How to knit a mitered square

A step by step tutorial on knitting mitered squares. How to knit them in multiple colors, and how to join mitered squares

Do you want to knit a little baby blanket, a dishcloth or a hue shift afghan? And now you want to know how to knit a mitered square? Then you came to the right place because this tutorial is all about it.

I will not only show you the basic mitered square knitting pattern. I will also present you with a couple of alternative ways to knit them. Some are easier to knit and others look differently.

close-up of a knitted mitered square in blue yarn
The right side of a classic mitered square

All in all, this can be a great beginner project. These squares are super fast to knit and don’t require a lot of complicated knitting techniques either. If you add multiple colors, you can even create very complex-looking designs that are super easy to create nevertheless.

the wrong side of a mitered square knitting pattern
The wrong side of the same square

So, let’s dive right into it!

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Instructions: How to knit a mitered square

how to knit a mitered square the easy way

A mitered square is knit in garter stitch. That's because this knitting stitch pattern has a very unique square gauge. As a result, the pattern is pretty simple. Other than two decreases every two rows, you can simply knit across all stitches.

Active Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

Instructions

  1. Cast on an even number of stitches with a long tail cast-on.

    casting on an even number of stitches to knit a mitered square
    For example 24 stitches.
  2. Knit across the first row and place a stitch marker in the exact center, and knit the remaining stitches.

    knitting across the first row and placing a stitch marker in the exact center

    In the example above: After 12 stitches
  3. Knit across the second row until you are two stitches before the stitch marker and knit two stitches together (k2tog).

    knitting a k2tog two stitches before the stitch marker
  4. Slip the marker, SSK, and knit across the remaining stitches.

    knitting a ssk directly after the stitch marker
  5. Repeat these two rows over and over again until only two stitches remain.

    continuing repeating the two rows in garter stitch to finish the mitered square
  6. Break the yarn, thread it on a blunt tapestry needle, and pull the end through the two stitches to secure them.

    finishing the mitered square by pulling the yarn through the last two stitches using a tapestry needle

Notes

Here's the summary of the classic mitered square knitting pattern:

Cast on an even number of st
WS: knit across
RS: knit until 2 stitches before the exact center, K2tog, SSK, knit remaining stitches
Repeat until only 2 stitches are left, break yarn, and pull tail through the last stitches

Instead of decreasing with k2tog before and SSK after the stitch marker, you can also decrease with k2tog on both sides. It will change the way the decrease line will look like. Similarly, you could also switch things up. And decrease with SSK before and K2tog after the marker.

different ways to decrease a mitered square side by side

The differences are very minor and it really depends on personal knitting preferences and which decrease line you think looks best. There is no right or wrong here.

Reading tip: If you want to know how to join two mitered squares in a super invisible way, do check out my tutorial on mattress stitch for garter stitch and grafting garter stitch.

How to knit a mitered square in two colors (stripes)

knitting a mitered square in two colors /stripes

The big advantage of mitered squares of normal squares is the fact that through the special technique, the individual rows appear to be at a 45° angle. As a result, you can create some pretty fascinating patterns by just knitting squares and piecing them together. Here’s what you need to do:

Row 1: Start your mitered square the normal way using color A and knit across the first row.

Row 2: Knit the second row (the first decrease row) with color B and tie the two tails into a light knot at the end of the rows.

tying a knot at the end of the first row to secure the two ends in two colors

Row 3: Knit across in color B.

knitting across a second row in the second color

Row 4: Bring up color A again and knit across making sure you trap color B in between your working yarn and your project.

trapping the unused color at the beginning of the row

Continue switching colors like this every two rows.

knitting a mitered square with two colors

With that method, you can carry the second color across the whole work and you will only end up with 4 tails. Here’s my full tutorial on weaving in tails in case you need to catch up.

a mitered square with bigger stripes in five different colors

If you want stripes that are bigger than 2 rows, you need to break the yarn after each stripe and join in a new color. This will result in quite a lot of tails. If your squares are pretty large, it will not be too much of a bother and can result in some amazing patterns.

Other ways to knit a mitered square

There is not just one way to knit a mitered square. In fact, there are probably a million combinations to achieve the very same result. After all, a mitered square only relies on decreasing two stitches in the middle every two rows. Here are two popular alternatives

Centered double decrease

a mitered square using the central double decrease

Instead of decrease on both sides of a stitch marker, you can also use a central double decrease (k3tog) to decrease the middle.

  • Cast on an uneven number of stitches
  • WS: Knit across
  • RS: Knit across until you are two stitches before the center, k3tog, knit the remaining stitches
  • Repeat these two rows until there is only one stitch left, break the yarn, and pull the end out of that final k3tog to secure it.

This version will result in a much more pronounced decrease line. Sadly, you cannot use a stitch marker as the middle constantly “moves” in absolute terms.

Centered double increase

Mitered square using the central double increase

You can also construct your little patch top-down. This can be a super helpful technique if you don’t know how many stitches to cast on for a mitered square. Instead of decreasing, you increase along a central line. Here’s how:

  • Cast on one stitch
  • Row 1: Knit a central double increase into that stitch. (I prefer the backward loop method)
  • Row 2: knit across
  • Row 3: k1, CDI, k1
  • Row 4: knit across
  • Continue increasing in the exact middle of your project in every second row and bind off once you are satisfied with the size.

Anyway, that’s how to knit a mitered square. Comment below in case you have any questions.

how to knit a mitered square - simple knitting pattern for beginners

3 thoughts on “How to knit a mitered square”

  1. Your instructions, photos and tutorials are amazing!
    So easy to understand and they have helped me so much.
    Thank you for helping us in so many ways to increase our knitting skills.

    Reply
  2. I have to agree with Suzie B – I am learning so much reading your very clear (easy to follow) tutorials so thank you again for being so generous in sharing your expertise.

    Reply
    • comments like these are the greatest reward. I love hearing how I was able to help others enjoying this amazing hobby!

      Reply

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