The Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler Afghan: a reprise

The Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler Afghan was one of the first crochet projects I ever wanted to make.

I wanted to make it with all of my being, but the directions were more a general road map for how to make granny squares and some variations  rather than a specific set of instructions as to how one would  make the afghan pictured on the front and back cover of the book.

But that particular afghan was what I wanted, and twelve years later, I was once again in hot pursuit of what by then had become the afghan-that-eluded-me, and over the course of several months, I managed to make a facsimile of the Granny Square Sampler Afghan I so desperately wanted.

There were a few differences in my rendition and the one in the book, chief among them, the joining method used, and today, with nearly two years between me and that first completed Granny Square Sampler Afghan, I began work on what will be my second rendition of this much beloved (at least by me) project.

I started with this bag:

bag for color inspiration
The bag that I am using as a color guide for my reprise of the Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler Afghan

made by the ever creative people at Papyrus, I found this while shopping for groceries and decided it would be the perfect color reference for this reprise which I began work on today.

Using the join-as-you-go method presents several challenges, not the least of which is the fact that the squares need to be completed in a specific order as they are joined to one another as they are completed and not in one grand effort at the end of the project.

So the first question I had to answer was this: which square came first?

After studying the center panel, I determined that Square H-2 was square where it all began and that it was the square I would need to make first. With my 5.0mm hook and large assortment of colors at my side, I got to work.

I referred to my blog post from my first effort to make this project, and even though I both read the directions I wrote at that time and looked at the photo of the square I had made, I still managed to make an error on the final round, which, as can be seen here, was quite ruffly:

ruffled crochet square
An ruffled Crochet Square H-2

I noticed that it had, to my mind, a hyperbolic flair, but I didn’t realize my mistake until later.

In the meantime, I got to work on the second square, F-2. It turned out that the square I made for my first rendition of the project was not as faithful to the square in the photo as I had thought. This time, I was able to see quite clearly that the first round was composed of four groups of 3tr, not four groups of 4dc as are described in the written directions. After several missteps in an effort to get the first two rounds more like the square F-2 pictured in the book, I finally finished the first four rounds as seen here:

crochet granny square
Crochet Square F-2, the first four rounds

Now that I was ready to join the two squares, using the fifth round of Square F-2, I quickly saw that I had made a mistake on Square H-2, and the reason it was so ruffly was that I had added too many 3dc clusters to the final round. I quickly frogged the last round of Square H-2, and then redid it correctly:

crochet square H-2
The new, improved Crochet Square H-2

With the new, improved H-2 completed, I was ready to join it to Square F-2:

two crochet squares
The revised crochet Square H-2 ready to be joined to the nearly complete crochet Square F-2

Using a skein of newly purchased Red Heart Super Saver coral, I got to work, and in short order, the final round of Square F-2 was completed, and the two squares were joined:

crochet granny squares join as you go
Crochet Squares H-2 and F-2 joined using a join-as-you-go technique

And despite the fact my yarn is not an exact match for the colors in the bag I am using as a guide, the two completed squares and the bag coordinate pretty well, so far:

color inspiration for crochet squares
The bag I am using as color inspiration with the two completed crochet squares

The second time around on the Granny Square Sampler Afghan is not going to be the cake walk I thought it would be, but it is turning out to be a lot of fun, and I hope that that particular sentiment is reflected in the final piece.


4 thoughts on “The Better Homes and Gardens Granny Square Sampler Afghan: a reprise

  1. I love those colours, they will look great as an afghan. I’ll look forward to watching your work on this one.

  2. Another winner coming. I would never choose those colors together (and probably not individually either) but when you do it magic happens. Can’t wait to see where you go with this.

  3. Oh dear. I’ve already got a billion and one projects going. This one never got off the ground for me when I started it last year and a CAL is what I will need when I do make it. But that other billion things… Will you be making it a third time??? 🙂

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