Center Block

Getting Your Center Block Ready

You can start this CAL with any square in the center. There are a ton of great square designs out there – the possibilities are endless! Members of the FB group CAL – Crochet A Long are already talking and posting pictures.  How fun!  On Ravelry, check out this discussion thread to see all the great squares people are finding!  You can also read a little more about my sample here.


The center square can be as small or as large as you would like.  Here are two examples (pictured with stitches from Week 1 and Week 2).

2 centers

Yarn I Love This Cotton (Worsted) Cotton 8 (Sock)
Hook size 5.0 mm 3.25 mm
Width of the center block 6 inches 3 inches
# of stitches per side 22 16

(Just testing blocks, so no patterns for either center.  The one on the left is with African flowers and the one on the right is made with 3 dc cluster petals.)

I personally think the pattern works better if the center block is not too small. Just remember, though, the bigger the center, more stitches you will need to make, especially towards the end of the CAL!

3D / Thickness

I love Tropical Delight as my center for its 3 dimensional beauty.  The petals literally stand out.  The finished afghan will have two rows of popcorn stitches which also give depth/thickness to the project.  Some of you, however, may prefer center blocks that lay flat.  The decision is totally personal and up to you!  The pattern will work with either type of center, although some may find the centers with more dimensions/thickness a little center-heavy.

Also, especially with centers with some thickness to it, some patterns may look more balanced if a few rounds/borders are added before starting the CAL.  I’ve added a few extra rounds to mine as explained here.

Stitch count 

The trick to getting ready for this CAL is that the last row of your center square must have

a {multiple of 6 minus 2} number of stitches.

Examples: 10, 16, 22, 28, 34, 40, 46, 52, 58, 64, 70, 76, 82, 88, 94, 100, 106, etc.

For the purpose of this CAL, the number of stitches refers to the stitches per side, between one chain space (Ch Sp) to the next Ch Sp. For example, the following has 21 stitches per side (please note that this sample does not have a {multiple of 6 minus 2} number of stitches and will need to be adjusted before it can be used for the CAL.)

Stitch count_edited-1To make any block to end with a {multiple of 6 minus 2} number of stitches per side, click here.

Sophie’s Garden as a Center Block

One of the sure-to-be-most-popular centers is Sophie’s Garden.

Sophie's Garden @ Olsen Field, Texas A&M Univ.

@ Olsen Field, Texas A&M Univ.

Here is a sample with Sophie’s Garden as the base block (please note that this was a testing sample and not all stitches in this photo are the same as what will be in the ATB CAL). This beautiful square is designed by Dedri Uys and was incorporated in this afghan with her permission.  Sophie’s Garden is by far the most beautiful and fun square I have ever crocheted.

The pattern can be found at Dedri’s blog Look at What I Made.

According to Dedri, the Sophie’s Garden measures 22-23” if using chunky yarn, 18-19” with DK yarn, and about 14” using 4 ply yarn.

(I bought her Cotton 8 (4 ply) pack on Deramores through Dedri’s link and followed her color scheme.)

To use Sophie’s Garden for this CAL, complete Rounds 1 through 35. Notice Sophie’s Garden (Parts 1 through 4 of Sophie’s Universe) ends at Round 36 but this CAL will work best if you stop at Round 35.


Also, the center block does not have to be a square – you can use a rectangle as your center block.  Each side just needs to have {multiples of 6 minus 2} numbers of stitches.  There are a couple of weeks during the CAL that this may require a little more focused attention but for the majority of the rounds, the instructions will be the same for both short and long sides, as long as each side has a {multiples of 6 minus 2} number of stitches.

Here is my rectangle sample, with my alma mater Texas A&M University’s logo on it (no pattern – I just printed the logo on a piece of graph paper and winged it with single crochet stitches).

A&M logo

Wouldn’t it be cool if someone did a graphghan for a baseball team as a center block?


I recommend that you block your center before starting the CAL.  This will help subsequent rows to look neat with sharp corners.  For more information on blocking, check out this informative page by Tamara Kelly of Moogly.


I saved the best for the last – I was blessed with a wonderful group of testers from around the globe.  They have created beautiful centers – check them out here.  I am sure y’all will want to make every single one of them!

3 comments on “Center Block

  1. Pingback: Voorbeelden voor je basisgranny voor Around the Bases CAL | It's all in a Nutshell

  2. Beth
    April 14, 2016

    Where do I get African flower pattern for center panel?


    • ChiChi
      May 8, 2016

      I think there are a several different versions of African flower. Try searching on Ravelry and I hope you can find the one you like!


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