Trouble with Squares?!
I decided to do a mitered square, and I ended up trying two different methods. Here was my test square... not too bad, but way too small. This is Wool-Ease worsted on size 7 needles. I cast on an even number of stitches, placed a marker in the middle, then decreased one stitch on each side of the marker on alternate rows. You can also cast on an appropriate number of stitches for two sides, plus three stitches. Then you do a double decrease on those three stitches every other round. That method involves a little more counting and attention, though.
Then I thought I'd prefer a square with four miters. So I cast on 8 stitches (4 sides and 4 corners), and worked in the round, increasing 1 stitch on each side of the corner stitches, every other round. I started on one long circular, and then when I had a decent number of stitches, switched to DPNs. (I heard that collective gasp. Yes, I actually used DPNs.)
Well, that worked out pretty well, except that my maths were a little off and it was too big. Also, I had to switch to a circular when the square outgrew my DPNs and it is decidedly rounded on the sides. I decided maybe I should go back to my original style. My next attempt was really pathetic. WTF?! It's not even square! The cast on edges were 8 inches, but the other two were more like 10 inches. Not really sure what happened here. The yarn is Sensations Dolcetto from Jo-Ann (54% wool, 24% nylon, 22% cotton). It's not plied, and it feels as though it should come apart like cotton candy. (It doesn't -- I tried.) I used US 10.5 bamboo ten-inch straights. It is so soft and light. It would make amazing baby items, for a mom who doesn't mind hand washing.
Maybe the third time's a charm? I switched yarns again. This one is made from Jo-Ann's Sensations Tesoro (100% wool). This is a nice yarn, too. It would have nice stitch definition for cables or knit and purl patterns. I used Bryspun US9 10 inch straights. I actually made a little gauge swatch, but when I finished it was only 7.5 inches square. Gah! After taking it out of its bath, I easily could have blocked it to 10 inches. But I smushed the rows back together and pinned it down to measure 8 inches. I am hoping that it will be the right size when it's nice and dry. Keep your fingers crossed. I'm running out of time!