Modular mitred squares – time to concentrate …

When my knitting guru Gail suggested our knitting circle met for a day knitting it sounded like a perfect way to spend a Sunday. Then we realised she meant us to learn to knit squares in the most complicated way imaginable…

Are you paying attention… then I’ll begin.

There are two square types described here, which have different ways of edging and different middle decreases. You can match mix and match depending on what effect you want to create. For both of these I have started with 21 stitches, again its not important how many stitches you opt for providing you have an odd number.

These are only techniques, so have a play. From my experience, resist the urge to do K2tog when you do the slipped stitches, its easy to forget they’re to be slipped.

Square type 1 – which I will call the bobble

Cast on 21 sts

Row 1 – (wrong side) knit to last stitch, and knit last stitch through back of loop.

Row 2 – (right side) slip first stitch knitwise, knit 8, slip 2 together knitwise (its important to do this as if you are going to knit together but don’t actually knit them. Don’t slip one and then the other), Knit 1 stitch and then pass the 2 slipped stitches over. Knit to the last stitch, and knit last stitch through back of loop

Row 3  and all odd – as row 1

Row 4 – As row 2, but knit 7 before S2tog. Keep doing this until you have 3 stitches. As you do you will see that the middle decreases starts to pull it into a square shape.


On 3 remaining stitches – Slip 2 together, knit 1 pass slip stitches over. you should have a little square that looks like this!

2013-07-07 12.18.06

As you can see the edge stitches are bobbled due to being slipped and then knitted through back of loop.

Don’t cast off.

In order to make a column of squares: with the other needle (working towards your 1 remaining stitch) pick up and knit 10 stitches using the bobbles on the side to make the stitches.

Makes sure your first stitch goes right into the corner of the square. When you get to your remaining stitch knit it. Then cast on 10 more stitches. Continue with these stitches to form a new square as above.

You should get this.


Here is a photo demonstrating the 3rd square being created so you can see how it looks before it becomes a square. You can continue in this fashion knitting a column of squares for as long as you want.


Square type 2 – the Chain 

This has both a chain on the outer edge and the middle decrease. Feel free to mix these with the bobbles from above there are no rules saying the two have to be done together.

Cast on 21 stitches again

Row 1 (wrong side) – knit first stitch just this once, knit 9 stitches, slip 2 stitches together knitwise, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitches over, knit to the end.

Row 2 – (right side) – slip first stitch purlwise, knit 8, purl 1, knit to the end.

Row 3 – slip first stitch purlwise, then as row 1.

To avoid having to count (particularly if you’ve decided to do a huge square) the two stitches to slip together are the last garter stitch before the chain and the chain stitch itself.  On this image its the next two stitches.

2013-07-07 13.48.36

Row 4 – as row 2, purling the middle stitch. The fat stitch is the one to purl.

Continue until you have 3 stitches remaining. Slip 2 sts knitwise, knit one st and pass slipped stitches over, leaving 1 stitch as before. It should look like this.

2013-07-07 13.58.53

As you can see the decrease stitches are more visible as a chain above the rest of the knitting.

As an alternative method of adding another square:

With the right side facing, pick up and knit 11 stitches along the side of the square, include the final stitch of the last square in your count. Again make sure you get the corners.

With the slip purlwise method of ending the rows you end up with a chain along the edge which are picked up as you would crocheting – go right underneath both sides of the stitch.

Turn and cast on 10 stitches, to have 21 stitches in total.

Again you can carry on in this fashion to create a column of squares.

In order to make a second column of squares on either type, you need to cast off your last square and return to the bottom of row of squares to start the second column.

At this point a little doodle is required. You will already have squares 1 and 2. Now to create 3:


To create square 3 – cast on 10 stitches, pick up and knit 11 sts up the right side of square 1.  Again make sure the first stitch you pick up goes right into the corner of square 1. Continue as before.

2013-07-07 14.57.50

To join square 4 – pick up 10 sts across the top of square 3, 1 right in the corner of squares 1,2 and 3, and 10 sts up the right side of square 2.  Continue as before.

2013-07-07 15.17.11

Ta dah!


This is a method of knitting which can be used to create wonderful items, I hope you can follow it and …. experiment!

Gallery | This entry was posted in Techniques, Things I've made and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Modular mitred squares – time to concentrate …

  1. Modular knitting is great fun and seriously addictive, you’ll love it! The directional drape can create really flattering garments (check out Alison Ellen’s lovely designs 🙂

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