Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Straight Skinny on Mitered Squares
The concept is to cast on an uneven number of stitches and do a double stitch decrease in the center of every right side row. The double decrease is a sl1, k2tog, psso. In this square I did a garter for the first several rows, changed to stockinette for a few and then back to garter. This is just to keep myself awake. O and of course I changed yarns too.

This one is made with two yarns, and garter stitch for the entire square. This is the right side. The decreases make a nice bump in the center.
I make a habit out of slipping the first stitch of every row so that it will be easier to pick up and knit for the suceeding squares. One usually picks up half the stitches from the first square and then casts on the other half (using a cable cast on) and then proceeds to make the second square. Alternately one may cast on half the stitches and pick up the second half from the adjacent square, depending on the pattern and where you are going...don't think ahead yet, just do one square.

Another variation is to make two individual decreases in the center. This means casting on an equal number of stitches and in the center four decrease thus: k2tog, k2tog through the back loop. Depending on which way your stitches are facing you made need to slip 2 and rearrange them on the needle before knitting them together so they face the right direction. This is easier than it sounds. No matter what you do, be consistent and it will look good.

This variation is k2tog, sl1, k2tog through back loop. On the wrong side you must remember to purl the slipped stitch to keep it looking correct on the right side.
I forgot about slipping the center stitch for the entire square on this one. Duh. No one has ever pointed it out to me however, the resulting poncho is sooooo loud that you don't notice my mistakes.

Here is where I knit the center instead of slipping it. Still it works. I am not concerned enough to unknit it, since the shape still comes out the same. You will note that I have a garter ridge every fourth row, and kept that pretty consistent over the entire garment.

Here is a diamond which is a center double decrease on every row, both right side and wrong side. Garter stitch throughout. This is something I haven't used in a garment yet, but it will appear in a vest in the very near future.

There are wonderful books and patterns for mitered square garments available nowadays. The newest one is here. My favorite pattern is from Just One More Row and it is the Diamond Patch Pullover.