December 2, 2015

Join the Squares: Crochet Along Afghan Sampler

Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren | CAL with two crochet squares per month for a complete blanket in one year

You've waited (extra long; a week and a day too long) for this moment! It's time. Let's put our afghan together...squee!!!

Welcome back and thanks for your patience through the Thanksgiving Holiday delay. Let's break down the finishing of this afghan into three posts: Joining (today); Bordering (tomorrow Friday); What to do if you don't have twenty squares done but need still need a Christmas gift (...oh no!) (Friday Saturday).

If you're just now finding this, we've been crocheting a contemporary afghan sampler; hooking one stitch into two separate squares each month. Of course you can join in at any time and finish a blanket on your own schedule. You can stitch the squares in any order, but you'll need them before you move on to this post. Be sure to read Square 1, January first -- it explains the color scheme and overall process.


Join crochet squares with a back-loop-only whip stitch | Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren

JOIN THE SQUARES

At this point you should have twenty completed crocheted squares for the Crochet Along Afghan Sampler (be sure to come back Friday Saturday if you don't have twenty -- I've got a great gift idea for you, too). If you followed the proposed color-scheme, those square are in three different colors. Hopefully you've labelled them as you went, if not go do it now -- I'll wait. Because now we're going to lay them out...line them up...pile them... in order, following the diagram below.

Square Scheme for the Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren | CAL with two crochet squares per month for a complete blanket in one year


I was serious back in January when I said I was making it up as I went. I really did. So I was convinced I was going to rearrange positioning or orientation of the squares before putting them together. And then I didn't. Each of my squares are positioned exactly as planned and oriented as if crocheted from the bottom of the square to the top.

After much internal debate about methods of joining the squares, I decided to work with a simple whip stitch in the back loops only. I found this method on Bunny Mummy and did not deviate from her instructions. Let's get started.


ROW CONSTRUCTION

Step 1: Begin with the first squares of Row 1 (Square 1 Color A and Square 2 Color B). Mark the outer corners of the squares, the chain-1 from when you were creating the single crochet border. Double check that you have 38 stitches between (and not counting) the two marked corners.

Join crochet squares with a back-loop-only whip stitch | Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren

Step 2: With the "front sides" facing each other, use a single stitch marker (or scrap of yarn loosely tied) to join those marked corners at the seam where Squares 1 and 2 will meet.

Step 3: Cut a piece of yarn about the length of three squares (25-28 inches) in the same color of one of the two square you are currently joining. Thread the yarn into a wide-eyed yarn needle.

Step 4: Beginning in the first available stitch after the marker, insert the needle into the back (now outer) loops only of the two squares. Create a basic granny knot, by looping the needle through a second time and drawing the yarn through the loop created.

Join crochet squares with a back-loop-only whip stitch | Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren


Step 5: Continue whip stitching the length of the one side of the square; be sure to draw your needle the same direction through each stitch. I prefer to work bottom up (and being left-handed I work left to right); I insert into the bottom, out through the top, pull, and then repeat back into the bottom of the next stitch. Working into the top and down of each stitch, and right to left will also work, just as long as you're consistent.

Join crochet squares with a back-loop-only whip stitch | Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren

Step 6: At the last available stitch before the stitch marker, create another basic granny knot. Leave the tail for now. (*Read "Yarn Tails" below for further tips.)

Step 7: Repeat Steps 1-6 to join each square across the first row (Squares 1-4). Then work the same technique for each remaining row. 


Join crochet squares with a back-loop-only whip stitch | Crochet Along Afghan Sampler for 2015 from The Inspired Wren

*YARN TAILS

I prefer to whip stitch over the tails as I go. However, I found I also need to go back and weave some of the tail in the opposite direction with the yarn needle; this prevents it from pulling out as the blanket stretches and gives. Alternatively you could leave all the tails to be woven in at the end. Your choice.


AFGHAN CONSTRUCTION

Step 8: As in Step 1 above, align the chain-1 corners of each of the squares along the seam from Rows 1 and 2. Join the corners with stitch markers (or scraps of yarn loosely tied).

Step 9: OTIONAL: Add stitch markers to join every tenth stitch or so. I found this kept my rows lined up and prevented me from skipping stitches and finding myself at a corner that didn't line up with it's counterpart.

Step 10: Cut a piece of yarn not quite twice the width of the final afghan (60-72 inches), in the same color as three of the eight square being joined. This will ensure you have only one pairing of squares per row where your joining yarn does not match either square being joined.

Step 11: Working just as you did in Steps 4-6 above, whip stitch the two rows together. It should really be starting to look like an afghan now!

Step 12: Repeat Steps 8-11 until all the Rows are joined. WOO HOO!!!


HOMEWORK

Be sure to come back tomorrow Friday and we'll add a Border to our almost completed blanket! And coming Friday Saturday? I've got your back if you don't have enough squares for a full afghan...

Crochet Dishcloth for Christmas | The Inspired Wren



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Looking for the rest of the squares? Click on the Crochet Along tab a the top of this site!
Other questions? Size? Rows? Border Count? Visit Frequently Asked Questions!



Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.

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2 comments:

  1. I have just found this afghan pattern! bit late I know but am going to give it a go

    ReplyDelete
  2. Did you use the same color yarn to stitch together all the squares or did you choose one of the 2 touching square colors?

    ReplyDelete