Monday, June 4, 2007

Nesting Squares Block, 4th in Ode to Quilting series

The 4th block in the Ode to Quilting afghan:


This block was a lot of fun to knit. So without further ado, following is the complete knitting pattern.

Pattern for Nesting Squares Block:

Recommended Knitting skill level: Easy

Yarn: Lion's Wool by Lion Brand or substitute any wool yarn from your stash that meets the below gauge specifications.
1. Color A = Pumpkin
2. Color B = Autumn Sunset, divided into 2 balls
3. Color C = Sage, divided into 2 balls
4. Color D = Flower Garden, divided into 2 balls
5. Color E = Pearl Grey, divided into 2 balls
6. Color F = Ocean Blues, divided into 2 balls

Needles: Lion's Wool recommends size 8 (I used size 5)

Gauge: 4 stitches and 6 rows is 1 inch in Stocking Stitch

Stocking Stitch Pattern:Knit all stitches on the RS; Purl all stitches on the WS

Knitting Instructions:
In Color A, cast on 10 sts. Row 1(RS): K5, P4, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4, K5. Repeat this row 5 more times. Bind off in pattern.

In Color B, cast on 18 sts. Work in stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 6 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 12 rows have been completed since bind off row (18 rows since beginning). Row 19 (RS): K6. Cast on 6 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (24 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

In Color C, cast on 26 sts. Row 1(RS): K1, (K4, P4) repeat to last st, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 14 sts. K6. Row 8(WS): K1, P4, K1. Switch to other side. K6. Repeat row 8 four more times. Row 13: K6. Switch to other side. K1, P4, K1. Repeat row 13 five more times. Rows 19-24: Repeat row 7. Rows 25-30: Repeat row 12. Row 31: K1, P4, K1. Cast on 14 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Rows 32-36: K1, (P4, K4) repeat to last st, K1. Bind off all sts in pattern.

In Color D, cast on 34 sts. Work in Stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 22 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 36 rows have been completed since bind off row (42 rows since beginning). Row 43(RS): K6. Cast on 22 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (48 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

In Color E, cast on 42 sts. Row 1(RS): K1, (K4, P4) repeat to last st, K1. Repeat this row 5 more times. Row 7(RS): K1, P4. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 30 sts. K6. Row 8(WS): K1, P4, K1. Switch to other side. K6. Repeat row 8 four more times. Row 13: K6. Switch to other side. K1, P4, K1. Repeat row 13 five more times. Rows 19-24: Repeat row 8. Rows 25-30: Repeat row 12. Rows 31-36: Repeat row 8. Rows 37-42: Repeat row 12. Rows 43-48: Repeat row 8. Rows 49-54: Repeat row 12. Row 55: K1, P4, K1. Cast on 30 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Rows 56-60: K1, (P4, K4) repeat to last st, K1. Bind off all sts in pattern.

In Color F, cast on 50 sts. Work in Stocking stitch for 6 rows. Row 7: K5. Join new ball of yarn. Holding both strands of yarn (from the new and old balls), K1. With the strand from the new ball of yarn, bind off 38 sts. K6. Working both sides at once, continue in stocking stitch until 60 rows have been completed since bind off row (66 rows since beginning). Row 67(RS): K6. Cast on 38 sts at beginning of left-hand side of block. Holding both strands of yarn together, K the 1st of the cast-on sts. Switch to only one strand of yarn, K the remaining cast-on stitches. K6. Work in stocking stitch for 5 more rows (72 rows since beginning). Bind off all sts.

Finishing Instructions:
Place the Color A square inside the Color B square. Using safety pins, match the corners of the Color A square with the inside corners of the Color B square. Starting on the right side and using the mattress stitch, weave the two sides together. Next, weave the top of the A square to the cast-on row of the B square. Continue around in this fashion until the entire A square is weaved together with the B square.

Next, place the A-B square inside of the Color C square. Using safety pins, match the corner of the Color B square with the inside corner of the Color C square. Using more safety pins, ensure the checker pattern of the C square lines up with the checker pattern of the A square. Then, starting on the right side and using mattress stitch, weave the two sides together.

Next, turn the corner and start weaving the top of the B square with the cast on row of the C square.

Continue on in this fashion, weaving the left side and the bottom of the B square to the side and bind-off row of the C square.


Continue to place the ever-growing block inside of the next larger square. Use the mattress stitch exclusively when weaving all the sides together.

When it is all said and done, you'll be the proud owner of a Nesting Squares Block.


Join me next week when I roll out the 5th block in the Ode to Quilting series. If you are knitting along with me, please send me photos of your completed blocks so I can share them with everybody else!

4 comments:

HPNY Knits said...

brilliant. but is there no way to knit it all as one piece?

flutter said...

i LOVE this idea you are doing. and especially this square. nice job...and so cheerful too. might have to try this one out :)

Knitted Gems said...

Thank you for your lovely comments, hpny and flutter!

Hpny: Yes, all of the "Ode to Quilting" blocks can be knit as one piece using the intarsia method. However, I have opted to not knit them in this fashion for 2 reasons. One, I think the "quilting" effect (smaller pieces seamed together to make a larger piece) is lost and, two, the mobility of the block would be greatly reduced. This block alone would require the knitter to switch between 9 balls of yarn in the middle.
Yet, truth be told, I did "cheat" when designing this block. A quilter would not cut squares out of fabric. Rather, s/he would piece-strip the block together, mitering the corners along the way. Thus, one could follow my lead and "cheat" by making the entire block with intarsia. (Feel free to convo me for the revised instructions). To rescue back the "quilted" look, one could use Elizabeth Zimmerman's phony seam.

Thanks again for visiting!

Sheknits said...

This square is STUNNING!