Welcome to our little bit of knitterly Heaven- I'm so glad you found your way here!
Our goal is to teach beginning knitters some tricks of the trade as well as to work enough swatches to have a finished afghan by the end of the year! Join along with us as we learn about patterns, cables, lace, and some other handy techniques! A new pattern will become available each month ranging from newbie to adventurous. So stop on by, pick your pattern and knit along with us!

All patterns can be found here as well as on Ravelry.com!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August's Squares

August is another technique month!  We will be approaching our swatches this month from a different point of view.  Instead of knitting the swatch from the bottom to the top, we will be knitting our swatches side to side!  The first of the techniques is knitting on the bias.  This means that we will start at one corner and finish at the opposite corner using a series strategically placed increases and decreases.  The second swatch looks much the same, but we will be casting on stitches for two sides and decreasing to a point.  This is called a mitered square.  Both techniques are seem like they might be complicated, but in reality are quite simple.  Because of the nature of these squares, we will only have two patterns for August, but give them both a try and learn a really cool technique!


yo: yarn over- A single increase.  Move the yarn to the front of the work, the same action as if you were to purl, then wrap the yarn over the top of the needle and resume your knitting.  This creates a hole or an eyelet in the fabric.  Also known as a yarn forward.

kfb: knit in front and back- a single increase. Knit into the front loop of the stitch, then without dropping the stitch off the needle knit into the back loop of the same stitch.  This is a single increase. 

k2tog: knit 2 stitches together- a decrease.  Insert the needle into the next two stitches as if to knit, and knit these stitches together.

Easy: Bias Square
Notice the knitted rows grow diagonally across the square.
Cast on 3 sts
Row 1: K1, kfb, K1 (4sts)
Row 2: K1, kfb, K2 (5sts)
Row 3: K1, kfb, K3 (6 sts)

Row 4: K3, yo knit to end of row
Repeat row 4 until square is approx 10 inches along one edge or half the size of your desired finished product (Check out "A Good Way To Measure" at the end of this pattern- I increased until there were about 45 stitches on my needles).  

Row 5: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end of the row
Repeat row 5 until you get down to 7 sts

Row 6: K1, k2tog, K4 (6 sts)
Row 7: K1, k2tog, K3 (5 sts)
Row 8: K1, k2tog, K2 (4 sts)
Row 9: K1, k2tog, K1 (3 sts)
Bind off all stitches.
Close-up of the Bias Swatch

"A Good Way To Measure" this square is to thread your knitting onto a piece of scrap yarn (be careful not to drop any stitches).  Spread the stitches out evenly, don't let them bunch up or get too far apart, you want to mimic the natural shape of the knitting.  Lay your work on top of another one of your squares.  Pick one that is pretty average in size (not too big or too small).  This square should be close to half the size (slightly smaller is ok as there will be some stretching with blocking) of your finished square.

Easy:  Mitered Square
For this square you will need one stitch marker.

Cast on 72 stitches
Row 1: Knit 34, ssk, place marker, k2tog, k34
Row 2: Purl all stitches
Row 3: Knit to two stitches before marker, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, k to end of row
Row 4: Knit all stitches
Repeat these four rows until 4 stitches remain.

Row 5: ssk, remove marker, k2tog
Row 6: k2tog, cut yarn and thread through the stitch remaining.

Close-up of the Mitered Swatch

I hope you enjoy these two unique squares- they are one of my favorite techniques.  Next month we will start our study of cables- which is sure to be fun!  As always, if you have any questions please email me at yearofswatches@gmail.com. 

 Happy knitting!


  1. A friend just sent me a link to your blog and I am in LOVE!! This is a great site and it is answering a lot of my questions. I was wondering, as I was reading your blog I found a phrase that I didn't know, SSK, so I had to go out and find out what it meant and I found a Youtube video that demonstrated it. Do you think that you could include video links on your blog for some of your knitting techniques? Just a thought, however your blog is awesome and very well done. I will check back every month. Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much for your compliments!! I haven't thought to do videos, but I do have some picture tutorials. I will certainly consider it :)
    Happy Knitting