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Domino Knitting FAQs

Mar 17, 2014

Vivian Høxbro is the guru of a technique called domino knitting. Vivian defines domino knitting as knitting pieces together while the work progresses, just as one "pieces" the tiles in dominoes.

Candy Stole
Two-Block Hat
In the book Knit to Be Square, Vivian Hoxbro shows us how to squares into blocks of varying sizes, which become the base for a variety of eye-catching two- and three-dimensional projects. Vivian's designs use the domino knitting technique to create jaw-droppingly beautiful garments, home décor, and more.

In a blog a couple of years ago, I showed you how to make basic squares. These squares are the building blocks for domino knitting.

Vivian teaches workshops about domino knitting, and there are a number of questions that come up in almost every class. Here are the answers for you so you'll be equipped with the knowledge you need to successfully complete your domino knitting project.

Domino Knitting FAQs

Rosebud Duffle
Four-Block Cap
How many stitches does a square begin with?
You begin a square with any odd number of stitches. An odd number is needed so that there will be a center stitch, about which double decreases are worked.

What are domino needles?
Domino needles are straight needles that are only about 8" (20 cm) long. The have a knob on one end so that stitches can't fall off and so that the needles won't get stuck in the knitting or your clothing. You can substitute double-pointed needles but be careful not to let the stitches fall off the end. Because they are short, domino needles require less arm movement when turning the work as you knit the squares, and therefore you can knit longer without strain.

Are squares always worked in garter stitch?
No, not necessarily. But because the simple relationship between the number of stitches and rows per inch in garter stitch, it's ideal for knitting true squares. You can use other stitch patterns, but the finished piece may not measure the same dimension in width and height (i.e., it may be rectangular instead of square).

Why do you always specify the knitted cast-on?
The knitted cast-on tends to be looser than some other methods, and in domino knitting it's important that the cast-on stitches have the same tension as the knitted stitches. Also, the knitted method can be used to begin a row of knitting or to add stitches on either side of stitches that are already on the needle.

How many stitches do I pick up and knit along a square when joining?
To maintain the correct dimensions of a square, you should pick up and knit the same number of stitches that are on each side of the center stitch of the first row. For example, if a square began with 25 stitches, you'll want to pick up and knit 12 stitches along each side, and 1 stitch in the center stitch, for a total of 25 stitches pocked up (in garter stitch, this translates to 1 stitch for every garter ridge). But many squares begin with the last stitch of the previous square, which counts as the first picked-up stitch.

What's the importance of edge stitches?
The first stitch of every row (except the first row after casting on) is slipped, and the last stitch is always purled to make tidy edge stitches that are easy to identify when pocking up and knitting stitches along the edges of the squares when forming a panel or block.

—Vivian Høxbro, Knit to Be Square

I find Vivian's designs so inspiring. The colors and construction are interesting and beautiful, and each piece is built simply, square by square. Simplicity that looks complex; what you can do with these blocks is a wonderful surprise.

Free Patterns of the Day

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Get Knit to Be Square today, and cast on a domino knitting pattern!


P.S. Are you a domino knitter? What was the first project you made?


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129sharrockj wrote
on Mar 17, 2014 1:26 PM

I have used this technique for  a few years to make baby blankets, in fact I am making one now in fluffy lemon DK. This one is in garter stitch, but I have used stocking stitch and one that I used alternate stocking stitch squares and eyelet patterns.

I love it because it is simple, so I can put it down and pick it up as I go.


bessT wrote
on Mar 17, 2014 1:24 PM

One cushion cover, in variegated bulky yarn, beautiful but a longtime WIP/UFO.

Used a 5mm 16" circ. for the needle(s), works a treat.

Doing the cushion back in plain knitting is taking the longest!

EllenS@2 wrote
on Mar 17, 2014 12:05 PM

I've made two afghans  with domino squares. It's too boring to make them all the same, so each one had a different pattern which I made up as I went. For example if you knit row 1, purl row 2, then purl row 3 and knit row 4, you'll end up with stripes.  There are lots of variations including some with yarn overs and k2togs.  Have fun with this.

on Mar 17, 2014 12:04 PM

I tried Domino knitting, though I've been calling it "entrelac knitting", I knitted a cowl for my sister, as a Christmas present. She seems to love it! It does take longer to knit a piece with this technique, but the result is worth it!