[MUSIC PLAYING] Simple Gifts Hi My name is Cheryl Brunette and thank you for stopping by my knitting channel where you will find tips and techniques complete workshops and answers to your most perplexing sweater questions Today I want to do three things First, I want to show you how to knit this garter stitch mitered square It’s not the only way to make mitered square but it is one that I like because it is very simple, it is impressive when it is done, and once you get past the first row, he cast on and first row, and mark the central stitches, it is automatic pilot knitting And every once in a while I like that in my life Second, I am going to show you how to join them as you knit so that you could make a blanket that had a hundred of these squares and never have to sew a single seam You would do it as you went along And third, I want to mess with your medial prefrontal cortex Which is the place that lights up when you change a belief As for example if you go from “Oh man, that baby is coming in five months I had better find a pattern.” to . . ” Well, maybe I don’t really need a pattern Maybe I can do this,” to . . “I do not need a pattern. It is just a blanket.” So let us begin with the mitered square In order to make it you need to know how to do four things: how to count, how to do a long tailed cast on, how to form a knit stitch, and how to make a double decrease. And I am going to show you two techniques for that last skill So let us get started Garter stitch is a perfect fabric for a square because it has a square gauge The width of one stitch is pretty regularly equal to the height of two rows You can make these out of any weight yarn with appropriate size needles Today I am using worsted weight yarn and a pair of size 8 needles To begin, use a long tail cast on to cast on an even number of stitches plus one Notice I did not say an odd number of stitches We will revisit this later I have twenty-one stitches here Then we follow a simple two row repeat Row one, which is a wrong side row, is simply knit all the way across except we are going to mark the center three stitches To find the center three stitches take your total number of stitches, mine is twenty one today minus the three in the center gives me eighteen And then you divide that number by two I get nine So I work nine stitches before I place the first marker Then I work the center three stitches and place the second marker. Then there should be nine stitches left It does not matter how many stitches you have This is the way you get that number seven, eight, nine . . Place your first marker Knit three . . And place your second marker And finish up that row Now we are ready to start row 2, a right side row We are going to knit it and combine these three center stitches into one I am going to show you two different ways to do this and they look a little bit different The easiest way is simply to knit all three of those stitches together, and this is what you get It is a nice diagonal It is maybe not exactly on the diagonal But it is still really handsome and serviceable This is the other method which uses the center stitch We are going to slip a couple of stitches as if to knit, one stitch, and then do some pass over This is a little bit more centered than this other one But it is also bumpier. This one lies a little bit flat It is strictly personal preference as to which one you would like to use but I am going to show you both We will start with the knit three together

First you knit up to the three center stitches Notice these markers . . you will know when you come up to three stitches that you are on a right-side row. You just pass that marker over and knit all three of them together It is a little bit tight sometimes Here we are again at the same middle three stitches and I am going to show you the other double decrease It is where you slip two together as if to knit Move the marker Slip but do not work them Then knit the next stitch and pass these two stitches over that knitted stitch Slip your marker and continue You can see how this particular one brings that center stitch to the center of that decrease As I approach the end here, I almost do not need these markers anymore because I can just see how many stitches I have but I will just show you how I have been moving them I take that one off, move it back one stitch I will confess to you that the way my arms are, knitting this, it is not my most comfortable position, but I want you to get good close-ups Let me put that one back on I lose a few markers, let me tell you This is why I like it with that center stitch because now when I come back I see three and I know I have to knit those three together, whereas if I just have an even number of stitches with a marker in between them then I have to count my rows. I have to figure out where I am and sometimes I just like some pretty mindless knitting That knit three together, which is what I have been doing here is pretty tight sometimes Knit two . . . okay I am going to get rid of the markers now I only have five stitches left And this much I can remember, that this is a wrong side row I will get rid of that marker And that marker And knit three together on this row This is my penultimate decrease row This is a little bit distorted because it is on straight needles, but once it has been off the needles for a while it will come right into a square shape We do knit this last wrong side row And then the very last row, knit three together Let me break this off Rather than pull this thread through the loop like I ordinarily would I just pull through like that It is a little bit better corner Ok and it will bring itself back into shape before very long Okay Now that it is at this point you have a couple of choices as to where you want to build on to this square You can start over here and attach a square over here So you could in my case cast on ten stitches with a long-tail cast on Then I would pick up one right in that corner, and I would pick up ten more stitches all the way up and that would give me twenty-one stitches But for today I am going to pick up this one and go up. It does not matter which one you make next, but you can see that with this one you pick up stitches first and then I am going to cast on I cannot use a long-tail cast on here so I am going to show you a different cast on We want a total of eleven stitches before we start casting on So where are we going to find them? There is one. There is two We are looking for what appears to be little knots. Three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. There is number eleven So we are going to insert in this little knot right here You can insert in different places when you are picking up these stitches, but the most important thing is to be consistent There is a little knot, then there is a ditch I prefer to pick up in these little knots

And the reason is that I like what it looks like on the wrong side So, right there That little guy I am pretty close on this I am hoping you can see Right there You have like a front stitch and a back stitch, and then this little knot in between And really, if you pick up in that back stitch, it looks almost the same And it is a little bit easier So you get to determine where this is There is that little knot right there, sticking out Often it just sticks out for you. It is the first one you meet Sometimes these rows want to fold in on you and so you just have to pay attention Just stop and count to make sure you get a right number Sometimes I get it wrong Two, four, six, eight, nine There is my ten. See how that one is kind of going off in that direction? Here is my number ten I was telling a friend the other day that I think I learned to count by twos before I learned to count by ones because my mother was always counting her stitches Then at the very end here, this is where the cast on was Just find a loop in there and use it Because that is your corner stitch and I am going to show you what this looks like when I flip it over See how neat that is? You can barely tell that it has been picked up. Let me give you a good shot of that The contrast colors are not too strong but they look like they have just been knit together. Okay so here we are We are going to go up in this direction but, I cannot do a long-tail cast on because I do not have a tail so I am going to cast on instead with a knitted cast on I have to do it from the back because I am building off in this direction There are a couple of ways to do this but this is my preferred way to stick the needle between two stitches, knit it Now look at how I am twisting it and put it on the needle. Also look at the size of that loop. That is like a double size loop that I have on there That is because what I am building is is an edge that has a loop that goes this way and a loop that goes up pull a nice long loop, come over on this side of the stitch to give it a twist The reason I am knitting between stitches and not into the stitches is because I think this gives a much nicer, firmer more rope-like edge than knitting right into the stitch I hope I am showing you slowly enough This is the piece you need to catch . . come under and get the loop from that side Knit between the stitches pull it off, pivot it, come around like that See what a nice edge that gives you? How many do we have here? Two, four, six, eight See? That loop needs to be nice and long I made that a little bit tight I want to get between those two stitches I think I split my yarn there Okay, so there we have it We have our twenty-one stitches We do not want this to be too tight We want this to give us a good edge, not a tightened edge This is going to be our right side And now, again, our first row is going to be a wrong side row So . . you are back to your two row pattern Once you know how to knit them, and join them while you are knitting, that is when the fun begins Remember when I told you to choose an even number plus one? That is because the even number that you choose and then you add that one stitch that becomes the decrease stitch in the center . . that number, the even number, is the one that determines whether or not you have a ton of design possibilities or whether or not they are more limited Let us look at some numbers This is the schematic that Lion Brand put out for that afghan that I am making, except this is a schematic for crochet I did not enjoy crocheting the squares, so instead, I chose to knit them

But I had to make up my own number of stitches and I just tried to guess I wanted it about forty eight to fifty inches wide I had a good guess. I cast on a hundred stitches plus one for my big squares, so I have fifty and fifty . . and then on my small squares I have twenty-five and twenty-five, again again with that center stitch But let us look at some other numbers Once I started playing with some other numbers I saw some interesting things I chose one hundred but what if I had chosen ninety eight as my number? That would be 98 total which would be 49 in this direction, 49 in this direction and, of course, my one extra one so that would be 99 stitches I can not divide 49 evenly in half so I just have one size of box I can work with. I could also work with sevens like work with a whole bunch of 7 times 7 boxes, but that does not sound like a whole lot of fun So then I tried 104 If you have a 104 stitches you get 52 in this direction, 52 in this direction And there is your extra one so that you actually have a hundred and five Well, I can divide that a couple of times I can divide into twenty-six And I can divide it again into thirteen These are all quarters of one another So in this case I am picking up 105 stitches This is 53 stitches, and this is 27 stitches But you know what the magic number turned out to be? The number was 96. If I am going to do this again I am going to use 96 and the reason is this: you start with 48 on a side It is just the versatility that is so much fun You actually cast on 97 because there is your center row. But then you can divide it into 24 . . 12 . . . 6 . . and then, the other magic piece comes . . 16 also goes into 48 three times. Then you can have some that are 16 stitches on the side (always you are adding that extra one stitch, right? And then it goes to 8, so look at the different sizes of blocks you can have I got out some graph paper and I encourage you to do it too, and made these blocks 48 stitches on a side. Each little square is worth eight stitches, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 And you can go on forever, and I just started playing with the different size blocks that I could use. Some of them could be the full 48 stitches, and remember, always you have got that one more stitch. That is 48 plus 48 plus the center one, plus the center one These are just the sides that I am defining here but I would love to play with all these different possibilities Get out your colored pencils, and play with them. The only problem that I can see with this is when you have to pick up that extra corner stitch, so that actually your you are coming in to get 25 But usually you can squirrel in there and just find that extra stitch You are finding some extra stitches: 1, 2, 3, 4 in this case, so that is pretty dramatic. One, two, three, in this case But you are just turning a corner, and you should be able to play around It really is not rocket science and as long as it looks good it is just fine. So I encourage you to play with this one There we have it, a simple little square that can be a stepping stone for you to design colorful, interesting, and easy to make blankets and afghans and shawls, and you are officially declared free of having to follow anybody else’s pattern to do it I have included a link to your handy-dandy reference, “Afghan 101” once again below Do not forget to subscribe to my channel and sign up for the email option so you know when new episodes come out, and until I see you again . . be brave, be . . . brave . . and enjoy your knitting Okay. Got my new haircut This sweater makes me look fat

I’m cheating today. I do not have my contacs on, so I am kind of blind as a bat But I know where the camera is Afghans, baby throws, whatever . . No, that did not sound right. We do not throw babies So there you have it, a hi . . . a beautiful . . [laughter] I do not know what you have [music playing, Simple Gifts]