Counting, Blocking, and Adding (or not)

It is so exciting to see everyone’s center blocks grow through beautiful pictures posted on the CAL – Crochet Along group on Facebook and Around-the-Bases CAL group on Ravelry.  It looks like most people are off to a good start but there are a few questions that occasionally pop up that I wanted to address this week.


Throughout this CAL, unless otherwise noted, we will be counting stitches between one chain space (Ch Sp) to the next Ch Sp. For example, the following has 21 stitches per side.  Corner chains are not counted as part of the stitch count for this CAL.

Stitch count_edited-1

The patterns have been tested by several wonderful testers (see their beautiful center blocks here), along with the stitch counts at the end of each inning.  However, stitch counts have not been verified for each row.  So if you know you followed the pattern to the t and your stitch count did not match for any given row, please do not frog your work.  Proceed with the pattern and the stitch count should be correct at the end of the inning.

Speaking of testers, check out Isabelle’s blog here.  She brought her beautiful ATB afghan along to her world travel this past week and even survived hours of making sc’s for the 13th inning.


Blocking Enchanted GardenI recommended blocking the center block before starting the 1st inning.  Although blocking is not all that essential for afghans, it does allow the subsequent stitches to show their beauty and it is easier to spot any errors on blocked ATB than on unblocked ATB.

For example, everyone’s blocks should be laying relatively flat at the end of the 3rd inning.  The corners may look tight and even pointy as we added quite a few stitches in the 3rd inning.  But if your afghan is wavy or wonky, you probably want to check your stitch count (you should have added a total of 43 stitches to your base block, per side, after completing the 3rd inning).  If that is correct, check your crochet tension, especially Row 6 (where you made popcorns) and Rows 8 and 9 (sc rows), from the 2nd inning.  Throughout the CAL, your afghan should lay relatively flat without bulging and rippling and should not look too wavy or wonky.

Here is my Enchanted Garden, looking pretty after being wet blocked.  (If you are new to blocking, check out this great tutorial on how to wet block byTamara Kelly of Moogly.  You can also google “steam block”.)

Blue Enchanted Garden

Yarn: DMC Natura Just Cotton in ibiza, blue layette, blue jeans, star light, and azur

I will recommend blocking a couple more times during the CAL.  But in general, blocking is not needed after each inning, unless you really want to.


Several people have asked about adding/repeating or changing stitches to make the final afghan bigger.  My recommendation for a bigger afghan is to wait until the end to add stitches.  (And of course, we can always start another one with a bigger center, too, right?)

It is possible to add more rows in each inning while keeping the stitch count to match the “math”.  However, I do want to mention that it involves a little more than just figuring out the stitch count.  Each inning is designed to work with the previous and subsequent innings.  So for example, the 4th inning’s star stitches tighten the corner stitches from the 3rd inning that are probably looking a little too crowded at this point.

Similarly, some stitches (especially sc’s) are placed where it needs some tightening (for example, in the 2nd inning, sc’s in rows 8 & 9 were placed to tighten the stitches from the rows 5-7).  If you change these to other stitches (say, dc), your afghan may start to look a little wonky.

So please keep these points in mind if you divert from the pattern.

We will have information on adding/repeating stitches towards the end, during the 15th inning.

For more tips on the CAL, please be sure to check this page out.

6 comments on “Counting, Blocking, and Adding (or not)

  1. Gloria
    February 25, 2017

    How do I get the instruction for this blue afghan? I have yet to figure it out! And I love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue Dewar
    April 3, 2018

    Can one only buy this pattern on Paypal. I would like to use my credit card.


    • ChiChi
      April 3, 2018

      Unfortunately, I think that is correct that Ravelry only takes PayPal. The pattern is available for free download as separate documents for each week/inning, though. At the end of each inning, there is a small button that says “print & PDF”.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Janice R. Winslow
    September 29, 2018

    How do I get the pattern for the square you referenced above “Enchanted Garden”. Is it the same pattern used on Ravelry referred to as the “ The Enchanted Garden Tote”? The reason I’m asking is it looks similar but not exact.


    • ChiChi
      September 29, 2018

      Yes but the pattern is a combination of the Crocodile Flower Square (paid pattern) and Sophie’s Garden (free pattern). You may be able to figure things out by just purchasing the Crocodile Flower square.


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This entry was posted on August 30, 2015 by in Around-the-Bases CAL.
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