50 crafts #4, plus tutorial: Large tetris afghan square

This week’s craft is an easy one, another square on the tetris afghan I have ongoing as a background project:


There’s a small glitch where I zoned out and accidentally purled half a row, but I can’t say I’m too upset about that. Not upset enough to rip back, at any rate!

Since the project itself was so quick, I thought I’d also use this as an opportunity to revive the series of tutorials I started a while back on making some of the different shapes used in this afghan. Today’s tutorial is for the large square, one of the most basic components. This square is a great one to start with because it gets you familiar with the general concept of mitered squares, which then (I think) provides a basis for constructing the more unusual shapes. So, here we go!

First, you’ll need to cast on 60 stitches. If you are picking up stitches from an existing piece of knitting, you’ll need to pick up from two perpendicular edges, picking up 30 on each edge. You can also pick up 30 stitches from an existing edge and cast on 30 stitches, or cast on 15, pick up 15, cast on 30, or…the possibilities are numerous. Just make sure you have 60 stitches total in such a way that there are two sets of 30 at right angles to each other (i.e., DON’T pick up 60 stitches from 1 straight edge!):


Row 1: K 28, ssk, pm, k2tog, k 28
Row 2 and all even rows: k all sts
Row and all remaining odd rows: k to 2 sts before marker, ssk, k2tog, k to end of row

Repeat rows 2 and 3 26 more times (until there are 4 sts on the needles). As you knit, you’ll see the diagonal of the square forming in between the two repeated decreases:


After the final repeat of row 3, knit 1 row, then turn work and ssk, k2tog so that there are 2 stitches remaining. Cut the yarn and thread back through these two stitches. You’re done!

This basic square can be modified to work for any even number of cast on stitches. In this particular afghan, I’m working everything on multiples of 15, so a smaller square is 15×2=30sts cast on, while these larger squares are 15×4=60 sts cast on. All the other shapes also have edges that are 15 stitches or a multiple of 15 stitches long. But you could easily make squares with 10, 40, 100, even 1000 stitches cast on (although I think you’d be very tired by the end of the square if you started with 1000 stitches!).

Hope you find this little tutorial useful, I’ll probably be doing a few more squares as part of my 2011 50 crafts challenge, I’ll try to do a few more tutorials to go with them!

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