As most of you know, Crochet Partners is a huge on-line group of crocheters from around the world. Every once in a while, we find out about a member who has had a tragic event occur in their lives, so we have a small group of ladies (at this time, no men are doing this) who assemble comfortghans that we can send to them when they need a hug. Different people assemble different sizes of squares, so no matter what pattern you have or want to try out, there is someone who is working with that size. You can find out more about the Comfortghan Project here - http://home.earthlink.net/~
There are some challenges for the assemblers because everyone's gauge is different. For example, my square calls for using an I hook, and the one you are crocheting is using a G or H. Ok! Obviously, you will have more stitches on your final round than I do. I have found an assembly method that will take that into consideration and make a nice join.
The real challenge is when we receive a square that is not the proper size. I think one of the problems may be that people don't know how to measure a square and what to do when it's not quite the right size. So, I'm going to pass on some hints that I've learned over the years.
First: Measuring. Lay your square on a hard flat surface, desk, tv tray, coffee table, etc. Use a hard ruler, wood, metal, or plastic. No measuring tape! Measure across the middle of the square from both directions. If the measurement is correct, e.g, 8", then finish off, tie in your ends, and mail it to me. But, let's say it is not quite up to the size, then it needs to be enlarged.
Second: To increase the size of any square, rows can be added after the final round of the pattern. If you need 1 more inch, do a row of hdc (half double crochet) around, then measure again. If that is too much, then try a row of sc. Most of the time I have found that if I need 1/2" I use sc, 1" hdc, 1 1/2", dc. They will not ever be perfect, but when they are being combined with squares made by 30 other people, the closer to correct size, the better. Anything with a variance of more than 1/4" needs to be adjusted, and if I have to do the adjusting, then it's not just your square anymore.
If your square is only 7", mail it to the person who is using 7" squares. We all need squares! I'm just more vocal than some of the other assemblers.
Third: Finishing. I find it much easier to assemble the squares when there is a ch2 in each corner. That way the corner on every square is clearly defined and there is no guessing on my part where the corner is. I learned many years ago, that when weaving in loose ends, to work them back into the fabric away from the edges. It makes for a neater edge, and since the center of the fabric gets less wear, it is less likely that an end will work its way undone. Thanks Mom, for that bit of advice.
Fourth: Thank you, thank you, thank you to each of you wonderful crocheters who share your talent and love with those who need it. Without you, there would be no Comfortghan Project.