Join-As-You-Go with Love Knots

  The Love Knot is one of my favorite stitches, and I thoroughly enjoyed working out this joining method. I'm using my "Grannies in a Love Triangle" squares, but this stitch would be easy to use for a lacy join on any square. The large size of the Love Knot makes the joins amazingly fast. We all like that, now, don't we? But... you won't get to see a full Join-As-You-Go here (and I'll have more tails). *Get a diagram for the full seamless joining method here!

  I'm using this one-seam method to create strips for my Grannies in a Love Triangle Shawl. Although you can use this technique to join all the squares in your project with one continuous seam, I'll be adding a border to the strips to work out some cool color work, and then joining them using the same stitch.

  This technique of creating strips would work for any square or rectangular project. If you want to use another square for your own design, then you'll have to work out the right size of your stitches yourself. But all you have to look for is puckering or rippling, and you'll know you need to adjust the height of your Love Knots. My squares also have convenient chain-spaces for joining, so you'll need to figure out your own stitch placement for a different square, too.

  For other designs, pay attention to the notes along the way. I made a corner that's a little too short, to add more design and some simple shaping to my pattern. If you're using this method for anything else, then you probably want to use one of the alternatives I've provided. This goes really quickly no matter what design you're using, so grab your motifs and get ready for a finish!

Need help?
Find a tutorial for the Love Knot here
And the tutorial/pattern for the Grannies in a Love Triangle square here

A typical Join-As-You-Go will continue after the end of the strip, joining a new row of squares after step 5. I'll be continuing at the end for a border all the way around the strip, so we won't be following the same pattern. (As I said above: You can still use these stitches to follow the typical J-A-Y-G pattern!)

Begin in a corner with a long single crochet (to make the beginning stitch, start with a slip stitch and pull up a Love Knot to count as the long single crochet). In each space across, make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, and one long single crochet).

Work the stitches around three sides of the square (including corners to follow my pattern, or see the notes for a different corner option).
For the shawl pattern: End in the last corner space with just one long single crochet.
Other designs: You can make a full stitch set in the last space before joining a new square, and another full set in the first space of the new square. This will be preferred if you're using the stitch for a full J-A-Y-G, because you won't be working the border that fills in this space. Also see the note (*) a few steps ahead for another corner space option.

Make two Love Knots, then join the next square with just one long single crochet in the corner space (for the shawl). I know that leaves an odd space, but we'll be fixing that when we work around the other side. Okay?
Working up the joining side, you'll still be making almost the same stitch pattern in each space. After you make the long single crochet and the first Love Knot, slip stitch in the opposite (center) Love Knot.

You'll continue by making the second Love Knot, then the long single crochet in the same space as the first. Moving on to the next space, you make (one long single crochet, one Love Knot, slip stitch, Love Knot, and long single crochet).

*Hey! This method does create a spot at the join that is shorter than the rest of the stitches. It will be filled in with the second round for my Grannies in a Love Triangle Shawl. For other designs: Scroll to the end of the post to find an example of a different corner stitch I'm using in the border which would also be a great option to use while joining.

Now, that's all you need to know to get to the end of the strip. Keep following those directions until you've added all the squares in your strip, then work around the corners to the other side. I'll wait, because I know it won't be long until you're done...

Okay, ready? It's time to fix that odd space!

Make one long single crochet in the corner space, then make a Love Knot. Slip stitch in the Love Knot in the center of the join. Make another Love Knot, then a long single crochet in the corner space of the next square. Work (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet) in each space across, and repeat at the next join.

  Continue until you get back to your beginning long single crochet, make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots) and join with a slip stitch. To follow my pattern, we're going to work a second round. If you're working on your own design, then you can choose to bind off here. There's no need for a second round other than for my color work; the stitch pattern will be the same for joining.

  The stitches for the second round will be worked in the center Love Knots, so we have to work our way over to the first one. If you wanted to change colors again, then it would be simple to bind off and start right in a center knot. If you're following my pattern, then let me show you the easy way to (cheat!) get there:

After the joining slip stitch, there is only one long loop to work over until we reach out beginning spot. Simply pull up a long loop, then slip stitch into the center knot where we will begin. Now, you'll make (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet), just like before, in the center knot of each stitch group.

But what about that joining space? To fill in that "short" spot, don't work into the center knot here. Work (one long single crochet, two Love Knots, one long single crochet) in each space to the side of the slip stitch.

**And what about the corners? You have a few options here. You can't continue using the same stitch group in the corner, because it will begin to pull. To make a sharper corner, I worked another two Love Knots and one more long single crochet, making two stitch groups share a middle stitch. You could work the corners of the first round this way, too.

Not shown: You can also make sharper corners by working four Love Knots for your corner stitch. However, the extra Love Knots alone will create a huge open space that's bigger than the "diamonds" in the middle joins.

Here's one final example of how I continued building out with the new corner stitch, making one "shared" stitch on either side of the corner stitch (or space). That "short" corner that I made in the beginning join was made so that the strips of my shawl will taper down just a tiny bit, but it can also make your work pucker. Although the curling can easily be blocked out with this lacy stitch, I recommend that you use one of the other corner stitches for flat patterns. Whichever one will work best may depend on the design of your square.

  So, are you following along with this project, or using this joining stitch to create your own design? I'd love to see photos of your creations - Remember that you can stop by the Crochet is the Way Facebook page to share them!

Happy Crocheting!


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