I decided on the next block for the sampler afghan-- Triquetra Celtic Knot Afghan Block by Joyce Lewis. Like those of her earlier designs that I've hooked (Crocodile Flower and Simple 10-Petal Afghan Square), I'm finding it very pretty-- and also innovative. It requires that you pay close attention to what you're doing, on certain rounds, but the pattern is extremely detailed and clear.
I still have rounds to go (not to mention the block border), but I snapped a (flash) photo of the block as it stands.
It's currently at a stand-still, partly because I'm going to have to start measuring it and probably making adjustments to get it to the same size as my other blocks-- but also because I've been sidetracked by another project.
I've started another afghan. No, we don't need another afghan, but I like making them, so I will. If it's a vice, it's a relatively harmless one. Besides, I already have the unassigned yarn. Why not have fun with it? I might have to start pawning spare afghans off on unsuspecting strangers, though... ;o) (Or donating the ones I don't like as much to some charity organization or other...)
Anyway, excuses aside, I'm making an afghan of these motifs (link removed). Unfortunately, I don't have any more info about the pattern than what's on the link, which I came across in a forum on Ravelry. (Edited to add: Oops, the link to the pattern no longer works, so I've removed it. I'm not sure of the whole story, but in any case, if you want a similar-looking ogee motif, check out the links in the paragraph below.)
The motif looks a lot like one in a recently-released pattern by Jane Crow. For a while, her pattern was not available except as part of a rather expensive kit for a shawl, but she's now released the pattern on its own, as well as two other versions of it-- one of them being a blanket. By the time the blanket pattern came out, I'd already started making these motifs, so I figured I'd stick with them.
I haven't made many, yet, as you can see... I'll be joining them in semi-random strips as I go, then at the end, I'll join the strips. I love choosing colors for each motif. Definitely the best part of making a scrappy or many-colored afghan.
The downside to the motif-only pattern is that it doesn't demonstrate how to join these ogee shapes. (There's also not a pattern for half-motifs, if you want them. I'm not sure yet if I'll try to devise my own pattern for that. I kind of like the uneven/jagged-edge look, at the moment...)
I think I've figured out joining-- to my own satisfaction, at least. Here's my joining test. I've tweaked the pattern ever so slightly. Two single crochets in each of the treble clusters, rather than the one-per-stitch called for in the pattern.
On the back, you can see that I tried joining with single crochet and slip stitch. I think I prefer the flatness of the slip stitch, but either would work. Of course, you could also sew them by hand with possibly neater results, but that takes me forever (not to mention that it really hurts my hand), so crochet it is!
My tails in the photos above are longer than I usually leave tails, because I realized after I'd crocheted a few of them that I'd made them incorrectly, so I had to go back and fix them (leaving extra-long tails with the excess yarn). If you follow the pattern at the Google Docs link, don't make my mistake of thinking that the treble crochet cluster is three plain treble crochets. There's a difference. ;o) (I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention!)
While looking through my stash of acrylic yarn, choosing colors for this new afghan, I came across a loose yarn band from some second-hand yarn. I have no idea how old this yarn is-- not that old, since it has a bar code-- but I got a kick out of the font and name... Pop'n Yarn. "Premier Quality Yarn". I use a lot of 100% acrylic, so I'm not exactly a full-fledged yarn snob, but if this is premier quality, you hate to think what the standard and bargain yarn was like...