Tetris tutorials (part 1: small square L from the outside in)

As I posted the other day, I’m going for a tetris-y look with my scrap afghan. Today I’m going to start posting some tutorials for some of the pieces that are not just your basic square. Today’s piece is going to be pretty basic, a small square “L”, worked from the outside edge in (you can also work this piece from the inside out, which will be the subject of a later tutorial):

DSCF4977

The entire afghan is worked using the mitered square technique. In the case of garter stitch (which I am using), you work a mitered square by casting on an even number of stitches, knitting half the stitches minus two, working two decreases, and knitting to the end of the row. Knit back and repeat again. So if you were to cast on 10 20 stitches (thanks Sarah!), your first row would be: k8, ssk, k2tog, k8. Then your next RS row would be K7, ssk, k2tog, k7. And so on.

My afghan is worked on multiples of 15. So for a small square, I cast on 30 stitches, and for a large square, 60. All the numbers I’ll be providing from here on out are assuming that you are also working in multiples of 15, but these could be easily altered to accommodate a different multiple if your gauge is especially larger/small, or you just want a different look.

For this piece, you will need to pick up/cast on a total of 90 stitches:
DSCF4976

The diagram above shows where the cast on edges of each square are placed (thick white lines, 15 stitches each), and the eventual shape of the squares, plus the diagonal that the decreases are centered on. Remember if you are picking up from an already knit piece, to consider how your finished piece will be shaped. For example, I am going to need to cast on 15 stitches on the lower right hand side (which I’ll do with a backwards loop cast-on when I knit the first row and get to that end of the piece), rather than picking them up from that adjacent square, because they will need to be at a right angle to the other 15 stitches I have already picked up from the square.

So, once you’ve cast-on, it’s time to start knitting. These instructions are assuming you already have all 90 stitches on the needle. If you have to cast on stitches at the end of the row, my approach is to cast on all the stitches using backwards loop and count the cast on as row 1, then to work the row 1 decreases on row 2 (then work all the following decreases as usual, on the odd numbered rows).

So:

Row 1: k13, ssk, k2tog, k26, ssk, k2tog, k26, ssk, k2tog, k13

Row 2 (and all even rows): k all stitches.

Row 3: k12, ssk, k2tog, k24, ssk, k2tog, k24, ssk, k2tog, k12

Row 5: k11, ssk, k2tog, k22, ssk, k2tog, k22, ssk, k2tog, k11

Row 7: k10, ssk, k2tog, k20, ssk, k2tog, k20, ssk, k2tog, k10

Row 9: k9, ssk, k2tog, k18, ssk, k2tog, k18, ssk, k2tog, k9

Row 11: k8, ssk, k2tog, k16, ssk, k2tog, k16, ssk, k2tog, k8

Row 13: k7, ssk, k2tog, k14, ssk, k2tog, k14, ssk, k2tog, k7

Row 15: k6, ssk, k2tog, k12, ssk, k2tog, k12, ssk, k2tog, k6

Row 17: k5, ssk, k2tog, k10, ssk, k2tog, k10, ssk, k2tog, k5

Row 19: k4, ssk, k2tog, k8, ssk, k2tog, k8, ssk, k2tog, k4

Row 21: k3, ssk, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog, k3

Row 23: k2, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k4, ssk, k2tog, k2

Row 25: k1, ssk, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2tog, k2, ssk, k2tog, k1

Row 27: *ssk, k2tog, repeat from * 2 times

Row 29: sl 1, k2tog, psso

Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitch.

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