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Home : Community : Newsletters & Stories

Newsletters & Stories

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A Pattern For Life
It’s a small pattern. Very small. Tiny. Knit half and you have a right triangle. Knit both parts of the pattern and you have a square. Once memorized after the first few rows, this pattern is very hard to forget. You can knit it as it is, half or whole, or embed it in more elaborate patterns for washcloths, baby blankets, and shawls. You can write the entire pattern on a napkin, the back of an envelope, or even a post-it. If you are so inclined, you can write it on your hand.

Here’s the first part of the pattern: Cast on three stitches, knit one, yarn over, knit to the end of row. Repeat this row. That’s it. If you want to make a shawl, warm and soft, in the yarn and color of your choice, just keep knitting. Knit one, yarn over, knit to the end row, until the shawl is the size you want.

If you’d rather make a wash cloth or a blanket, then you’ll need the other half of this pattern. Again, you’ll knit the first half until your right triangle is the size you want. Then decrease your stitches to make a square. Every row you’ll knit two stitches together, yarn over, knit two stitches together again, knit to the end of the row. Do this until there are only three stitches are left. Then, bind off. Voila. A square. I promise.

Click here for the pattern.
Click here for the pattern for the tiny sachets.

This is a pattern for life. Once you are friendly with it, you can put together a gift in a jiffy. I always have a basket of squares going. Last year, after a marathon gift knitting month, I made a couple of stacks of squares from left-over Wool-Eease Thick and Quick. They sat on a bench in my living room waiting to be called into action. And soon they were.

"Mom, our bus driver’s leaving. She’s having a baby. Could you make her a gift?" asked my youngest daughter, Lelia.

"Sure." Is there anything sweeter than knitting for a baby? Already I am thinking of a totem jacket, my favorite Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. In a washable wool, of course. Heathered green, maybe.

Lelia could see me making plans. She hesitated only a second.

"Tomorrow’s her last day," She told me quickly. And in a moment of true mother daughter unity, we both looked at the stack of squares on the bench. Did I mention this conversation took place at 9:30 p.m.?

"I’ll help," Lelia promised. And she did. She laid out the squares and together we sewed them into a small blanket. I crocheted a wide, thick edging. Lelia wrapped the gift and made the card. We were a team. In the morning, she boarded the bus, with a handmade baby gift. That’s the beauty of this pattern; it’s always ready to help out.

In my next life, I plan to knit complicated lacy shawls. But for now, I love the beauty of the simple square.

Need help with this pattern? Click here and let us know how we can be of assistance! 

Authored by

Michelle Edwards is the author/illustrator of A KNITTER'S HOME COMPANION and many award-winning children's books including CHICKEN MAN and STINKY STERN FOREVER. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys talking about books in schools throughout the US and beyond. Her newest book, Room for the Baby, will be available from Random House in Fall 2012. Visit Michelle Edwards at her website or on Facebook.
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