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Julie

Request for tips on making/receiving squares for comfortghans

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A trick post! After a studied consideration I thought it would be a good idea to post and request some ideas that can be made into a basic reference section for the comfortghans. Those of you that have made squares and received them for joining probably have a lot more ideas than I would on what should go into such a section so I'm asking for suggestions.

 

The first few things I have are:

 

~ Always tie in ends on donated squares - it causes a lot of work to the person receiving the squares for joining.

 

~ Identify the stitcher of the squares - this should include name, Crochetville username, email address. If someone wants to donate anonymous squares, they should at the very least provide this information as well to the assembler so they know where the squares came from to pass on any thank yous from the recipient. Or, just include a note saying "Anonymous Donation" so the assembler doesn't waste his/her time trying to figure out who they came from.

 

~ Should people edge their squares before sending - OR - should the assembler edge the squares? This would probably have to be decided by the assembler, and should be noted on the original request post.

 

~ Requester/Assembler should decide the size of square needed and select a pattern(s) to be used if possible - sometimes a uniform look is wanted, don't be afraid to suggest square patterns for the comfortghan.

 

~ Requester/Assembler should decide type of yarn (i.e. brand, weight, etc.) to be used - again, this should be noted on the original request post. Type of yarn information could also be sent along with the completed comfortghan to the recipient for washing instructions.

 

~ Requester/Assembler should decide specific colors of yarn to be used - as much as possible specific colors and shades should be mentioned, and should be noted on the original post.

 

~ Stitchers should do their best to match the type and color of yarn requested to be used - this should be common sense. :P

 

 

 

 

Any other thoughts or comments?

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I think it might help to know what kind of yarn it was made out of, but I'm weird

 

:lol

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I think it might help to know what kind of yarn it was made out of, but I'm weird

 

:lol

You may be weird (don't hit me!) but that particular stipulation isn't weird. I think maybe weight of yarn could be useful as well (one typically assumes worsted weight, but for a ghan for a child or someone in a hotter climate, maybe sport or baby yarns might be used).

 

The assembler also needs to specify finished size and colors (if applicable).

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Julie, what a great post! I have donated many squares and I totally agree with what others have posted. I like to know what kind of yarn, colors and size. As far as colors go, try to be as specific as possible. For example, if you say blue, do you only want shades of blue or is it okay to mix in something like soft white or white or whatever. :)

 

Coralie

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Because I'm guessing we're going to get a fair number of responses, I'm going to move your suggestions to my first post (so they'll be there and easy for all to see). Feel free to yell out if I've got something wrong, okay? :)

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I am wondering if there are restrictions on the types of yarn. I have seen some sites where they say only 100% acrylic. Is that standard? I have some peaches and cream cotton yarn that I thought I might use to make squares, but then I thought they might shrink and mess up the whole blanket. I have also read one site where they say no boucles (I am assuming then probably no fancy textures or fuzzy yarns either). I am looking through my stash and it seems like the only plain textured worsted weight yarn I have is the peaches and cream. I guess I can keep this in mind the next time I get yarn.

 

I haven't done this before, so I am wondering if there are any big "don'ts" I should be avoiding.

 

I haven't done any granny squares before. I have avoided afgans because I don't like long projects, but I am thinking I might do some squares.

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I am wondering if there are restrictions on the types of yarn. I have seen some sites where they say only 100% acrylic. Is that standard? I have some peaches and cream cotton yarn that I thought I might use to make squares, but then I thought they might shrink and mess up the whole blanket. I have also read one site where they say no boucles (I am assuming then probably no fancy textures or fuzzy yarns either). I am looking through my stash and it seems like the only plain textured worsted weight yarn I have is the peaches and cream. I guess I can keep this in mind the next time I get yarn.

 

Usually the person coordinating will specify what type of yarn to use, or at least they should. I ask to be sure before starting just to be safe if I can't find it noted anywhere, but it definitely can be different for each comfortghan requested.

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For the stitchers: measure your squares to ensure they are the size requested. I have in the past received squares that varied 1/2" either way of the size requested, which makes joining more time consuming and difficult.

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I agree with Smartcat. I, too, have put together more than a few comfyghans, and size is important! Putting on extra rows of edging is time comsuming for the assembler, plus the finished product doesn't look as nice, in my opinion.

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For the stitchers: measure your squares to ensure they are the size requested. I have in the past received squares that varied 1/2" either way of the size requested, which makes joining more time consuming and difficult.

 

some measuring tips:

 

* cloth measuring tape stretches with age. Lay the squares flat on a level surface and measure with a ruler instead.

* match the ruler with one row of stitches -- if you accidentally go diagonal, it'll say it's longer than it is.

* measure across the top, middle, and bottom of the square in both directions.

* don't forget that if the yarn is wool, you can block it to the proper size if it is off by a little bit.

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some measuring tips:

* cloth measuring tape stretches with age. Lay the squares flat on a level surface and measure with a ruler instead.

* match the ruler with one row of stitches -- if you accidentally go diagonal, it'll say it's longer than it is.

* measure across the top, middle, and bottom of the square in both directions.

 

These are great suggestions. I just found these tips and thought I'd add my own. :-) These are only my suggestions. Other assemblers may have others or may do things differently than I do. When in doubt, ask.

 

1) SIZE should be specified and as the other folks suggested, use a hard ruler not a flexible tape to measure.

2) Yarn - I personally ask for Worsted weight acrylic yarn. No wool because it washes differently and if the donater doesn't specify it could mess up an otherwise lovely ghan. I also accept baby squares of fingering or acrylic. These are easily identified from the worsted so they don't need to be marked.

3) VERY IMPORTANT. In fact, THE most important rule as far as I'm concerned. DO NOT knot ends and cut off at the knot. You must leave a suitably long strand at the beginning and end which is to be sewn/woven in several inches. I know there are some who frown on tying the ends, but I am not picky about this as long as you leave a long enough strand to sew it in afterwards. Tails must be woven in at least a couple inches. I suggest more. If you are uncertain how to do this, ask the assembler if you can leave them dangling for the assembler to sew. Sewing in ends is not something I love to do, but I'd rather take the extra time and know that it is done properly. We don't want holes to develop in a gift afghan. Others may feel the same.

Extra note: If you would like to leave a long (12" or more) strand at the end of your square, this can be used to join it later to another square. This is NOT required, but I personally find this helpful.

4) If you are asked for squares, donate squares, not octagons, hexagons, flowers or anything else though almost everyone would love a beautiful flower square. I am talking about the flower when it is not made into a square. Not everyone knows how to join these.

 

On this same point, make sure the squares are square. That means if they are supposed to be 12" make sure they are 12" on all sides, not 12" on one side and 11" on the other side, for example. A quarter inch either way is fine. That can be worked in.

5) Edges should be straight, not pretty picot edges and such. They're pretty but makes it more difficult to join.

 

6) Both granny squares and sampler squares usually work out well, but you might want to ask your coordinator to be sure. It's usually helpful if you can put a border around your sampler square. I would not say that is required, but just helpful to the assembler.

 

7) When making a granny square, please complete each round in one color. Do not change color in the middle of a round. In other words, do not have the entire square white and you run out of white, so you finish that round in green. If you don't have enough of one color to work a complete round, start that round with a new color.

 

8) If you are making squares that must go together into one ghan (such as squares where each contains a letter to spell out a word) it is helpful if you attach these together with a large safety pin or long strand of yarn. This will help the assembler. If you're uncertain they will know what the word is if the squares get jumbled, you might attach a card with the word written on it. I didn't have this problem, but someone else might.

 

Those are my suggestions for square makers. I have other suggestions for assemblers. Not sure if that is what this is for, but I will put them in a different post. If it's not right for this thread, perhaps the moderator will slap me over and move or delete it for me? :-) No offense will be taken I assure you.

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Here are the assembler tips. I wrote these for myself as a reminder of what to pay attention to as I'm joining.

1) Optimally, lay out all squares for one ghan so that colors can be pleasing to the eye. If this is not possible, at least try to get one row done at a time. What I do personally is lay it all out and put each row in a gallon bag marked with the row number. Sometimes I forget which end is which, but if I lay out one or two rows I can usually job my memory.

2) If you are joining with single crochet, please be sure your join is "leaning" in the same direction on all squares, rows, and columns.

3) If you are joining with a whipstitch, make sure you do it the same way throughout -- back loop only or both loops.

4) Make sure all your squares are the same size. Don't join a 4" square to a 6" square.

5) Make sure all squares that have a right and wrong side are joined on the right side

6) Leave a long strand when your join is complete (12" or so) as this might be able to be used for joining. I found this very helpful and was mad at myself when I'd forget to do it.

7) If the square ends with a short tail frog back a few stitches and rework to give enough of a tail to sew in. If the square has a knot on the end and is cut at the knot, the last round can usually be reworked using a shorter stitch or perhaps two rounds using additional yarn

Finally, remember the reason you are doing this. The folks you are assembling this ghan for have had some trouble in their life. Your ghan is supposed to give them comfort not more trouble. So make sure it stays together and looks as nice as you can make it.

 

Hope that helps someone. Likely I'll think of more things as time goes.

 

I have these and more info posted on my web site in the Squares 4 Survivors section.

 

And I really do refer to all these things as I do my own work. One of the main reasons I started a web site at all was because of my poor memory. I needed to have everything written down to help me remember.

 

Hope it helps someone else too.

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I want the ladies of our church to make an afghan to auction. I'm really not sure how many ladies I have who crochet but I know there are a few of us. We are getting ready to build a new church and are raising funds in a variety of ways. I thought this would be a great idea.

 

But I'm very new to this. I will be the one to assemble the afghan. The plan was to whipstitch it together. But I'd really like to single crochet it together as mentioned in the previous post. I am going to have everybody make their square with ecru Red Heart yarn so it would look great to SC the squares together with a contrasting color, perhaps hunter green.

 

How do I SC it together?

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How do I SC it together?

 

Hi! Tried to e-mail you privately but it wouldn't let me so I will answer here in brief and you can e-mail me if you have further questions.

 

I have a tutorial on joining with single crochet at Crochet Cabana using a scrap strip pattern.

 

Let me just quickly give you a few thoughts. If you have only a few ladies who crochet, one idea might be to give the ladies the pattern (you have my permission to print it out and use it for this purpose) and have them each make one strip (figure out a color scheme for it or do a scrap strip as shown). A strip is 300 rows but it goes really fast because the strips are not wide. You can do it all one color as you say, but keep in mind that unless you buy all the yarn at one place with the same dye lot, there will be a various in shades. Even in white there is variance as I just found out joining some white squares with my own white. It definitely showed that it was different.

 

If you choose to do the squares, keep in mind that you will need more squares than you think because joining it in sc takes up a little bit of each square. I'm not saying that is bad - just a caution that it might be smaller than you anticipate so to plan to make more squares.

 

Make sure your single crochets all lean in the same direction. I ripped out a few rows that were joined by others because one square faced one way and the other faced another way. They need to all be the same to have a quality finish.

 

I see the picture on the pattern is the first one before the edging. I need to update that, but I probably won't have time today. I'll see what I can do.

 

good luck with your project!

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Thank you, Sandie!

 

I do think we will go with squares. I want to have it ready by early December so that we can auction it at our Christmas Banquet. So I have plenty of time to decide on the way to put it together. Thanks for your tips!

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I am finding reading this thread rather interesting.

Here is something I do when making squares

Cut a piece of cardboard to the size required

For example cut a 7inch square of cardboard for a 7in crochet square

I find it so much easier than a tape measure

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I want to start a comfortghan so I was reading threw here to get some tips, as I have never put one together before. So far what I have found is very helpful. Thank you all.

 

I just have a few more questions. I'm thinking of joining the squares with black so was wondering if it is better to pick specific colors or if any colors would look nice with the black. Also should I pick only one square for it of a few? I'm just asking because of the number of stitches are around the border. I figure if the number of stitches are the same it is easyer to join.

 

Thanks

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This is a good idea to have standards for the ghans donated. I belong to a granny square exchange on another site and we have specific guidelines. One thing that would be good is to have a Crochetville standard so that if you just wanted to make some squares to be ready, you could then have some on hand for the next ghan needed. Say, all the small squares would be 8 inch and large squares would be 12 inch then you will always know what to expect and can work ahead if you want to. I like to make squares when I am on a long car ride, so I would know what size I should make. Also, I use a square template out of card stock to lay my square up against to check for size. I write on it ( 8 inch square) and just keep it in my bag. Squares should always be as close as possible to the requested size so they can be assembled easily. Also, ghans should be worsted weight acrylic yarn not cotton. All ends should be woven in. Attach your name and message in the center of the square if you are identifying your square. I also like the idea of a comfort ghan to be a smaller ghan to use on the couch or to cuddle up in. I think a ghan that is huge enough to fit a bed as a bedspread is too big for a "comfort ghan". It should be the thought that counts, and maybe someone wouldn't want to lug around a huge afghan. Just my opinion!!

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I use the SC to join squares myself as I think it is quicker than whipstitching. I like to lay out the entire afghan. Like this:

 

A B C D E

 

F G H I J

 

k L M N O

 

P Q R S T

 

I start at one end, P and Q for instance and, with wrong sides together, corchet those two squares together. Then, I take K and L, put the wrong sides together and SC those two together. Then F and G, then A and B.

I take the first strip and, starting at Q, join R with single crochet then continue with L to M, H to G, C to B.

 

I do this for the next two rows. Then, I start with O and T and crochet across that row. When I get to the first row of SC I slipstitch into it and continue the SC across the next square. This make a really pretty raised border. I finish up with a row of single crochet around the entire afghan and then a decorative row of sc in first sc and then triple crochet in next sc.

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I just love your micro preemie patterns. So cute!!!It's just sad these babies don't make it. I had problems at first about making them. But they deserve to look beautiful.To have a hand made outfit means someone took the time to make the parents of this baby feel that their child mattered.

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I don't know if I'm posting this in the appropriate forum....but, I have several squares that I would like to donate. They are made of Red Heart Super Saver yarn and I also have a couple of balls of that to donate, as well. I began making some squares a couple of years back from a sampler type book of patterns. I need to purge some of my stash ASAP. Is there anyone who might like to have these. I'm more than happy to mail them to someone. Please let me know. Thanks a bunch!

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I am finding reading this thread rather interesting.

Here is something I do when making squares

Cut a piece of cardboard to the size required

For example cut a 7inch square of cardboard for a 7in crochet square

I find it so much easier than a tape measure

 

I've always read and use a ruler or yard stick not tape measurer. Because they are firm and you get a more accurate measurement. I've read the suggestion of square, but find a ruler in my carry along bag is handier.

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I think it's better NOT to work ends in when donating to someone else for join. First, if the joiner work the yarn in when either edging or joining to another square; it's really not extra work. The only time I think it works best to work into the actual square before joining is if it's a lacy super open stitch. When you get squares with no tails you as the assembler really don't have a way of knowing how long the tail was, if it was cut.

 

There have been times when I received what appears to be a neat square/rectangle with ends tucked in to find as you're working with it, they've cut it and you have an inch which is never going to be sturdy or stay put together.

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