Squaring up

One of the more challenging aspects of the Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler afghan is that the pieces don’t fit together perfectly. This is not a problem for the piece, but it is an aesthetic I do not comfortably embrace, and I find myself “squaring up” the assembled pieces in an effort to make them come together more effortlessly.

When I design my own pieces, I to to great lengths to make sure everything fits as precisely as possible. While this kind of design has its own charm, I also enjoy the visual surprise of things that do not always fit so exactly.

With that in mind, I took Square C-4 and Square G-1 and joined them to the 9 squares of the center panel that had already been joined:

joining crochet granny squares
I join Square C-4 and Square G-1 to the center crochet panel

This left an area that needed one strip of double crochet stitches to fill-in what otherwise would be an awkward gap:

crochet squares and brown crochet strip
I add a brown crochet strip to fill in on the top right

Then the squaring up began in earnest. With the eleven squares (I am counting square A-3 which is composed of two 3-round grannies as one square) of the center panel completed and joined, it was time for me to begin work on the three rounds that encircle the center panel. I started with a row of double crochet stitches worked in Red Heart Super Saver shocking pink:

pink crochet strip
With the center panel complete, I begin the process of squaring off with a pink crochet strip along the top

Rotating the panel 90º in a clockwise direction, I added a row of double crochet worked in a dark orchid:

crochet row of dark orchid
With the center panel complete, I crochet a row of dark orchid along the left most edge

Rotating the panel 90º in a clockwise direction yet again, I used Red Heart With Love Hawaii blue to work another strip of double crochet stitches:

blue crochet strip
A row of double crochet stitches worked in Hawaii blue can be seen along the bottom

for the last strip of this round, I chose to use the same brown I used for the strip that filled in the gap at the top of Square G-1:

brown crochet strip
I finish crocheting the fourth strip, completing the first of three rounds

With this first round of double crochet stitches completed, I then looked to work the next round in 3dc clusters. After much internal debate, I settle on Red Heart Super Saver hot red and get to work:

The squaring up progresses when I crochet a round of 3 dc clusters with a hot red yarn
The squaring up progresses when I crochet a round of 3 dc clusters with a hot red yarn

With the round of 3dc clusters completed, I had to choose four additional colors for the third and final round of double crochet stitches. Along one side I use Red Heart Super Saver Delft:

double crochet row of delft
I work one row of double crochet stitches of delft

Turning the piece 90º clockwise, I used Red Heart Super Saver pumpkin along the next edge:

double crochet row of orange
I work one row of double crochet stitches with orange

turning the center panel another 90º clockwise, I then used Red Heart Super Saver spring green:

spring green double crochet strip
I work one row of double crochet stitches with spring green

then, in a move I considered quite bold, I make the last quarter turn and begin work with Red Heart Super Save medium purple:

medium purple double crochet strip
I work one row of double crochet stitches with medium purple

With these three rounds completed, the center panel is visibly squarer than it was when I started, but for me to be entirely comfortable with how square it was, I would probably have to complete another five rounds.

But this project is not about me being comfortable, it is about creating a useful and meaningful object that while capable of providing comfort is, at the same time, anything but safe.