The box stitch, also called the square stitch, is the stitch used to create lanyards out of plastic lace, or gimp. It is also used in knitting to make a group of stitches in a box shape. In knitting, the stitch can be used to make sweaters and scarves. Whether used in knitting or with gimp, the box stitch is simple enough for even beginners to learn.
To make the box stitch using gimp, a person needs two lengths of plastic lacing. To give the lanyard visual interest, two different colors of lacing are often used, though a person can use only one color. The finished lanyard can be used as a key chain or, if long enough, worn around the neck.
The box stitch is started by crossing the two pieces of gimp over each other to form a plus sign. It may help a stitcher to label the ends of each strand A, B, C, and D so that she doesn't get confused as she builds the stitches. The first strand, or A, is lifted up and over the C and D strands so that it is parallel with strand B. Strand B is then brought down into the position strand A started in.
To finish the first box stitch, the crafter weaves strand C through A and B and then weaves strand D through A and B. The center of the lace should look like a small checkerboard with four pieces of lace extending from each side. To make a lanyard, the crafter continues to make box stitches until the product is the length she wants. She can finish the craft by tying the four strands together. For extra decoration, she can slide pony beads onto the gimp before tying the strands.
In knitting, a crafter makes a box stitch by knitting and purling an equal number of stitches on one row and then purling and knitting an equal number of stitches on the next row. For example, she can knit four stitches, purl four on row one, and then purl four stitches and knit four stitches on row two, and so on, to create a boxy look. The last row of the stitch in knitting should be the same as the first, so if the knitter began knitting four stitches and then purling four, the final row should involve knitting and then purling stitches. Another name for the box stitch in knitting is the double seed stitch.