Four Square(s)

Before the term “four square” became synonymous with a location app it was a game — one often played at what was then known as “recess.”

I am so old that when I was a child, schools still had recess — regularly scheduled time when we were allowed out of the classroom for unsupervised and unstructured play.

Despite the unsupervised and unstructured nature of the enterprise, we tended to gravitate toward games with rules, although the rules, were subject to change without notice, and while I spent most of my recesses playing hopscotch, I would, on occasion, venture over to the four square games, which as the name suggests consists of four squares and a playground ball.

The object of the game was to work your way from the entry square to the “serving square.”

I was particularly bad at the game and spent more time standing in line waiting my turn than actually playing, I enjoyed the sound of the ball as it bounced on the asphalt and watching the better players as they used their skills to send people like me to the end of the line.

What reminded me of all this was that today, as I was doing the laundry, it dawned on me that it had been over a week since I had worked any of the squares from Jean Leinhauser’s 101 Crochet Squares, eight days to be precise.

As I folded some towels that had finally dried, I realized that if I were going to get caught up on the 101 Crochet Squares crochet-a-long, I needed to get serious about it, and I set myself a goal of completing four as-of-yet never-worked-by-me squares.

After putting away the towels I had been folding, I gathered my supplies: hooks, two stash bags of scrap yarn, and my copy of 101 Crochet Squares.

After studying the options available to me, I got out my 5.0 mm hook, some Red Heart Super Saver tea leaf, and got to work on Square 61:

green crochet square granny square
Crochet Square 61

Worked in just one color in the sample pictured in the book, I decided to use medium thyme as well as the tea leaf because I thought the change in color made it easier to see some of the design elements that were lost in the one color version.

From there, I moved ahead to Square 90 using the same 5.0 mm hook along with Red Heart Super Saver real teal, corn meal, and medium thyme:

crochet square crochet circle center
Crochet Square 90

Tiring a bit of the green, I got out some Red Heart Classic grenadine and paired it with Red Heart Super Saver burgundy and worked Square 51:

crochet square crochet circle center
Crochet Square 51

The directions called for a color change that was not depicted in the featured sample, but I decided that the change of color better high lighted some of the features of the design and made the first two rounds (done in the lighter grenadine) appear to have more movement.

After this color jaunt to the warmer side, I moved back to the greens having seen a pairing of a mint sort of green with a lime sort of green when I had been reaching into one of my stash bags for the burgundy. I didn’t really know how the two greens would work together, and while the interplay is subtle, I think it is perfect for the very interesting, highly textured Square 64:

textured crochet square crochet circle center
Crochet Square 64

and even though I gave no particular thought (that I am aware of) as to how the colors would work when the four squares were assembled for their group photo:

Four squares of Jean Leinhauser's 101 Crochet Squares
Four squares of Jean Leinhauser’s 101 Crochet Squares

I think that the varied colors and designs of the four squares achieve both a balance and interplay that is as fun as the game.