Ok, here is another attempt at a crochet tutorial. As I've said many many times, my strengths lie in knitting not crochet, so I'll do my best attempt to make this as clear as I can. Also remember I use US crochet terminology.
You will need to convert the stitches should you not follow the US stitch terms. There are plenty of sites on the net that will give you this information. Also this is not a tutorial on how to do the stitches themselves, I will have to presume you have a basic knowledge of crochet. There are also plenty of great sites to learn crochet and You Tube is great for learning....or why not seek out a local class in your area or at your LYS or similar. Alternatively a book on crochet borrowed from the library will also be a great help....for those of us who still love a library!!
Firstly I am using 8 ply yarn and a 4mm hook. The yarn I am specifically using for this blanket and many many blankets before it is WOOLganic. It is the softest Australian organic merino yarn. For a long time it was out of production. Fortunately I had a large stash of it that I continued to use. The business has now been sold to new owners and is back in production. The wool is sublime. It is a little more expensive, but for crochet blankets, it is stunning, all soft and puffy and not itchy or scratchy....all the colours compliment each other so beautifully. The only downside if there is one, is that the navy blue is deleted. The upside is that it has been replaced with a slate grey, which I'm using as the border to this blanket.
Ok here we go. The Squircle Blanket Tutorial.....justly named as it's a circle in a square!!
Firstly do 4 chain stitches in your first colour.
Slip stitch to form a loop....and then do 4 chain stitches which will count as your first treble stitch.
Next you will need to crochet a further 11 treble stitches into the centre circle and there are no chain stitches in between each treble, so finish one treble and go straight into the next treble. Then fasten with a slip stitch and then you'll be changing colours if you so choose.
Next slip stitch your next colour in between two of the treble stitches and do 2 chains to act as one of your first double stitches.
Then do a second double crochet stitch into the same space. There will be two double crochet stitches in each space, then do one chain stitch and then in the next treble stitch space do two double stitches, then one chain and go right around till you have two double crochets in each space and fasten with a slip stitch and cut the yarn.
Now you are going to join the 3rd colour in the row below where the space is made by the single chain. Again join in with a slip stitch and crochet 2 chains to form the first double crochet stitch.
Into the same space crochet 2 further double crochet stitches, as if if you were doing a traditional granny square.
This time there is no chain stitch in between each group of 3 double stitches. Once you've done one set of 3 doubles into the space go straight onto your next set and keep working around in the spaces created by the single chain stitch in the 2nd row till you've back at the start and secure with a slip stitch.
Now you're done with the circle, and we'll begin the border, but firstly I like to neaten up the back of the circle first. I don't crochet in the ends myself...I like to stitch them in. Here is an example of how I sew ends into a crochet circle, it may just help you. The only thread I leave out at the moment is the last thread of the last crochet row....I sew this thread in last after the first border row.
All ends are sewn in at the back nice and neat.
Alright, now we're going to start the border of the circle.....the square part. Taking your border colour and using a slip stitch join in at the space between two sets of double crochets in the previous row, then two chains to form the first double crochet stitch.
Then do two more double crochet stitches in the same place....now you're basically doing granny squares....your just going to be creating corners to change your circle into a square.....A Squircle to be exact!!
Once done, just do another 3 double stitches into the next space between the stitches in the previous row, with no chain in between, just straight into your next 3 doubles as pictured below.
Now for the first corner....another 3 double stitches into the next space and then 2 chains to create the corner.
Then another 3 double crochets into the same corner.....first corner done.
Continue around, repeating what you have just done, and join with a slip stitch on completion of the square, but this time don't cut your yarn. Your square will look a little wonky, but the next row will see it straighten out, and then once it's joined into the blanket, it will straighten up even more so....and then there is the blocking on completion!!
Now the next row of grey. Slip stitch in through the next two loops on top of the square, this just moves you a little further to the next gap to commence your next row of grey.
Now do one more slip stitch in through the hole between the two sets of double crochets in the previous row, where you will commence your next row and then do 2 chains which will be your first double crochet stitch for your 2nd row of grey.
Do two further double stitches, and then follow the instructions of the first grey row, and do your second row of grey, remembering only do 2 chains at the corners. 2nd row done....again don't cut the yarn.
Next, slip stitch along again into the next space as I mentioned prior, ready to commence your 3rd row of border and then also you will commence joining this square into the blanket. Follow the process of the previous 2 rows of border and crochet through to the first corner, ready to join your square into your work. I have already completed this blanket, apart from this one square, the process will always be the same for joining your work as you go. Join from the corner on the right square you're working on to the left corner of the completed work. This will also be the same for the first square to square when you commence a blanket..the process is always the same. The reason why I'm showing you the last square is so I can show you how to join the first corner and the middle corner where the 4 squares meet.
Crochet 1 chain stitch at the corner. Have your blanket or square ready to join.
Your hook now should be put through the corner of the adjoining square from front to back and pull your yarn through the corner hole.
Once you've pulled the yarn through, just slip it through the back stitch on your hook to leave 1 stitch and you're joined in!!....It's just a slip stitch.
Now do 1 chain stitch and then to finish the corner off, crochet back into your corner of your square you're joining in and complete 3 double crochet stitches......first corner done......Yeah!!
Ok next is completing the sides of the square to join together.....easy peasy. Crochet one chain stitch then going through the gap in the adjoining square from front to back pull the yarn through and do a slip stitch just like we did at the corner.
So you've now crocheted the second join do 1 chain stitch and then you go back into your square you are joining in and then do your 3 double crochets in the next space.
Getting there...so again now 1 chain, slip stitch into the adjoining square and then chain 1 again
You'll be now slip stitching across to the corner of the square on the diagonal....basically where my finger is pointing and the crochet hook is going through front to back.
After you've joined with the slip stitch, chain one, then back into the square you're joining in, do 3 double crochet stitches to complete your corner.
Continue down the length of the 2 squares joining these together until you get to the corner again.
After your last 3 double stitches, chain 1 stitch, slip stitch through the front to back in the last corner, chain one, and you're heading for home. Continue to just crochet as you would a granny square because you've joined your square in on the 2 sides.
Done and dusted, kippers and custard!! Join with a slip stitch. If you are going to continue around the whole blanket as I am with 3 double crochet stitches, you don't need to cut the yarn....just slip stitch across to the next space between the doubles and go from there.....I did get a bit excited and snipped off my yarn, but I'm going to neaten up any extra ends first and then get ready for a plain and simple border.
I often get asked when I join the two squares together why I chain 1 then slip stitch into the adjoining square then chain 1 stitch again.....a lot of crocheters just slip stitch into the adjoining square without doing any chains when they join as they go.....If you look at the pic below, you will notice where the squares are joined there is now some elasticity created by the chains....leaving out the chains in my personal opinion leaves the squares to tightly joined....this is just me and my preference....every one does things differently, but I like there to be some extra stretch in the blanket and by doing the chains it helps....you'll also notice the difference when it's blocked as well. I also think it sort of slightly disguises the joins, again this will be more noticeable, or not as the case may be when the blanket is blocked!!....again my opinion!
Now the border.....I'm going to leave this up to you, but as mentioned, just a basic double crochet border for now, I may add some little pattern on the edging I'll see what it looks like when done.....it may not need anything.
As I always say with any project, always drop your hook size down by half when doing a border.....this stops that too many stitches or wavy look that I see time and time again....if you want that look that is fine, but by decreasing your hook size, this alleviates this problem, if it ain't the look you're after!!
Your border will be tight, but it will stretch out once blocked.
So just quickly before I go just with the border below, I always put my double crochet in the joining space where my finger is pointing.
Once I've crocheted over it, and moved on a few stitches....I'm not sure how many times I'll go around this blanket, but I'll work on that and go with my gut feel...but any border would look great I'm sure.
Size wise this blanket had 20 squares in it and it was 4 x 5 squares. It's finished size ended up 27 x 32 inches, if that helps after completion of the border. You'll find out about the border here
I hope you get something out of this tutorial and I haven't waffled on too much.
Happy crocheting everyone and I hope I didn't confuse the pants off you!!.