Crochet trumps everything.

When I showed you the beginnings of my rumpled Tricolor Square (#35) from 200 Crochet Blocks, I received two types of comments, polar opposites in nature. Some people advised to continue crocheting the rest of the rounds, and that the square would lay flatter once more fabric was added. Others said that no matter the additional crocheting, blocking, steaming, or anything else, it would always pucker.

Only one way to find out!


Verdict: the square is definitely flatter than it was in its early stages, but not as flat as it could potentially be.

If I were to choose this motif for my swap submission, I would certainly use three colors, for starters. The long double crochets radiating from the border definitely add something. Plus, I might tweak the treble crochets in rows 1 and 2. These are the stitches which form the center flower, if you will, and they pucker the most. Substituting some of the component tcs with dcs might flatten things out, I’m guessing.

Alternatively I might choose another motif all together! Inspiration and enticement are never lacking over at the swap blog and the Flickr group.


Oops! I might have tried out two more patterns! Silly me! The top is Willow from 200 Crochet Blocks. It’s a gorgeous pattern, plus I think I picked very pretty colors for my swatch, which always helps :). I would happily crochet five of these and line the backs with some solid squares.

The bottom is motif #119 from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs. I mentioned earlier wanting to try it, and so I did! It’s a very interesting pattern to crochet, easy to up- and down-size (as written it comes out a tad small). It came out very pretty in photos, but I’m not sold on it in real life. It has a very mesh-like consistency, and looks sloppy up close. I’m not sure it’s the one.

And because I’m totally bananas, I bought more Tahki Cotton Classic (from left to right: 3456, 3723, and 3940). And crocheted yet another square (Primrose Square from 200 Crochet Blocks).


Don’t look too closely. This one has a ton of mistakes!

Apparently I’ve confused the point of the potholder and hot-pad swap. I have misunderstood its intention. I have convinced myself that the goal is to swatch as many motifs as possible, thereby completely overwhelming and over-complicating the choice-making process. Other deadline projects? One word: crochet. Crochet trumps everything.

Seriously. It’s time to get crackin’. I’ve got five potholders and five backings to crochet, and about a month to get it done. It’s decision time!


43 thoughts on “Crochet trumps everything.

  1. jess

    another comment you received a lot of the previous post on Tricolor was to try going up a hook size — did you try that as well? I’ve found in the past that I had to crochet certain blocks at a slightly more loose gauge to make them lay flat.

    I really love Tricolor and Willow has always been one of my favorite crochet blocks! I can’t wait to see what you end up making for the swap!

  2. Patsy

    Ooooh! I love the colors in that last one. Now I have to go and think what I can use those for.


  3. Donna

    I second the larger hook size comment. With some bulkier stitches, a looser gauge will help the puckerieness lay down better. You are doing great!

  4. Roo

    Willow is my favourite pattern from the whole book (and I’ve made a lot of squares). I could never get my tricolour to sit flat either.

  5. Kathryn

    Hi, Willow is definitely the nicest one – and the colourway you have used for it is really great! Good luck – I’ll be interested to see which you eventually choose…

  6. Hillary

    Well, you know my feelings on Willow since that was my choice but I really do think the Tricolor Square has potential. The Primrose Square was one that I tabbed to try and I really like it.

    I’m with you on the temptation to keep swatching squares and I’ve gotta warn you that one you start creating the potholders and changing up color combinations that temptation only gets worse – at least that’s what I’m finding.

  7. WendyBee

    I loooove your choices in pattern and in colors. I’m in the swap, who knows, maybe I’ll get one of yours! The best part though, is your sharing your choosing process with us—thanks!


  8. lauren

    oh interesting to see your results on 119 of beyond the square! I’ve been considering that one as well, but it does look awfully holey for a potholder. (oh hai I do everything at the last minute.)

  9. mai

    ooh the bottom two are PERFECT!!! i see no mistakes! and the one on the bottom right? i LOVE that color combo.

  10. Seanna Lea

    I just picked up Beyond the Square and some Tahki Classic yesterday, because I liked the look of the motifs. I think the ones I make for the swap will be circular, but I haven’t picked yet either!

  11. Lillie

    I wish they didn’t make you do five of the same pattern! For me, it would be so much more fun to choose five different things to try. Doesn’t look like you’re not having fun, though.

  12. punkin

    Your blocks are beautiful. I am inspired. I recently started crocheting, and I have decided that it is serious fun. I will put “200 Crochet Blocks” on my wish list. It makes me realize that there is fun just waiting to be discovered.

  13. Mary

    Seconding the “try a hook size up” comments. Especially since you’re using cotton, which as we all know can be a bugbear for elasticity.

    I have that book…and after seeing these I think I know what to do for Mother’s Day!

  14. April

    My favorite is the second motif in the blue yellow blue combination. I still have PTCD (Post Traumatic Crochet Disorder) from bad 1980’s crochet, so it’s not always easy to admit love of a crochet square =)

  15. beverly

    I’ve been going through the same thing–swatching is so much fun that I have yet to finish an entire potholder!

  16. Christie

    You are totally rockin’ the crochet! Which reminds me I need to get back to Helon! I really love the bottom two squares…especially those two greens with the burgundy border! So pretty! I think I need to buy a crochet squares book tonight…

  17. FiberDeviant

    oh! just found your site via the crafty cripple’s blog … i love your crochet motifs… what a great eye for color you have!

    absolutely beautiful!

  18. Teresa in Virginia

    In respect to the Tricolor Square, have you considered going up a hook size? This may very well resolve the puckering issue you seem to be having…

  19. Debbie

    Just beautiful! I just learned how to make a Granny Square, and I’m smitten. These books are on my list!

  20. Karen B.

    Tricolor wins, in my opinion. The subtle color radiating from the center is like an unfolding flower. Plus, the tc versus dc mods you made seem to give greater structure to the motif.

  21. Terri

    Tricolor is still absolute fav! Willow a nice second. Can’t wait to see… making me want to try crochet again.

  22. Myriam

    I am in the same boat you are. i have tried a few different potholders and none are up to par and so i still haven’t picked on to finally start! i can tell this will be down to the last week at this rate. then i will be going crazy trying to finish them. Who knew this could be such a hard choice. i sure didn’t, i figured i would be done way ahead of time! Good Luck and can’t wait to see what you pick. I like your Willow square and Tri-color looks good too, i think it would even out once it was put together with a backing.

  23. Diane in Northern CA

    Don’t you just LOVE Tahki Cotton Classic?!? I first discovered it in early 2005 just before our family took a trip to Greece. I wanted to take something to work on during our multi-week trip and thought that this would be a good choice (making something in Greece, using Greek fibers, for my Greek-American daughter……kind of silly sounding). It has been true love ever since.

    I’m going to have to explore crocheting with it now; a friend is weaving with it and creating a beautiful fabric. Thanks for sharing.


  24. Lisa

    Did you block the motifs? In the photos, they appear unblocked. The squares will lie flat once they are blocked. Most crochet motifs wave and pucker as you work them, but can be taught to behave with blocking.

  25. donna

    I am a knitter who has recently (within the last year) discovered crochet. I love all your potholders. Very inspiring!

  26. donna

    I am a knitter who has recently (within the last year) discovered crochet. I love all your potholders. Very inspiring!

  27. pat

    I always enjoy watching your progression through the options. Personally, I hate making swatches because I feel like I’ve wasted that effort and then I hate to, and don’t rip them out and then they lie (lay?) around taking up space, haunting my room.

    I started out as a crocheter because the right handed people in my life couldn’t teach this leftie to knit. I didn’t learn to knit until my then 8th grade daughter, also a leftie, learned in a middle school knitting club. At that point I kicked crochet “to the curb” and never looked back. Your squares are great!

  28. Shell

    I always thought the point of doing a swap is so that you can try new things that you wouldn’t normaly do?

  29. marie in florida

    fantastic color choices, thanks for showing us that.

    old folk like me think of crochet in shades of avacado, rust, and gold..70’s style; so it’s refreshing to see new colorways

  30. marie in florida


    if i can’t find something similar to # 119 in my vast and old library i may be moved to buy a book


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