We had a nest in the same place a couple years ago; it was sweet to watch the baby birds grow. But it gave the parents a lot of angst with all the comings and goings through the front door. I guess she’ll be nesting in the shrubs instead, but that means no pictures! Here are a couple pix from 2007.

bird babies

We worried when there was one left behind. We named him Louie.

just one left

and rejoiced the next day when he flew away!

Mitered squares, topsy-turvy

I’ve been making a lot of socks, knit from the cuff-down. I know you can knit them toe-up, too; I just haven’t, yet. Well, once, but I never finished the first sock.

I’m knitting a mitered square for a Ravelry group project Afghans for Afghans blanket in honor of Kay and Peter. So why not turn that idea upside down, too? Instead of starting with the long edges and decreasing down, what if we start at the point, and increase up? Anything to mix things up a bit! And no gauge swatch required, because you’d stop when the square reaches the right dimensions.

Here’s my first attempt:


Cast on 2. Knit the first row (wrong side).

Row 1: KFB (knit in front and back of stitch), place marker, KFB

Row 2: Knit.
row 3: K to stitch before first marker, KFB, slip marker, KFB, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing colors as desired, ending with a row 2. The symmetry lover in me would probably bug out not knowing if the stripes would all be the same number of rows. I’m that way. But maybe I’d get around it by making all stripes just two rows (1 garter ridge), or 4 rows (2 garter ridges), and carry the second yarn up the side of the block, twisting at each color change. Binding off was a bit tricky; my regular knit bind-off was too tight and the piece wasn’t very square. I changed to a suspended bind off, and that made it looser, but there’s still not a nice pointy corner on the bound off edge.

I also tried this with yarn over increases on each side of a center stitch, like this:

yo k yo

Cast on 3. Knit the first row (wrong side)
Row 1: K1, yo, place marker, K, place marker, yo, K1

Row 2: Knit
Row 3: K to marker, yo, slip marker, K, slip marker, yo, K to end

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until square is desired size, changing color as desired, ending with a row 2. Again, I used a suspended bind off to keep the edge from pulling.

You could use any increases you like, as long as you increase just before and just after the center. Some need a center stitch to separate them, and some don’t. I can never remember which M1 increase leans left and which one leans right, but paired increases would look nice. Here’s a link to KnittingHelp.com‘s excellent page on increases.

I’ll add this information to the mitered square pattern page, just in case someone else wants to mix it up, too.

After all of that, I’m making my current mitered square in my usual way, long edge first. It needs to be 10 inches square, and I know that I get 4.5 sts/inch in garter stitch on US size 8 needles. 10 inches times 4.5 st/inch is 45 sts for each 10 inch edge. 90 stitches for my square.

Knit on!

Knit a purple square

or two, or three…

I’m knitting a few squares for Anne’s Knit A Purple Square project.


These go pretty quickly in worsted weight yarn. The upper left square is the same pattern and yarn as my Checkerboard Scarflet. I measured my scarflet, and it’s 6 inches wide, which meant no refiguring gauge to get a six inch square! The Mitered Square is the same gauge as my garter stitch log cabin blanket; I just counted to find that 27 stitches = 6 inches, so this mitered square starts with double that, or 54 stitches.

The third square, still in progress, is based on Joan Schrouder’s afghan square in XRX’s Great American Afghan. It’s a twirly square! I’m going to rip it out and do it again with fewer rounds of the stockinette/reverse stockinette per stripe, so it can have more stripes within the 6 inches. Instead of 6 rounds, I’ll cut it back to 4 for each stitch pattern. I’ll stop at 5 inches, and add a garter stitch border. It didn’t take long to do (I was standing in line at student/teacher conferences this morning) so it’s an easy re-knit.

How was *your* weekend?

I’ve been thinking about this picture for a week. I didn’t have a camera on my walk last Sunday, and then the rains came. My next chance came yesterday.


I love the way the ghosts of the leaves remain, long after the leaves are gone.


The brown leaves caught in the camellia hedge look bittersweet.

I like these late afternoon walks. The slanting light makes everything look slightly magical. There’s not time for a long walk, but it’s pretty invigorating anyway, because of these:



The neighborhood is built along a ridge, and there are public staircases between some of the hillside lots. Three are close to my house. They’re like secret passages, and they get the heart pumping!

Mitered squares for all

I’ve been playing with the Frog Tree Alpaca Sport, experimenting with garter stitch mitered squares. I like the idea of garter stitch, because it’s square instead of rectangular, and I want the squares to be square! More or less. It’s still a little diamond-y, but I think it will do. Blocking will help. Since this is a group project, I also want the square to be pretty simple. Here’s the square:


And here’s how I made it:

CO 72 sts with color A, knit one row (wrong side).

Row 1: K 34, SSK, place marker, K2tog, K34

Row 2 and all even rows: Knit

Row 3 and all odd rows: K until 2 sts before marker, SSK, slip marker, K2tog, K to end of row.

After first 6 rows, change to color B. There are 4 garter ridges on the right side. (Why not 3? Because the one row you knit on the wrong side before row 1 made a ridge on the right side, so there was one ridge before we even started the pattern. After this, it will take 8 rows to make 4 garter ridges.)

Continue in miter pattern, alternating between color A and color B every 8 rows (you’ll have four garter ridges on the right side). At the beginning of each right side row, bring the current color up under and behind the color not in use. This will carry the color not in use up the side of the block.

When you have 2 sts remaining (one on either side of the marker) after completing a right side row, K2 tog on the very next wrong side row. (Don’t change colors; I know there are 4 ridges, but we don’t want a little blip of color.) Cut yarn and pull through the last stitch. Cut the other yarn, too, leaving nice tails!

I’m using size 4 needles, but as usual, it’s all about gauge. Square measures 7 inches across the middles, and 10 inches point to point. Now we just need to make a lot of them! I’m guessing we’ll get three squares out of each set of two balls of yarn. Wish I had a digital kitchen scale…

The square I was experimenting with at Knit Nite was decidedly ugly (the corner looked like a wart), so we passed out the yarn and now I just need to send out this pattern.

ETA: Edited to add: There are many ways to go about this, but it works in garter stitch as long as you have two decreases, every other row. You could also do one decrease each row, always before the center marker. Or always after the center marker. You could also do a centered double decrease on every right side row, but then there’d be a lot of “moving the marker” activity. I wanted to make the square as simple to knit as possible. This is the way it turned out: easy!