The Mighty Mitered square

Hello, friends. This week finds me in my beloved hometown of Toronto for an October visit. Travel means travel knitting! My knitter’s kit (below) was the most considered part of my luggage. I knew I wanted to work on a few hats during this stay, what with Winter not too far ’round the corner, so it was 16″ circulars and DPNs for me.

Knit kit

In other knitting news, I’ve begun some very early exploration of mitered square-knitting, using scrap yarn. The mitered square duo below is looking a little irregular and misshapen, but they are very happy to be together. After working a seamed-squares blanket on my last knit, I’m really loving this method’s seamless construction. The mitered square is the humble workhorse of blanket-knitting; its simplicity makes it mighty, in my eyes! I hope to give these squares some more (increasingly square-shaped) company as I continue to knit.

mitered square

Have you had any experiences/adventures in working mitered squares? How do they compare, to you, with working other kinds of blankets and afghans? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

24 thoughts on “The Mighty Mitered square

      1. Hmmm I always want to take my knitting on the plane because obviously I would get a lot done during plane travel, but someone told me that they confiscate needles and I don’t want to lose my project!

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      2. Ah, I can see why they might be cautious! I called the nearby airport (in Chicago) to see whether the needles would pose a problem. I was for sure expecting them to be on the list of ‘checked-only’ items for my U.S.-Canada flight, but was surprised to learn they weren’t. I remember being told “yeah, we see a lot of knitters.” So, I suppose (depending on the direction of flight?) they’re good to go! I hear you – I would hate to see a WIP wind up with the tossed bottles of water and sunscreen!

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  1. My favorite “squares” blanket is one discussed by Elizabeth Zimmerman. You cast on an even number of stitches (say 20) and *work in garter stitch until you have a square. Bind off all your stitches except for the last one. Turn the square so the last stitch is on your top right and the bound off edge runs along the right side. Pick up the cast on number of stitches (minus 1 = 19 and count the last stitch from the first side as the last stitch) across what is now the top of your square. Repeat from *. You get a large square blanket with your garter ridges for each square running at right angles and 95% finished as you go (there are some unattached sides, but not many). When you get to where you have a square on the left side, work the edge stitch together with your last stitch.
    I’m not sure I’ve explained it well, but it’s easy to do so you might look for it.

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    1. Cheers, Diana, and thanks for this. Having read only one of Zimmerman’s books, I’ve not yet seen this method of blanket construction. It sounds quite intriguing and I will have to check this out! Thank you for sharing it, and for stopping by to read. 🙂

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  2. They look great, Shirley! And seamless construction is always good! Are they done corner to corner with increases/decreases in the centre? (As you can probably tell, I’ve never had a go at these myself 😆)
    Enjoy your time at home!

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    1. Thank you, Helen. Yes – excellent eye! The cast-on edge ends up making up two adjacent ‘sides’ of the square, and the decreases slowly eat up all the stitches in between. It’s so neat (even if my squares are more marshmallows at the moment!). 🙂

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      1. I don’t think you need to worry… As you attach more squares, it looks like the edges become sharper! There must be a trick to getting a nice pointy corner, though – are you knitting the first stitch of every row, or slipping it?

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      2. Ah, I’m knitting it. Hmm…. you’ve given me a good idea: I’ll try slipping that first one instead of knitting it. I’m thinking it could make for a smoother finish? Thank you, Helen. 🙂

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  3. The Aranami/Imanara shawl I just finished is basically mitered squares with the decreases pushed to the edges rather than the middle, so the squares aren’t square but gently curved instead. While there’s no seaming, you still have all those ends to contend with. I wove them in as I went so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with finishing at the end. And it was fun to knit!

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    1. Ah, I see! I was *so* curious how you got that lovely scalloped/scale effect, and would never have guessed that it was this kind of modular, seamless knitting. That is very rad, Mandy! I really love that shawl, as well as the LOTR meme you shared on weaving in. 😀 Way to go, weaving in as you went! I tend not to and always feel the impending sense of doom when I look at all those ends… Happy knitting!

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  4. That’s a lovely little travel kit. I don’t even know what a mitered square is, but (as I’ve sworn to myself that I WILL make a blanket this fall.winter) it sounds like something I should look into. Love the stripes!

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  5. Thanks, Tammy. 🙂 While I’m just starting out, I’m guessing this would be a delightful way to work a blanket, piece by piece. It is very knitter-friendly and a great way to move some things out of the stash and into a project, I think. A blanket this year sounds lovely! Happy Knitting to you!

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  6. Love your travel knitting kit. Hey speaking of traveling and knitting, have you already read –
    Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World by Clara Parkes? I am putting it on my future list – here is what is says on Goodreads “Knitting aficionado and notable artisan Clara Parkes delves into her storied travels with this inspiring and witty memoir on a creative life enriched by her adventures around the world. ” Sounds like book you would read 🙂

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    1. Ohh, I’ve seen that on the shelves here and there, but I haven’t yet read it. Thank you so much for reminding me of this wonderful title – you’re absolutely right: I’m very intrigued! Thank you, Tierney, and congratulations again on 4-years of great blogging!! ❤

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  7. Great discussion question, Shirley! I am a huge fan of the mitered square and have hatched a plan for a sock yarn blanket that pairs mitered squares with cable squares . . . more soon! It’s so fun to read about other folks’ experiences with the humble square and all of the avenues we travel for our blankets 🙂

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    1. Thanks for reading, Melissa. After I saw your Hue Shift afghan on the podcast, I *knew* I had to give this method a try. A sock yarn mitered/cable square blanket sounds very interesting! Looking forward to hearing more about this hatched plan. 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration.

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  8. again we must be on the same wave length hehe :p i was knitting these squares a few days ago, but i ended up giving them all to my mouse! she loves them, little garter stitch blankets are so soft and squishy for those tiny little hands and feet:D Can’t wait to see the progress on this 😀 and i love that sheep notion purse btw!! xx

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