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If this is in the wrong place, please let me know.

Here's the story: I started this *pattern* over 40 years ago. I don't remember where I got it, but I do remember it was supposed to be a canopy for a tester bed. I wanted it to be a coverlet. I never finished the original start. Fast-forward to June 2017, and a friend started a group that meets at our library to knit and crochet. I brought an example of my 40-year-old work, and we figured out the pattern. 621 squares and lots of seaming later, I started trying to figure out what kind of border this thread crochet coverlet needed.

It's very poufy, and it needs a strong border to make it feel more stable. After trying various things, I decided that a relatively plain border would look best. I took off in single crochet, doing blo every third row and doing 3sc in each corner.

I'm on row 17, and figured I'd go to 20 or 21, with the last three all being blo. Now I've misplaced my 1.25mm crochet hook and can't continue until I find or replace it.

I figured that was a sign that I should ask for some advice. I know the item will have to be blocked, but I'm not sure that blocking will even out the poufy squares and the border that's tight, making the sides uneven in width and/or length.

Suggestions welcome. Since the crochet hook I was using apparently grew legs and walked off, I'm not totally averse to (waaah!) ripping all the border out and starting over.

lifetime project.jpg

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I don't have good news for you.  First, it's not the border.  Second and much worse, it's very unlikely to block out.  

These motifs are made in the round, so even though they are square they have to obey the rules of circle geometry.  There is a very specific ratio between circumference and diameter, and if you don't achieve the ratio, you will either have cupping (as you do), or ruffling.

The good thing about mild ruffling in cotton threadwork is that you can usually yank the ruffle out with blocking.  Ruffling happens when the  circumference is too big for the diameter, and you can usually stretch the diameter to achieve the right ratio for flatness.

The bad thing about any but the very mildest cupping is that it doesn't block out.  Cupping means that the circumference is too small for the diameter, so technically the fix is to shrink the middle.  

Your cupping is especially severe.  If you'd caught it on the first square, you might have been able to rip back and mitigate the problem but really at this point the only way to fix it and leave the squares sewn together is to cut out each middle and try to lace up the center and try  to make it look reasonably OK (when you rip from the beginning end of crochet, you end up with loops like live stitches in knitting; it's also a real pain to undo crochet from the start end because you have to pull the yarn thru each loop one loop at a time.  Let's put it this way, I'm pretty patient but have to think really hard to to choose between ripping and repairing all the middles versus ripping everything 100% apart and completely starting over.

The way to have fixed this on the first square:  like I said above, cupping happens when the circumference is too small for the diameter.  To fix this a little bit, you could have yanked the center as tight as possible to take a bit out the diameter (if you have never used an adjustable ring, it's a great thing--sometimes just opening or closing it a bit can fix or lessen laying flat issues).  You could have switched to shorter stitches, like HDC or SC versus DC, or you could have added to the stitch count.  Or a little bit of all those things.

edit - below pic was the start of a doily I made last year, when it got 'this bad' I ripped back and added a bunch of stitches because I knew it was already too far gone to block out at this early (and as yet mild) cupping state.  By the end of the doily I'd added 30 stitches!  I don't think it's because the pattern was wrong, just my stitch height tension was different from the designer's.

Boo Round 10.JPG

Edited by Granny Square

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Thank you, Granny Square. If I tighten up the center of each square, I'll reduce the width/length by approximately 5 and 6 inches, respectively. That might do it.

It's not too arduous a process, and I've worked on this too long--mentally and physically--to give up on it.

It's a good thing I'm patient.

Thanks again for your insights.

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You're welcome. 

Actually, the coverlet will be the same size  --  the squares' edges and solid outer edges appear to be nice and flat, and are going to stay exactly where they are when you remove enough excess rounds of fabric from the center of each square to make them flat.   You don't want to remove so much and yank the centers so tight that the squares ruffle (which is the only way they'd get smaller), then you'd have another problem.  You may end up with a bigger hole in the middle of each square, as well, since you are going to have to remove at least the first round, leaving you with the greater number of stitch bottoms from round 2 to work with; and if you have to remove more than just the first round (which looks to be likely), each round has more stitches than the prior one, and more stitches will end up with a bigger hole when you cinch it so it's flat.

Might not be a bad idea to make a test square the same way you did before, with a bubble, then cut out the middle and see how the repair goes before deciding whether to repair or rip/redo the blanket.  It's tricky and very easy to wreck something completely by a tiny false move when ripping from the 'wrong' end--better to ruin a test square to find out what not to do!  


Edited by Granny Square

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