I’m not going to say that the GAL squares aren’t fabulous by themselves. They are. But let’s face it, how many massively oversized coasters does one girl need? You could make them into pillow cases by sewing 2 of them back to back I suppose, but really, what will you do with 24 throw pillows? I put a lot of time and energy into figuring out a way to not do work. I swear to you I did. But after days of consideration, I’m afraid there’s no recourse but to join them together into a blanket. On the upside, when you’re done, it’ll look like this:
For our blanket I wanted to do a double sided join. I was unable to find such a technique, so I have invented one. I was going to call it
The Megan-Anne and Jac are super pretty and fashion forward double sided knitting join.
However, I was informed by the peanut gallery that it was maybe a bit long-winded. So we edited it down to the Lattes and Llamas Join (LLJ). You can say it in a single breath, so I figure we’re on the right track.
For this technique to work, you will need to knit backwards on every other row. I know this isn’t called for often, and many of you may not have had a reason to do it before, but if you have to flip this every other row, you will want to kill me by the end of the blanket. And I do not want scores of angry and tired crafters wielding pointy sticks showing up on my lawn. Plus, it’s a pretty handy tool to have in the notions bag of your mind. It can save you tons of time on projects that would otherwise require tons of turning your work.
To get this joining party started I put together a small project so that you can familiarize yourself with the LLJ. I’m going to edge and frame mine, but we will get to edging next week. For now, let’s get SAsSY!
:::The Lattes and Llamas Join:::
Download the PDF pattern for SAsSY wall art. Knit four of the squares and then come back for step two.
Choose two squares to join and assemble your tools. I started in the middle, but there is no particular advantage to where you start. Also, you may choose to join your SAsSY squares as a square rather than in a straight line, which will allow you to practice joining the squares both vertically and horizontally. You will need the squares (obviously), scissors, a crochet hook, a tapestry needle (optional), two lengths of waste yarn that are at least 1.5 times as long as your squares, and yarn for your joins as well size 6 (0r the size used to obtain gauge on your GAL squares) and size 7 (or one size up from the needles used to obtain gauge) DPNs.
The larger DPNs are for the horizontal join, which is not pictured here, but does have written instructions in the pattern and at the bottom of this post. The technique for the horizontal join is exactly the same as the vertical join, except with needles that are one size larger.
First, we will work joins on the right side of the squares. Afterwards, you will flip it and work them on the back. Once you have joined a strip of squares you will work the horizontal joins to connect the strips.
Beginning at the top right corner of the second square, use a crochet hook and the join yarn to pick up one stitch for each row of the square. You will slip these stitches onto a length of waste yarn to hold them until you are ready to work them. I generally pick up five to ten sts and then slip them onto the waste yarn with the crochet hook or tapestry needle.
- Slip crochet hook through the first stitch and grab the yarn.
- Pull yarn through to create a stitch and leave it on the hook for now.
- Continue picking up stitches in this way until there are several on your hook.
- When the hook gets too full to work with comfortably, transfer sts to waste yarn.
Proceed until you have picked up one stitch for every row, then break yarn. Repeat on the next square (the one you will join this one to) by working up the left side of the square. Once you have picked up all the sts it should look like this:
Now that you have two squares with stitches picked up along the edge you will knit them together.
This is done by inserting the left hand needle from left to right through left most stitch(es) on the working needle. Loop yarn over the inserted needle in a counter-clockwise motion and pull the yarn through. Essentially, you are purling along the back of your stitches from left to right. It may take a few tries before this feels natural, but it’s worth the effort and can save you a ton of time on turning heavy projects. It’s worth noting that if you try it out and just hate it there is no reason you can’t flip and purl, it will just mean a lot of flipping.
LLJ STEP ONE
Using the smaller DPNs: Slip the bottom most stitch picked up on the right square onto DPN and cast on three more stitches.
LLJ STEP TWO
Slip the first stitch at the bottom of the left square onto the needle. Pick up the second stitch on the left square and knitting backwards knit these two stitches together. Knit backwards across three stitches (one stitch left on working needle). Pick up the next stitch from the holder on the right square and backwards knit this stitch together with the last stitch on the working needle. Five stitches on needle.
Need a little more help? Here are numbered directions corresponding with the picture tutorial below.
- One stitch from the holder, plus 3 cast on.
- First stitch picked up from left square.
- Second stitch picked up from left square.
- Needle inserted from left to right through the back loop of the first 2 sts to backwards knit two together.
- Working yarn wrapped counter-clockwise around the inserted needle.
- Stitch pulled though, 1 stitch on left needle, 4 on right needle.
- Continue knitting backwards across the row. At the last stitch pick up one from the right square and backwards knit it together with the last stitch on the working needle.
LLJ STEP THREE
Pick up the second stitch from the holder on the right square (six stitches on needle). Knit two stitches, slip two as if to knit together, knit the next stitch. Pass the two slipped stitches over the knit stitch and knit to end. Pick up the next stitch from the holder on the left square and knit it (five stitches on needle).
Repeat LLJ steps two and three up the square until there are no more stitches to pick up. At the top of the square bind off across the five join stitches. Turn the work over and repeat the process on the back side so that the join is double sided. Don’t worry about your yarn ends, just knot them to secure them and tuck them into the joins when you’re done.
These are worked in the exact same way as the vertical joins done above. You will pick up one stitch for each stitch across two strips of joined squares. Depending on the bindoff method you used for your squares you will have the option to either pick up the last worked stitch at the top of a square, or to pick up the front of the bindoff on the front and the back of the bindoff on the back.
Using US7 DPNs and the same color used to do the vertical join, pick up the stitches along the front bottom of the joined strip of squares, working from right to left. (I will call this strip one.) Break yarn and put these stitches on a holder. Pick up the stitches along the top of the second strip working from left to right. Place stitches on a holder, but do not break yarn. Slip the bottom most stitch (the one attached to your working yarn) onto DPN and cast on three more stitches. Repeat LLJ Steps 2 and 3 all the way up the squares until there are no more stitches on the holders. Bind off across the join using the bind off method of your choice.
Whew! I know that was a lot of work, but it looks so pretty. The way I see it, why bother doing all the work for a double sided blanket that has a wrong side on the joins?
“I don’t want dolphin’s peeping at my bod”-Jac