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FREE CAL PATTERN: Buffalo Check (Gingham) 12″ (30.5 cm) Square Afghan Block


Scroll down for the FREE version of this pattern, right here on this page!

Please visit my Etsy shop for an expanded, ad-free, PDF download that you can print.
Or purchase the entire pattern bundle of all 24 designs here.

Click here to watch this project demonstrated in a free video.

I’m honored to be included as one of 24 designers in the Tunisian Blanket CAL 2022, hosted by Arunima Goel of This pattern is number 13 of 24 patterns that are being released throughout 2022. Thank you so much for inviting me, Arunima!

This 12” (30.5 cm) “buffalo check” square in three colors is perfect for shawls, bags, blankets, pillow covers, etc. This color configuration is also called “gingham.” This is not a corner-to-corner pattern. Rather, small squares are worked in vertical strips, joining each strip to the one before. This Tunisian simple stitch project can be completed with a regular crochet hook. A Tunisian hook is not required. The border is worked in moss stitch (aka linen stitch).

Skill Level. Intermediate.

Techniques. Chain, slip stitch, single crochet (UK double crochet), Tunisian simple stitch, changing yarn colors, moss stitch, joining as you go, and managing two yarn balls.

Size. 12” x 12” (31 cm x 31 cm).

Yarn. Approximately 2.2 oz / 115 yds (62 g / 105 m) of medium (#4) weight yarn. This design works best with three solid colors…a dark, a medium, and a light version of the same hue. Image A: Red Heart Super Saver in Royal, Delft Blue, and Light Blue. [Expanded pattern in my Etsy shop shows an additional sample made with different colors.]

Hook(s). I-9 (5.5 mm) regular crochet hook. [Expanded pattern in my Etsy shop shows an additional sample, made using a different hook size.

Use whatever size hook enables you to achieve the correct gauge.

Other tools. Scissors and tapestry needle.

Gauge (tension). 14 sts and 14 rows in 4” (10 cm) of Tunisian Simple Stitch.

IMPORTANT! In order to accomplish a perfect square, with the same number of stitches as rows, you may need to make an adjustment to your customary Tunisian crochet tension. For this pattern, avoid TSS stitches that are taller than they are wide.

To achieve the appropriate shape, use a snug tension on the forward pass and a slightly looser tension on the return pass. Using a smaller hook helps to keep the vertical bars from becoming too tall. Pull the return pass stitches just a little wider than normal. (See photo below.)

Free Video Tutorial for Proper Tension Technique

Please watch this free video tutorial for the Simple Tunisian Coasters, in order to better understand and practice the correct gauge for making the same number of stitches as rows. .

Skip ahead to 1:27.(Keep in mind that Row 1 of this pattern and Row 1 of the Coasters are worked into different loops of the beginning chain.)

Click here to read more about gauge/tension in my Tunisian crochet patterns.

Abbreviations. ch chain; NJ – needle join; ret – return; sc single crochet (UK – double crochet); st(s) stitch(es); TSS Tunisian Simple Stitch.


Counting the first loop. In Tunisian crochet, the single loop already on the hook at the beginning of the forward pass counts as the first stitch of the row. We never insert the hook under the vertical bar at the very edge of the work.

Tunisian Simple Stitch Instructions:

Forward Pass. (Insert hook, from right to left*, under next vertical bar, yarn over, pull up loop, keep loop on hook), repeating across row as many times as specified in pattern. *This will be opposite for left-handed crocheters.

Forward Pass Last Stitch. Insert the hook under both vertical strands of the last stitch along the edge, before yarning over and pulling up a loop.

Return Pass First Stitch. Yarn over, pull through 1 loop to form a chain.

Return Pass Remaining Stitches. (Yarn over, pull through 2 loops) repeating until only 1 loop remains on hook.

Strip 1

(Dark, medium, dark, medium, dark)

Foundation chain. With A, ch 7 loosely.

Square 1 (Dark)

Row 1. Keep loops short for proper gauge. Insert hook into back loop of 2nd ch from hook, yarn over, pull up loop, keep both loops on hook, *insert hook into back loop of next ch, yarn over, pull up loop; rep from * to end of row, keeping all loops on hook.

Ret: Keep return sts wide for proper gauge. Yarn over, pull through 1 loop to make a short chain, (yarn over, pull through two loops) 5 times (2 loops on hook), turn piece to wrong side, attach B to 6th chain of beginning ch with single knot, turn piece to right side, carry B while completing last ret st with A.

Note on working in back loops. Many patterns state to work into the back bump of the foundation chain. However, in this pattern, you work into the back loops as the chain faces you, not the back bumps. This is in preparation for the first border round, which will be worked as modified single crochet stitches along two of edges of the square.

Row 2. TSS forward across all sts; ret as in Row 1.

Rows 3 through 7. Repeat Row 2 five more times to make 7 rows, using medium color for last yarn over of 7th row.

Square 2 (Medium). Continuing with medium color, repeat Row 2 of Square 1, 7 times, carrying the dark color under the last yarn over of each return row and using the dark color for last yarn over of 7th row,

Hint on managing yarn balls. On the last stitch of each return row, leave the last 2 loops on the hook, flip the piece over in a complete circle (like a Ferris wheel), with the hook as the fulcrum. Then, twist the two colors of yarn and work the final yarn over. This will keep your yarn balls from getting tangled.

Square 3 (Dark). Repeat Square 2, using dark color and carrying up medium color.

Squares 4 and 5. Repeat Squares 2 (medium) and 3 (dark). On Square 5, medium color should still be carried up, for a uniform appearance on back.

Closing the last row. Instead of working the bind off row now, cut the yarn and weave in the ends. The final row on all strips will be closed as part of the border.

Strip 2

(Medium, light, medium, light, medium)

Foundation chain. With medium color, pull up loop in 7th ch of foundation ch of Strip 1, tie yarn tails in knot to secure, then ch 7.

Square 1 (Medium)

Row 1. Working in back loops, of foundation ch, pull up loop in next 6 chains, keeping all 7 loops on hook, insert hook into back 2 loops (back loop and 3rd loop) of stitch on edge of Row 1/Strip 1, yarn over, pull up loop (8 loops on hook).

Ret. *yarn over, pull through 2 loops; rep from * until only 2 loops remain. Attach light color to back of foundation chain with a slip knot and then carry it while working last stitch.

Pull up loop from under back loop and third loop.
Click here to watch video demonstration of entire project.

Rows 2 through 7. Repeat Row 1six more times, carrying yarn within last st of each row and switching to new color on last st of 7th row.

Squares 2 through 5. Continue as for Square 1, alternating colors in this sequence: medium, light, medium, light, medium.

Strips 3 through 5

Repeat, using the method from Strip 2, but using the color sequences of Strip 1, then Strip 2, then Strip 1 again. After working last square of the last strip, cut carried yarn only and keep dark color on hook.


Border Round 1.

Side 1. Continuing with dark color, ch 1 (counts as a st), modified sc in every st to corner, work a regular sc in the space between the last vertical bar and the edge stitch, ch 1. 35 sts, 1 ch.

Modified single crochet. Insert hook, from right to left*, under vertical bar and under horizontal strands just to the left*, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through both loops. *This will be opposite for left-handed crocheters.

Side 2. Sc in end of first row (same st as last st of Side 1) and in end of every row to corner, ch 1. 35 sts, 1 ch.

Side 3. Sc in same st and modified sc in every st to corner, ch 1. 35 sts, 1 ch.

Side 4. Sc in both back loops of first st and every st to corner, ch 1. NJ in first sc. 35 sts, 1 ch.

Needle Join (NJ). Remove hook from live loop. Cut working yarn about 8” (20 cm) from hook, pull out through last stitch, and thread through yarn needle. Insert yarn needle from front to back under both top loops of stitch indicated. Pull tail through to back. Insert yarn needle from front to back, under back loop only, through last stitch of round (from which working yarn emerges). Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Border Round 2. Pull up loop in any corner ch-2 space, ch 1 (does not count as st), (sc, ch 2, sc) in same corner ch-2 sp, *ch 1, skip 1, (sc in next st, ch 1, skip 1); rep ( to ) to next corner**, (sc, ch 2, sc) in corner ch-2 sp; rep from * 3 more times, ending last rep at **, NJ in first sc. 39 sts, 2 chs each side.

Border Round 3. Repeat Round 2. 41 sts, 2 chs each side.

Border Round 4. Pull up loop in any corner ch-2 space, ch 1 (counts as sc), sc again in same corner, *2 sc in every ch-1 sp to next corner**, 3 sc in corner; rep from * 3 more times, ending last rep at **, sc again in first corner, NJ in first sc, not in ch-1. 41 sts each side.

Enjoy your creativity!

This pattern has been professionally edited and fully tested.


Claire Harrison 1
Claire Harrison 2
Maria Partington
Muqaddas Oripova
Nikki Broadus
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