XOXOX, a symbol for hugs and kisses, is a term used for expressing sincerity, faith, love, or good friendship at the end of a written letter, email, or text message. This practice has been in use clear back into the Middle Ages. Since most of the common people could not read or write, the ‘X’ was placed on documents, and a kiss was placed over it as a show of their sincerity. The ‘o’ physically resembles a hug, and has joined the ‘X’ near signatures as a perfect pair to express love and friendship. With Valentine’s Day coming up this month, it’s a perfect time to learn this stitch. 🙂
In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure. My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square. As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you? You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. 😉 To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.
Hugs & Kisses Square
Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge. The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.
Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage in berries)
Notions: Loom tool, cable needle, yarn needle, scissors. (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter, and blocking pins)
To work this pattern in the round, such as for a hat, use the Repeating Pattern Rows chart, and make sure to read it from right to left for each row, rather than alternating sides each time. Also, cast onto your loom in a clockwise direction, using a number of pegs that is divisible by 10 for repeats of the same column, or 20 for repeats of the 2 alternating columns.
For flat pieces of a greater size, simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch edges for the length and width required, then complete with the Finishing Rows. The border edges may need to also be increased to coordinate with the number of increased Repeating Pattern Rows.
When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap…except in the row before working the cables, as noted below.
*Note: It helps to e-wrap the knit stitches that sit right in line with the cable pegs in the row before the cable row to aid the cable stitches in stretching to their new places. Simply untwist the e-wrap loops when creating the cables.
[2/2RC]: Worked over 4 pegs:
- Lift the loops from the 2 right pegs of the 4 designated cable pegs and place them on the cable needle. (*note: this is easy to remember— RC= right pegs first)
- Move the 2 stitches on the left of the designated cable pegs over 2 pegs to the right.
- Knit the 2 stitches you’ve just moved. Place the stitches from the cable needle onto the now empty left pegs and knit them. Pull out any slack from all 4 sts before moving on.
[2/2LC]: Worked over 4 pegs:
- Lift the loop from the 2 left pegs of the 4 designated cable pegs and place them on the cable needle. (*note: this is easy to remember— LC= left peg first)
- Move the 2 stitches on the right of the designated cable pegs over 2 pegs to the left.
- Place the stitches from the cable needle onto the now empty right pegs and knit them. Knit the 2 stitches on the left. Pull out any slack from all 4 sts before moving on.
Repeating Pattern Rows
Here are the Repeating Pattern Rows for the stitch itself, based on the chart above:
(*Note: Don’t let the abbreviations intimidate you! It really is easy once you understand how to work each of the cables as described above. I promise! 🙂 )
Rows 1 & 2: p1, k8, p2, k8, p1.
(**Note: if you need extra room to cross those cable stitches, you can read Row 2 (and all rows right before a cable row) as: p1, ew8, p2, ew8, p1. Just make sure to untwist the e-wraps while working the cables.)
Row 3: p1, 2/2RC, 2/2LC, p2, 2/2LC, 2/1RC, p1.
Rows 4-6: rep Row 1.
Row 7: rep Row 3.
Rows 8-10: rep Row 1.
Row 11: p1, 2/2LC, 2/2RC, p2, 2/2RC, 2/1LC, p1.
Rows 12-14: rep Row 1.
Row 15: rep Row 11.
Row 16: rep Row 1.
Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” square:
Everything you need to know about knitting your square is included in the above chart. Believe it or not, you can actually create your square without looking at another thing! For help with reading charts, please see the Stitchology I post for a detailed explanation, and you’ll be ready to go!
But, don’t worry…I am also providing you with the step by step instructions below. 😉
Step by Step Instructions:
Cast onto your loom from left to right, using a total of 44 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)
Set Up Rows
Rows 1-4: k2, p2, k2, p3, k2, [p2, k3, p2, k3] rep between [ ] once, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k2.
Main Pattern Rows
Row 5: k2, p1, *k8, p2, rep from * twice more, k8, p1, k2.
Row 6: p3, *k8, p2, rep from * twice more, k8, p3.
Row 7: k2, p1, *2/2RC, 2/2LC, p2, 2/2LC, 2/1RC, p2, rep from * to last 3 sts, p1, k2.
Row 8: rep Row 6. (**Use regular knits/u-stitches here.)
Row 9: rep Row 5.
Row 10: rep Row 6. (**The k8’s can be e-wraps…see notes above.)
Row 11: rep Row 7.
Rows 12-14: rep Rows 8-10.
Row 15: k2, p1, *2/2LC, 2/2RC, p2, 2/2RC, 2/1LC, p2, rep from * to last 3 sts, p1, k2.
Rows 16-18: rep Rows 8-10.
Row 19: rep Row 15.
Row 20: rep Row 8.
Row 21-60: Repeat Rows 5-20.
Rows 61-64: k2, p2, k2, p3, k2, [p2, k3, p2, k3] rep between [ ] once, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k2.
Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off) Weave in ends and trim close to work.
Block well to an 8” x 8” measurement.
If you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares. We will be sharing at least 24 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket. Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:
- Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
- Children: 42″ x 48″
- Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
- Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
- Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a note for Bethany Dailey below in the comments! 🙂