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Adjusting Afghan Square Sizes

Examples of squares adjusted to 6"
from patterns in these books:
101 Crochet Squares

Afghan Inspirations

Many times exchanges that you join or charities that you crochet for, will ask that squares be a certain size. The pattern might say a square will be 6", but if your gauge is different than the person who designed the square, you'll likely end up with a square 5 1/2" or 6 1/2" wide instead. What can you do?

First, decide what your own gauge is. Measure stitches one inch wide to see how many stitches are in that inch. Write this down. Next, measure single crochet rows to see how many rows you crochet in one inch. Do the same with double crochet rows. Write these down. Keep your gauge where you can refer to it when you are ready to make a new square. Compare your gauge to that in the pattern instructions.

If your gauge is looser or tighter than the pattern's gauge, you'll need to adjust in order to come out with the same size indicated in the pattern, one way is to use one size smaller or one size larger crochet hook than is called for in the pattern.

I like to adjust the pattern itself, instead, using the same size hook that the pattern called for. This is easiest when crocheting in rounds, because you can measure after every round to see how you're coming out and decide at any point which part of the pattern to leave out (or sometimes to add) in order to end up with the perfect sized square. For me, a single crochet is 1/4" tall, so if I need 1/2" more to make my square the right size, one round of single crochet will do it.

After you've measured your own work for awhile when you're making squares, it will become second nature to you to know what you need to do to adjust the squares that you make.
Don't be afraid to pick a round to leave out of a pattern, if that will make your square come out right size-wise. Most of the time, it will
look just great (and if it doesn't, there's always the frog stitch). ;) Experimenting like this can be fun and you'll learn a lot while you're doing it.

Here are some examples showing how I adjusted the size of squares from the book 101 Crochet Squares. (Keep in mind that if your gauge is different from mine, you may have to adjust yours in different ways, but this will give you an idea how it can be done.)

My gauge with worsted weight yarn and a size G hook:
a sc row = 1/4" tall, 4 sc rows = 1 inch;
a dc row = 1/2" tall, 2 dc rows = 1 inch;
4 sc or dc stitches = 1 inch wide.

Larger Photo
#4 in 101 Crochet Squares:
The pattern says this square will be about 4 1/2". For me, it was 4 1/2" at the end of round 3. I added another granny-type round (using the same patterning as round 3), then did the single crochet round as called for in Rnd 4 of the pattern. This brought the square to 6" square.

Larger Photo
#46 in 101 Crochet Squares:
The pattern says the square will be about 6" square. For me, with my gauge, when I made it exactly as called for, it turned out to be 6 1/2" square.
This is how I adjusted it to come out to 6" square:
Rnd 1: I used dc instead of trc, so the stitches in the circle wouldn't be as tall.
Rnd 2: I used a ch 5, instead of a ch 6, working one less dc on each point.
Rnds 3 - 5: Worked as per the book's pattern directions.

Larger Photo
#47 in 101 Crochet Squares, by Jean Leinhauser:
This is how it came out to 6" square:
Work Rounds 1 - 5 as per the book's pattern directions, (skip Rnds 6 and 7), then sc around as in Rnd 8.

(Note: The design of this square is such that it has to be pulled into shape when it is finished.)

Larger Photo
This square is from the book Afghan Inspirations. It's a square from the afghan pattern named Moonbeams, by Rosalie de Vries. She cleverly designed the pattern so that you only have to work with one color in any round.
The pattern calls for a size H hook. I used a size G hook with worsted weight yarn.
Rnds 1 - 3: Work as per the book's pattern directions.
Rnd 4: As you work this round, you will treble in each of the 3 dc where the pattern 'dips' down a level to the round below, sc in each dc on the level of this round, with 3 sc in the center dc of each corner 5 dc group.
Rnd 5: sc in ea sc, with (sc, ch 1, sc) in each corner.

Two Larger Photos
This square is also from the book Afghan Inspirations. It's a square from the afghan pattern named Precious Beginnings, by Jeannine LaRoche. The book calls for 2-ply baby yarn with a size F hook. I used worsted weight yarn and a size G hook, working the pattern as follows:
Rnds 1 - 6: As per the book's pattern directions.
(Skip Rnd 7)
Rnd 8: Work a round of sc, with (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) in each corner space.

Larger Photo
This square is also from the book Afghan Inspirations. It's a square from the afghan pattern named Spring Meadows, by Jennifer Christiansen McClain.

The pattern calls for a size H hook. I used a size G hook with worsted weight yarn. Make color changes as desired, not necessarily following the indicated color scheme.
Rnds 1 - 7: Work as per the book's pattern instructions.
Rnd 8: Add one more round of sc, as in rnd 7.

Top of page: Learning how to adjust squares for yourself.

Hope this will get you started experimenting on your own.

Have fun with it!

Sources of free patterns for afghan squares, on the Web:

A granny square has been described to be any square that is worked in rounds. Many varieties of granny squares, some with flower centers, some traditional, some wild:
Granny Squares Free Pattern Links

A collection of links to squares, sorted by sizes:
Other Free Squares Pattern Links

About the book: Afghan Inspirations
by The Needlecraft Shop
For those looking for unusual patterns to try, an occasional challenging pattern to advance your skills, along with easier patterns for when you're feeling less like a challenge; this is the book for you. 54 wonderful afghan patterns. Hardcover

Definition of the Internet crochet term frog stitch, also called frogging: rip it, rip it, rip it (when you have made a mistake and have to rip out stitches).

Back to Top of Page

Note: The patterns for the squares are not given here because these are copyrighted patterns in books still under copyright, meaning that it would be illegal to distribute reproduced copies of the patterns themselves in any manner. We do want these publishers to continue publishing crochet patterns. :) What I give you here are directions for my own adjustments for using the patterns that are in 101 Crochet Squares and Afghan Inspirations, to adjust to a 6 inch square. These are books that many of you may already own; they are both certainly books worth purchasing if you are so inclined.

Feature and photos copyright 1998 by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Photography by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com

The measuring graphics are public domain images from http://www.mediabuilder.com
The Frog graphic I altered from a public domain image.

Bookmark for this feature is http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa112198.htm
Dateline: Feature written 11/21/98

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