No Sew Mitred Square Blanket and the point of knitting!

No Sew Mitred Square Blanket

This was one of those projects that made me consider why I knit. I don't need a blanket. I spend most of my time overheating, especially at night so actually a blanket is probably the last thing I need. I did have a huge amount of fibre from my Mum's stash, which prompted the idea. 

A small selection from mine and Mum's stash!

I'm finding spinning very soothing at the moment, with all the crazy going on. But why a blanket? I love to knit mitred squares. They way they get smaller as you make them, the look of the stripes as they form that distinctive V. I made a jacket a couple of years ago, well more of a coat really, with the huge amount of 4ply yarns I have. That started life as a blanket, but morphed into a coat as I was working it. 

Me in my Mitred Square Coat

I wanted something simple to work, and no sewing, and mindless, hence the blanket. Who knows, maybe next year it will be cold enough to use it. This project did it's job though, even though the finished item will probably not be used for quite some time. It wasn't about having a blanket. It was the joy of spinning with bright colours, feeling the fibre pass through my fingers and twist into glorious and sometimes unexpected colour combinations. 

Rainbow fibre from Crafty Catty Knitty Bits having been chain plied and then skeined up

It was the little happy lift of receiving parcels through the post with fibre goodness in them, and the anticipation of how they would spin, and then knit up. 

A fibre parcel from Dancing Goat Crafts, with little extras to make me smile

It was the quiet pleasure of seeing the yarn I had made forming beautiful squares one by one, and then seeing them grow and contrast with each other. 

Mitred Square in rainbow colours

Once it got big enough it was wrapping myself underneath it as I worked on each square. It was keeping my hands busy as we watched TV so I didn't think about food! 

Wrapped up underneath it as I knitted each square

It was the pride that swelled as I laid it over the bed every now and then to see how it was shaping up, and that feeling of exaltation as I could see it working out how I'd imagined. 

Checking the fit as I went along

All these things have been the purpose of the project. The blanket is really just the bonus at the end.

Finished blanket on my bed

The fibre came from a variety of places. My Mum's stash, my own hand dyeing, my stash. I bought some beautiful colours from the people listed below. I'd highly recommend checking them out.

I took notes as normal so I've written them up and posted them below, in case you want to make your own No Sew Mitred Square Blanket. 

No Sew Mitred square blanket

The idea with this pattern is that you can use any yarn and make whatever size you want. Use the recommended needle size for your yarn and a circular needle 60cm cord, and cast on an odd number of stitches.

I used Chunky hand spun yarn, 6.5mm needles and cast on 53 sts for each square. My finished throw was 9 squares by 8 rows and it confortably covered my double bed.

Decide on your cast on and then make the first square. This will be your swatch. Once you've established the size square you want you can then work out the size of the blanket you want, and make the correct number of squares. You can also just keep making it, and trying it out, until you get the right size (which is what I did).

To start: Cast on sts .......... 

Square Pattern
Knit to centre 3 sts, s1, K2tog, psso, Knit to end
Repeat last two rows until 3 sts remain
On the wrong side s1, K2tog, psso. Leave last stitch.
The following sets the pattern for a cast in of 53sts
K25, sl1, K1, psso, K25
K24, sl1, K1, psso, K24
K23, sl1, K1, psso, K23
K22, sl1, K1, psso, K22
Cont decreasing 1 stitch either side of the centre decrease until 3 stitches are left
On the wrong side sl1, K1, psso.
Leave last stitch.
Second square
With the right side facing pick up each bump along the side of the square you’ve just finished, working from left to right toward the last stitch. With the right side facing join in new yarn at the right corner and cable cast on enough stitches for the next square. Take note of the amount of stitches you need to cast on for later.
For 53 stitch cast on you will pick up 25 stitches across last square worked (26 sts with the last stitch left from the last square) and you will cable cast on 27 stitches (53 sts total)
Repeat the square pattern as set above
Work as many squares as you want for the first row following the same process above. 
I made 9 squares for my blanket.
Second row (and all even rows)
With the right side facing, pick up the bumps along the top of the last square, working from right to left (for a 53 cast on pick up 26 st)
Join in new yarn in the right hand corner and cable cast on the amount you noted earlier (for 53 stitch cast on that would be 27 stitches).
Work the square pattern.
With right side facing, working from left to right, pick up bumps along the top of the next square in row below, and up the side of the square you’ve just made until you reach the remaining stitch, making sure you have the same amount of stitches as your original cast on. 
Work square pattern. Repeat the last paragraph for the remainder of the row.
Third row (and odd rows)
With right side facing pick up stitches from right to left across the top of the last square (26 sts including the last stitch for a 53 st cast on). 
Join in new yarn at the start of the row and work until one stitch remains on the left needle. Slip this stitch, thumb cast on 2 sts onto the right needle and slip them back to the left needle ready to work, knit the two thumb cast on sts together, pass the slipped stitch over. Thumb cast on the remaining normal amount of stitches (25 for a 53 st cast on)
Work the square pattern starting from row 2 (you have worked row 1 already when you cast on your stitches for this square).
For each of the next squares pick up the stitches in the same way as on row 2 but from right to left. Join in the new colour with the right side facing and on the right side of the square. Work the square pattern as normal.
Work the odd and even rows in turn until your throw is big enough. Leave the last stitch to begin the edging
You can change to larger needle if your cast off is normally tight. This edgeing will provide a little stability for the garter stitch edge and stop it stretching. It provides a nice band around the blanket. 
With right side facing pick up the stitches along one square (25 sts for a 53 st cast on). K2, cast 1 st off, *K1, cast off* repeat across the square. Once you have 1 sts left pick up the next square and repeat. Work your way along the edge of the blanket to the first corner stitch. Kfbf into the corner st. Slip 2 sts back to the left needle and cast off the 3rd, slip the next st back to the right needle and cast off 1, slip the last stitch to the right needle and cast off 1.
Continue picking up stitches and casting off all the way around, working the corners as above. Fasten off and weave in tails. Block lightly. Snuggle underneath!
I weave my tails in after each square. Saves having them all to do at the end. 2 tails at a time is much easier than facing them all at once. I wove mine down the 'seams' between the squares.
When I’m joining on yarn halfway through a square I join in at the start of the right side row and weave the tails in after finishing the square as it looks nicer with the garter st.
I will block my blanket by spreading it out in the garden and giving it a light spray with Soakwash. It will help to keep the ends in better, but be much easier to manage than wet blocking. 


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