In the beginning, the CAL was supposed to last for twelve squares. It turns out that they're extending it until November, but by the time they'd decided, I was too impatient to wait for the next suggestion. Instead, I turned to a couple of crochet books I own and found three more squares to add to the mix.
Then came the joining. I'd been dreading that part since the beginning. I knew my stitch-counts wouldn't match from square to square, but when I counted them, I was shocked by how much variance there was. Most of the squares fell close to 42, but there were also a few 45+ and a few others in the mid-to-upper 30s.
I looked online for tips about joining samplers, but I didn't find much. (What I did find was different methods for joining squares, period, which wasn't helpful for my particular problem.) I looked at project notes on Ravelry and saw that some people add one more round to each square, to even them up and give them matching last rounds, but I was afraid that might not work with such a wide variation. I'd have to add 10+ stitches to the smallest square, to make it equal in size to the largest... I knew that would be messy-looking, but I worried that trying to bring some squares up and some down to the average might not work, either.
In the end, I pinned each square's stitch-count to it (on a small scrap of paper) and arranged them into a grid as best I could by those numbers. I tried to put them so that they flowed from the smallest to the largest, the idea being that fudging a few stitches at a time would be easier than bridging the gap between the extremes.
I think it worked out ok. There are still a few "wavery" spots in the blanket... but it'll be fine. (It's just a blanket, after all.) However, if/when I ever make my next sampler, I think I'll try to keep a closer eye on stitch counts from the start. If I have a goal count in mind, maybe it'll be easier. If I'd considered it earlier in this project, there were times when I could've swapped two sc rounds for one hdc (or vice versa) and gotten my 12 inches with a slightly different stitch-count.
After working a fairly wide border on my last afghan (Citric Acid), I was a little burned out on borders. Also, I didn’t have tons of yarn left-- or at least I wasn’t confident that I’d have plenty-- so I didn’t add a “fancy, deep border”, after all. I worked border #102 from Edie Eckman’s Around the Corner Crochet Borders book. I used a different color each round (though the two dark purples are very similar) and added an extra row of the alternating sc and ch-1.
Motifs used (in order I made them-- not reflected in final assembly):
- Amber Waves
- Far Pavilions
- Yarn Clouds
- Drop in the Bucket
- Granny Bobble
- On the Huh
- Lacy Sun
- Crown Jewels
- Tumbling Diamonds
- Impossible Hexagon
- Starburst Flower
- Frances Flower
- Soft and Sweet
Now there's nothing left to do but enjoy the new blanket! I do like it a lot more than I thought I would, given that I chose the colors in an effort to just "use them up" and not because I thought I really wanted a pink and purple afghan. Once I saw how it was coming together, though, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a very Victorian, feminine color scheme. Not for just anyone or any spot in the house, maybe, but I do like it. :o)
Next projects up-- two already-in-progress secret projects, so I may be quiet for a while. Have to enjoy this perfect autumn weather while it lasts!