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Modular Knitting with New Basic, Part 2: The Winter Palette

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Modular Knitting with New Basic, Part 2: The Winter Palette

Mitered squares are knitted or crocheted modules that, like Log Cabin modules, are enlarged and attached to adjacent squares by picking up stitches and adding on. Mitering is a knitting (and sewing) technique that creates neat corners and hems of garments and table linens. A knitted mitered square, however, borrows mitering technique to create a discrete unit of knitted fabric. An even number of stitches is cast on. The center of this cast-on line is indicated by a stitch marker. In the process of knitting, decreases are made by K2tog immediately before and after the central marker. So, while the fabric is growing lengthwise, the decreases pull it towards the center, like a pleated fan slowly closing. The result is somewhat magical—the fabric develops into a square.

Modular Knitting: Winter Palette

Casting On

To make a single mitered square, I cast on 48 stitches using New Basic Yarn in black, and number 9 needles. I placed a marker after stitch 24 (halfway), and then I began to knit. I worked in garter stitch (every row is knitted), and made decreases on the right side (the odd numbered row).  On the wrong side (even numbered rows), I simply knitted. So, the pattern reads like this:

Row 1:  Cast on 48, place marker (PM) after stitch 24.

Modular Knitting

Casting On

Row 2:  Knit, and knit all following even-numbered rows.

Row 3:  Knit until 2 stitches before the marker. Knit those stitches together (K2tog). Move marker onto right needle. Knit the next two stitches together through the back loop (K2togTBL). Knit the remainder of the row.

Modular Knitting


Row 5:  Continue decrease pattern here and on all following odd-numbered rows until only 2 stitches remain. Bind off those stitches by slipping the right stitch through the left, cutting the yarn (leave a tail of about an inch) and drawing the tail through the loop.

Modular Knitting

Last Two Stitches

Attaching a Second Square

Now, to attach another square to the square already knitted, I cast on 24 stitches, PM, and pick up 24 stitches along the edge of the finished square. This is row 1 (on the right side of the fabric), and the next row (wrong side) is row 2. This row contains 48 stitches, 24 that were cast on and 24 that were picked up. With line 3 I begin the central decreases as described above.

Modular Knitting

Adding a second square.

The New Basic Winter Palette

I used the “Winter Palette” of New Basic Yarn—the colors are Black, Ice (light grey), Slate (dark grey), and Wisteria (soft blue with a hint of grey). I used two or three colors in each square, and enjoyed watching them grow and “converse” with the other squares. Modular knitting is like that. Each unit interacts with adjacent units, and the net effect can be complex and rhythmical. You may, as I have, give each square a different color arrangement, or you can do every square the same way. Regardless, your finished piece will make a unique statement.

More Squares!

The photos below show how the knitted fabric progresses as squares are added.

Lion Brand Patterns w/Mitering

The Lion Brand Pattern Database features mitered knitting and crochet patterns for items ranging from large afghans to ponchos to sleek scarves. You can follow these, or invent your own design. New Basic works up quickly on number 9 needles—the suggested size for this lofty, loosely-plied yarn—and within a short time you’ll have created enough fabric for a beautiful throw that celebrates winter with a warming embrace.

Modular Knitting

Four Squares

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  • I don’t knit, but I’m going to try to convert this to Tunisian crochet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • The mitered look is so sophisticated and you can do so much with the modular flexibility. Thanks for making it sound so easy and clear! I think I’ll do some pillows!

  • The mitered look is so sophisticated and the modular design gives good flexibility . Thanks for making it look so easy and clear directions. I think I’ll make some pillow covers

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