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! :)
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Designed by Bethany A Dailey
**Edited 2/5/16 to add a note to Rnds 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22.
A hat to keep you cozy warm with a vibrantly whimsical flair! This design is unique in that it is styled to be worked from the crown down to create those playful points at the ears.
Knitting Loom: All-n-One Loom, 92 pegs used.
Yarn: Approximately 395 yards of worsted weight yarn. Sample used Universal Yarn Classic Shades (1 skein in Campfire used for main color) 197 yds/180 m., and Patons Classic Wool Worsted (1 skein in Plum Heather used for contast color) 210 yds/192 m.
Notions: knitting tool, 6mm crochet hook (for cast on and help with possible missed stitches, etc), stitch markers, scissors, knitting pins, yarn needle, row counter.
Gauge: 13 sts x 33 rows= 4 inches (in pattern, using U-Stitch)
Finished Measurements: Circumference: 20″, Length from crown to middle brim: 10″ (ear points add 3”)
Skills Needed: Knit/U-stitch, Purl, Drawstring CO, Half Hitch CO (or CO of your choice), and Basic BO, braiding and pompom making.
CO: cast on
MC: main color
CC: contrast color
K: knit stitch/U-stitch
P: purl stitch
KO: knit off
WY: working yarn
HHCO: half hitch cast on
S1: slip one/skip one
BO: bind off
This pattern uses 1 strand of yarn held throughout.
For the sample, all knit stitches were made using the U-stitch. Work whichever type of knit stitch helps you achieve the proper gauge.
Drawstring CO tutorial
Half Hitch CO tutorial
Set loom to work in the round using 68 pegs, which are centered on the loom. Peg #1 should be at a corner (where the slider and long side meet). Using the Main Color, drawstring cast on to 68 pegs.
Rnds 1-6: *k2, p2, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22: (*Note: you will be increasing the number of pegs used by 4, at each corner of the pegs currently being used.) HHCO to corner peg just before peg 1 (this will be the new peg #1), k all pegs on 1st long side of loom to 2nd corner, HHCO to next empty peg, k all pegs on slider, HHCO to next empty peg, k all pegs on 2nd long side of loom to 4th corner, HHCO to next empty peg, k all pegs on slider.
Rnds 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21: knit all, including newly CO pegs. Move sliders gradually outward to accommodate new sts. (After Rnd 22, there will be 92 pegs filled.)
Rnds 23-28: *k2, p2, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 29-34: * p2, k2, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 35-70: rep Rnds 23-34 a total of 3 times.
Prepare to work in a flat panel using only 12 pegs at each end of the loom. (Pegs 4-1, 5 slider pegs, & pegs 92-90 on first end and pegs 39-41, 5 slider pegs, & pegs 47-50.)
Work the first section of 12 pegs, keeping in the same pattern as before, while decreasing at the center with a k2tog every other row. Expect the decreasing to cause there to be 3 knits or 3 purls together at the center occasionally. When there is only one loop left, cut at 10” for seaming and pull through loop. Repeat procedure with the other side’s 12 pegs.
Using the Contrast Color, and leaving a 10” tail for seaming later, CO to 92 pegs, centering them on the loom so that the beginning CO loop is at the center of the front long side of the loom. Work all the way around the loom and back to the 2nd center peg of the front long side of the loom. The original loops of this front long side of the loom will NOT be worked in the following rows. These pegs are simply being borrowed temporarily— just work the rows while ignoring those bottom loops. Only the back long side original loops will be worked into the row.
Row 1: s1, *p1, k1, rep from * to back long side with previous sts. Work these sts following the same ribbing pattern, but with 2 loops worked as one (the original loops and the newly CO loops). After these 30 sts are worked, continue around the loom to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 2: s1, *k1, p1, rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 3: s1, *p1, k1, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.
Rows 4-16: rep Rows 2 & 3.
Rows 17-32: rep Rows 2 & 3, but BO the first 2 sts of each row.
Loosely Basic BO remaining 60 sts. Leave a 14” tail for seaming.
Repeat the same Brim Instructions, but CO starting at the center of the BACK long side, working the original loops from the FRONT long side into the first row.
Cinch the Drawstring CO by pulling carefully but firmly on the yarn tail until the sts are as snug as they will go. Pull tail to inside of hat and stitch around circle to close completely. Knot securely.
Using the long tails of the MC, neatly stitch the edges of the brim to the MC points on each side of the hat.
Create 2 braids by wrapping both the MC and the CC around the loom 6 times. Cut the loops at each end. This will provide 2 sections of 12 strands of yarn. Tie each section with an overhand knot at the top. Divide the sections into 3 groups of 4 strands and braid them together until 4” remain unbraided at the bottom. Secure with another overhand knot.
Pinch the top knot of one of the braids between the back side’s brim at the point section. Take the front side’s brim point and wrap around the back side’s to seal the braid inside. Using the long tails of the CC, stitch the braid and corner flaps securely in place, keeping edges even and tidy. Repeat on the other side. A few hidden stitches can be tucked into the back brim to keep it folded upwards.
Create three pompoms using both the MC and the CC yarns. Secure onto place at the top of the hat, and at the ends of each braid. The overhand knot at the bottom of the braid serves as a place to tie the pompoms to so that they have a better hold.
Weave in all ends and block lightly as desired.
To leave a question or comment for Bethany Dailey, simply add your comments to the section below! :)
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