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Isla’s Afghan Block
Radiating Moss Stitch Rectangle
Crochet Pattern in US Terminology by Cheryl Dee Floyd
These blocks are the appropriate size to be donated to Warm Up America! https://warmupamerica.org/make/
Using two yarn balls throughout, this rectangle is worked from the center out in moss stitch (aka granite stitch or linen stitch) and is completely reversible. Colors alternate every row. In this project, you will join in the corners, flip the piece over, and work in the opposite direction for each round. No ugly seam and no “swirling”!
This pattern is sized for an afghan block 7” x 9” (18 cm x 23 cm). The companion pattern, which includes instructions for both this afghan block and a baby blanket, is available in my Etsy shop. The blanket measures approximately 38” x 48” (97 cm x 122 cm).
Scroll to the worksheet at the bottom of this page to calculate the foundation chain for any size of rectangle, from a bookmark to a table runner to a blanket.
Skill Level. Intermediate. The first few rounds are a bit fiddly, but don’t get discouraged. Once you get the hang of it, the pattern becomes quite obvious and easy. You’ll be glad you stuck with it.
Techniques. Magic circle, single crochet, chain, slip stitch, working from center out, standing single crochet, working in joined rounds, joining in corners, changing colors at joined corners, managing two separate yarn balls, using multiple stitch markers, and needle join. Upgrade to the premium version in my Etsy shop for detailed photos.
Yarn for one block. Approximately 1.1 oz / 57 yds (31 g / 52 m) medium weight (#4) yarn, using approximately half that amount in each of two colors. In photo: (left) Red Heart Super Saver in White and Pretty in Pink and (right) Caron Simply Soft in White and Pistachio.
Tools. I-9 (5.5 mm) hook, yarn needle, scissors, and 2 locking stitch markers.
Gauge. 15 sts and 15 rows in 4” (10 cm) of moss stitch
Abbreviations. ch – chain; NJ – needle join; rep – repeat; rnd – round; RS – right side; sc – single crochet (UK – double crochet); sk – skip; sp – space; st(s) – stitch(es); WS – wrong side.
Counting stitches. When counting moss stitch (sc, ch 1, sk 1), always count every sc and every chain as distinct stitches. Include corner stitches in stitch counts. Table below shows counts through Round 9.
Managing two balls of yarn. You’ll be working with two balls of yarn for this project. To keep the balls untangled, be consistent with how you’re turning (flipping) the piece at the beginning of each round. All A-colored rounds are even-numbered and worked with the RS facing and all B-colored rounds are odd-numbered and are worked with the WS facing.
Managing stitch markers. You’ll be working with 2 locking stitch markers in this project, as you’ll need to keep live loops from unraveling between rounds. Use 2 different colors of marker, one for the even rounds (marker A) and the other for the odd rounds (marker B).
A third marker will be used to mark the right side of the project. For this one, use a scrap of contrasting yarn and leave it in place throughout the entire project.
Foundation Row, Color A, RS
Foundation Row. Fsc 7 (or your desired number from the worksheet below). Remove hook from loop and place locking stitch marker A into live loop to keep it from unraveling. Tie contrasting scrap of yarn somewhere in middle of this row to mark RS. 7 fsc. Upgrade to the premium version in my Etsy shop for detailed photos.
Foundation single crochet (fsc)
Step 1. (This method is non-standard, but it works well for this design.) Instead of starting with a slip knot, start with magic circle, ch 1, sc loosely in ring. Working into side of sc just made, insert hook under 2 strands, yarn over, pull through, yarn over again, pull through 1 loop to make a chain, yarn over, pull through both loops. (First fsc made.) Upgrade to the premium version in my Etsy shop for detailed photos.
Step 2. *Insert hook under two strands of previous fsc, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through 1 loop, yarn over, pull through both loops; rep from * to desired number of sts. Pull on yarn tail to close magic circle.
Rnd 1, Color B, WS
Turn (flip) the piece over and work on the opposite end from the marked stitch.
Corner #1 start. Work along bottom of fsc row, between stitches (under 3 loops). With new color, work standing sc in fsc at unmarked end of foundation row to form first part of Corner #1. (Remainder of corner will be completed at the end of this rnd.) If desired, place stitch marker B in sc just worked.
Standing sc. With slip knot on hook, insert hook into place indicated, yarn over, pull up loop, yarn over, pull through both loops.
Side #1 (long). Continuing along bottom of foundation row, ch 1, sk 1 fsc, *sc in next fsc, ch 1, sk 1 fsc, rep from * across.
Corner #2. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in last fsc to complete Corner #2.
Side #2 (short). No stitches this round.
Corner #3. Ch 2. Place working strand of Color A in front of piece and marked loop in back of piece. Sc again in same place to complete Corner #3.
Side #3 (long). Still working on WS, rotate piece clockwise. (Do not flip piece over.) Working between stitches, ch 1, sk 1 fsc, *sc, ch 1, sk 1 fsc; rep from * across. Bottoms of sts will occupy same location as sc sts already worked along Side #1. Upgrade to the premium version in my Etsy shop for detailed photos.
Corner #4. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in last fsc to complete corner #4.
Side #4 (short). No stitches this round.
Corner #1 finish. Ch 1, join with sc in standing sc. Remove hook and place stitch marker B in live loop. Corner #1 is now complete. 10 sc, 13 chs, 1 joining sc.
ROUND 2, COLOR A, RS
Corner #1 start (Helix Start). Do not chain up. Flip piece over to work on RS and rotate it to locate marked loop at opposite end of rectangle. Position the piece so the marked loop is at top and facing you. Insert hook from back to front in same corner ch-2 sp.
Locate working yarn on the back of the piece, bring working yarn over to front of piece and wrap it around hook. Pull yarn through to back of piece, being careful not to pull too tightly (one loop on hook).
Working yarn will now be in front of piece. Remove stitch marker B from marked loop and insert hook into this loop. Two loops on hook and working yarn is between them. Yarn over with working yarn and pull through both loops. First corner is now partly finished. It will be completed at the end of this round. If desired, place stitch marker B in sc just made. Upgrade to the premium version in my Etsy shop for detailed photos.
Side #1 (short). Ch 1, sk 1 sc.
Corner #2. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp.
Side #2 (long). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc over ch-space and into unworked fsc of foundation row (work under 3 horizontal loops), ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to next corner.
Corner #3. As in Corner #3 of Rnd 1, move working strand of previous round in front and to the left and marked stitch of previous round in back and to the left, then sc in corner sp, ch 2. Move working strand of previous round to the right and in front. Move marked stitch of previous round to the right and in back. Sc again in same corner ch-2 sp. Flip piece over to make sure marked stitch is in back and between both sc sts of corner. Flip back over to continue.
Side #3 (short). Ch 1, sk 1 sc.
Corner #4. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in next corner ch-2 sp.
Side #4 (long). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc over ch-space and between fsc sts of foundation row in same holes as sc sts of Side #2, ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to next corner.
Corner #1 finish. Sc in corner sp, ch 1. Remove stitch marker B. Sc to join in first sc. Remove hook and place stitch marker B in live loop. 14 sc, 17 chs, 1 joining sc.
Suggestion: After working a few rounds, weave in tails of both colors. This makes it easier to manage two yarn balls
ROUND 3, COLOR B, WS
Corner #1 start. Work Corner #1 using helix start procedure as in Rnd 2.
Side #1 (long). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to next corner.
Corner #2. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp.
Side #2 (short). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to corner, as necessary.
Corner #3. Work this corner as in Rnd 2.
Side #3 (long). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to next corner.
Corner #4. (Sc, ch 2, sc) in next corner ch-2 sp.
Side #4 (short). Ch 1, sk 1 sc, *sc in ch-1 sp, ch 1, sk 1 sc, repeating from * to corner, as necessary.
Corner #1 finish. Work as in Rnd 2. Remove hook and place stitch marker B in live loop. 18 sc, 21 chs, 1 joining sc.
RNDS 4 THROUGH 14
Work as Rnd 3, flipping and rotating piece to start each new round at corner where marked loop from previous round is located. Alternate between Colors A and B on each round. Stitch count increases by 4 sc and 4 chs on each round. Side #1 alternates between long and short lengths on each round. Even numbered rounds are Color A. Finish last round before border with a needle join.
Needle join (NJ). Remove hook from live loop. Cut working yarn 8” from hook, pull out of last st. Thread end through yarn needle. Insert yarn needle front to back under both top loops of stitch indicated. Pull tail through to back. Insert needle front to back, under back loop only, through last st of rnd (from which working yarn emerges). Weave in ends.
With Color B, work helix start, *2 sc in every ch-space to next corner, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp; rep from * 3 more times, omitting last corner. To finish first corner, sc in same ch-2 space as helix start, ch 1, join with slip stitch or needle join. Cut both yarn colors and weave in all ends.
DETERMINING FOUNDATION CHAIN FOR ANY SIZE OF RECTANGLE
- Determine desired dimensions, both length and width. Example: 7” x 9” (18 cm x 23 cm) for a rectangular afghan block.
- Subtract desired width of rectangle from desired length of rectangle. That number is the length of the foundation chain. Example: 9” – 7” = 2” (23 cm – 18 cm = 5 cm).
- Using desired yarn and hook, make a gauge swatch of at least 6 inches x 3 inches (15 cm x 8 cm) in moss stitch (sc, ch 1). This swatch is worked back and forth in rows, not in rounds. Do not use the foundation chain as a guide, as doing so will give an incorrect calculation. I did this and discovered well into the project that my foundation chain had shrunk by 2”. Suggested gauge swatch:
- Fsc 31 or any odd number (see instructions in box on page 3), turn.
- Ch 1, sc in first fsc, *ch 1, sk 1 fsc, sc in next fsc; rep from * across, turn.
- Ch 1, sc in first sc, sc in ch-space, *ch 1, sk 1 sc, sc in next ch-space; rep from * to last st, sc in last sc, turn.
- Ch 1, sc in first sc, *ch 1, sk 1 sc, sc in next ch-space; rep from * to last 2 sts, ch 1, sk 1 sc, sc in last sc, turn.
- Rep c and d until piece is at least 3 inches (8 cm) tall.
- Count number of stitches in 4 inches (10 cm). Sc and ch count as separate stitches. For this project, it is not necessary to measure the number of rows. Calculate sts per inch by dividing number of sts in 4 inches (10 cm) by 4 (10).
- Multiply sts per inch by desired length of foundation chain. That is the number of foundation chains you will need. The foundation chain will need to be an odd number of stitches, so round up or down as needed.
RECTANGLE FOUNDATION CHAIN WORKSHEET
|Sample Afghan Block||Your Project|
|G (gauge from swatch)||15||stitches in 4 in (10 cm)|
|S (stitches per inch/cm)||3.75||gauge per 4 in (10 cm) / 4 (10)|
|L (desired length)||9||in (cm)|
|W (desired width)||7||in (cm)|
|D (difference of L minus W)||2||in (cm)|
|Foundation chain (S x D)||7.5->7||stitches, rounded to nearest odd number.|
This pattern has been fully tested and professionally edited. Nevertheless, if you find any errors, please let me know so I can correct them.
Enjoy your creativity!
Denise Thomas’ Test Project – Baby Lovey
1) Test Results for Isla’s Blanket
2) Gauge – 18 sts per 4 inches
3) Photo(s) of your gauge swatch
4) Photos attached
5) 12” x 18”
6) Stylecraft Special dk, 100% acrylic, colorway is graphite and citron
7) Clover 7, 4.5 mm
9) Pattern difficulty – 3
10) Notes – really don’t have any corrections. I would have preferred the foundation row to be round 1 even though not worked as a “round”. My foundation row was loose, but I use this technique and since familiar with it may have been more relaxed. Could add a note to start this with smaller hook.
Thank you, Denise!
Dawn Eckel’s Test Project 1 – Changing Pad
2. Gauge of swatch and project is 20 per 4 inches
3. Photo(s) of your gauge swatch is posted above in previous comments
4. Photo(s) of your finished rectangle is attached
5. Finished measurements of your project 14 x 24
6. Yarn brand is Never Enough Acrylic Colorway is Petunia and Seafoam
7. Hook size used 4.25
8. Date started August 4 date completed August 7
9. Pattern difficulty (0 to 5) 2
10. Notes – I did notice that sometimes it tended to buckle in the corner, so I made sure my stitching was loose on the two chains. Tension is difficult to maintain for me due to adaptations, but for a person without a disability can do fine on the FSC portion. I had to recruit help.
Dawn Eckel’s Test Project 2 – Masculine Dresser Skirt
1. Test Results for Isla’s Blanket
2. Blanket pattern modified as a dresser skirt for my husband
3. Gauge of swatch and project is 16 per 4 inches
4. Photo(s) of your gauge swatch was not made on this one
5. Photo(s) of your finished rectangle is attached
6. Finished measurements of your project due to FCS being adapted to 25 is approx. 18 x27
7. Yarn brand is Red Heart Acrylic Colorway is Royalty and Medium Royal (The reason they were less contrasting is to give it a less feminine, more masculine effect.)
8. Hook size used 4.5
9. Date started August 11 date completed August 12
10. Pattern difficulty (0 to 5) 2
11. Notes – I did modify the corners to give it a more defined sharpness and boxed effect. I noticed it laid flatter as well. Because my husband tends to hate corners that are not as rounded. The modification was sc 3ch sc.
Thank you, Dawn!