Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 Sampler Square Afghan Project! (2015 crochet-a-long introduction)

Hi there :-)  I for one am glad that 2014 is OVER!  It held many ups and some pretty down downs for us and I'm glad to see it end.  Whether you had a wonderful 2014, or you had a less than stellar year, my heartfelt wish for you all is that you experience much joy and happiness and prosperity in this new year.

With a new year come new projects!  Hopefully you have some crochet projects you want to tackle, or perhaps some new crochet skills you'd like to learn.  A dear friend of mine and I embarked on a sampler square project (afghan) last spring/summer that we'd like to share.  The afghan consists of 24 squares. There are 12 solid squares and 12 colorwork squares.  With each square being 10 inches, once they are assembled, the blanket will measure 40 inches wide and 60 inches tall.  The border will add roughly 1 1/2 inches on each side to make the finished blanket measure 43 x 63 inches.

I'll be sharing the pattern for each block here on the blog.  I'll post one solid square and one of the colorwork squares each month.  Working two squares each month will leave you with all 24 at the end of the year ready to be assembled!  In December I'll also talk about assembling the squares and adding the border.

Things you will need........

1.  YARN!  Ha ha, I bet you didn't see that one coming ;-)  OK, really, this would be a great stashbuster project if you like that kind of thing.  The yarn I used on the finished blanket was Red Heart With Love.  I used 1 skein each of the colors Mango, Bluebell, and Lettuce and 3-4 skeins of Caramel. Sadly, Caramel is no longer available, but a good substitute would be Red Heart With Love in Tan, or Vanna's Choice in Toffee.  I've found Vanna's Choice and Red Heart With Love to be interchangeable and achieve the same gauge with either yarn.

2.  CROCHET HOOK!  Yes, I'm sure you saw that one coming, right?  I used a size J hook.  If you crochet relatively tight, you will probably need a larger size hook to get the right gauge, I crochet a little on the loose side.  However, if you make one square and it doesn't turn out 10 inches square, but you like the size and are comfortable with the hook size you used, by all means use that hook.  If you use the same type of yarn on each square, they should all turn out the same size.  It will affect the size of your finished afghan though.  Just multiply the size of your square by 4 for the width and by 6 for the length, plus a couple of inches for the border.  If you'll be happy with that size, then go for it!  Otherwise, adjust the size of your hook and try another square.

3.  You will also need scissors (obviously)  and a tapestry needle.

Lets talk about gauge for a moment.  The base gauge for this project is 10 stitches x 6 rows in dc = 4 inches.  That being said, the stitch patterns vary from square to square.  You will want to keep an eye on the size of each finished square to be sure they are coming out pretty uniform in size.  I have made each square a few times and had them checked by a tester as well and each square did seem to turn out the same size for everyone as long as the same size hook and same yarn was used for each square.

Here is another finished afghan in a different color scheme.

I hope you'll consider crocheting along with me on this project for 2015.  You'll learn some new stitches and skills and end up with a beautiful blanket as well!