Alice, under ground: turning a circle into a square

The rabbit hole

Decide on the size of your circle: this will be a little smaller in diameter than the finished square. Then, from the tension square in your given yarn, you can establish the number of rounds you’ll need to work (= the radius of the circle) and the final number of stitches you’ll need to increase to (= the circumference).

So, from a pinhole cast-on of, for example, 6 stitches, calculate evenly-spaced increases in alternate rounds or fewer, distributing the increase-rounds regularly over the given total, starting by knitting into the front and back of each of the cast-on stitches thus initially doubling stitch numbers. You’ll need to spread the stitches onto a number of needles from about this point – DPNs or 2 circulars (possibly 3), as you prefer. And your final stitch count will need to be divisible by 4.

In this example, the final number of stitches is 96, the circumference is 28cm, and the circle worked over 20 rounds: 14 in black, followed by 2 in brown, then 4 in green.

Alice rabbit hole diagram 1


Short rows are then worked in each corner in turn, over the central stitches of the quadrant only. Work to the far side of this area first, wrap & turn, work back to the other side of this central area, wrap & turn again; then work back to one stitch before the first W&T, and repeat the sequence. In this example, the first row would be:

K 17 (i.e. 12 + 5), W&T the next stitch (leaving 6 sts unwrapped at the end of the quadrant).

Then: Row 2:  P10 (i.e. 5 + 5), W&T (leaving 6 sts unwrapped at this end of the quadrant).

Row 3: K9 (i.e. 5 + 4), W&T.

Row 4: P8, W&T.

Next row: K7, W&T;  and so on, until there are no more stitches to work, and the last one has been wrapped.

Then, with RS facing, K12, working all wrapped stitches along with their wraps. This takes you to the beginning of the next quadrant, where the whole sequence is repeated from Row 1.

Alice corners


When all four corners have been worked, you need to work a fairly loose cast-off, such as this one:

K1, *(k1, slip both sts back to left-hand needle, k2tog tbl); repeat from *.

At this stage, there will still be some wrapped stitches to work, so knit into the stitch and its wrap, as before.

Alice hole square colours close upAlice hole square cornerAlice hole square as square

The circle, that’s become a square, will need to be blocked.

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