Game Over Geek-A-Long 2016

week 48 Game Over (1)

As we speak, Lattes & Llamas’ 2016 Geek-A-Long blanket knit with Louet Gems yarn is on its way to Child’s Play Charity to be auctioned off at their annual dinner gala later this week. Every time I roll into FedEx with the blanket (this being the third time) I have a small melt down. What if it gets lost in the mail? What if it gets ruined somehow?

What if everyone hates it and no one bids on it?!

I know that last one isn’t likely to happen, but I freak out about it anyway. Until they email us that its arrived, I’m a hot mess. So, to take my mind off of my precious baby out in the world all alone, in the hands of some mailman, who doesn’t know they have my heart in their hands, I put together a quick tutorial for you guys on how to assemble your blanket via crochet. And because Megan-Anne promised everyone that I would.

*The “Game Over” square you see in the picture above was the final one added to the 2014 Geek-A-Long blanket. You can grab it for yourself here.

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CROCHET GEEK-A-LONG JOINS

Before we get started, you need to assemble the following things: a stack of knitted Geek-A-Long squares; 6 skeins of complementing yarn (we used Louet Gems Worsted in “Cloud Grey”); a tape measure; scissors; an unending flow of coffee; a tv show to marathon; and a selection of crochet hooks. To crochet your joins and edging, you won’t actually use a bunch of different hooks, but you will need to crochet a few swatches to figure out which one is best for you blanket.

FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE MAKING SWATCHES: I feel your pain. I’m guilty of skipping this step more times than I’d like to admit. So, if you’re going to skip this step, here is a safe-ish bet for your yarn gamble: If your gauge for double sided knitting matches the one recommended in the pattern and you achieved this by using the recommended needles size, use a G/6 – 4.25 mm hook. I refuse to put a stamp of guarantee on this since that’s crazy talk and I don’t want to get emails from people, who are like: “Jac said to just use this hook and now I have to rip it all out, because my gauge is different and she’s super dumb.” I’m totally NOT super dumb, but I am an enabler.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T LIVE IN THE FAST LANE, you need to crochet a swatch. Mine was 20 sc by 20 rows. To select your hook, start with one that is the same mm as the knitting needles you used. Since Megan-Anne used a US 6 – 4.00 mm knitting needle, I grabbed a 4.00 mm hook. Your goal in the endeavor is to find a hook that will give you the same amount of sc across as you have knit stitches.

Please note that we use USA definitions. For an American to British conversion chart and a refresher on how to sc, click here.

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As long as your sts across match up close enough, no math is needed when you crochet across the tops or bottoms of your squares. Rejoice! But you do need to do some for the sides.

Count how many of your knitted rows equal 4″. Then, count how many sc make make 4″. For me, 23 knitted rows equaled 16 sc. And to make the numbers clean, I pretended like 24 k rows were in 4 inches, because YOLO. Now, we need to spread those sc over those rows. Take your number of k rows divided by your single crochets. This becomes your ratio.

EXAMPLE:

24 k rows / 16 sc = 1.5 k rows per 1 sc

Since 1.5 is a dumb number, I doubled it to 3 k rows per 2 sc.

This means that when I crochet into the sides of the square I will repeat [sc into the next two rows, skip the next row] along them. This creates the 3 k rows per 2 sc ratio.

Yay, Math!

START HERE GAUGE GAMBLERS

Alright, if the math hasn’t freaked you out too much, it’s time for the fun part. Find a wide open space in your house and lay out the squares. Decide how you want it to look, which video game will go next to which video game. I went for a slanted rainbow type deal. Now, TAKE A PICTURE. Even if you’re super meticulous and stack them up into rows in order of how you plan to assemble them, it will get messed up. Your husband, child, pet, or jerky in-laws will find a way to destroy it on “accident.”

Congrats! You have a picture of it on your phone and can show it to everyone you encounter.

 

Just so you know, I’ve been forcing my friends and family to look at the picture above for months. They’re probably tired of it by now, but I’m not even sorry. YOU’RE WELCOME, FAMILY.

THE KNITTY GRITTY…

which also happens to be the name of my novel.

You’re mission, if you chose to accept it (and if you don’t I’m not sure why you’ve read this far) is to single crochet around each square and then crochet those bad boys together using more single crochets. I’m gonna tell you how to do that, but I want you to know that you can do this in whichever order you prefer. Maybe you want to edge all of them and then assemble it. Or maybe you’d like to assemble them into strips as you go along. Do whichever makes the most sense for you.

For me, it was the most efficient to assemble my edged squares as I went along. I started with Myst on the top right and worked my way across the row, crocheting them together as I finished edging them. Then, when I finished a row, I’d crochet it to the one above it. Because of the way I did it, I avoided cutting my yarn in a few places. I’ll tell you where and how in case you want to do it how I did.

Alrighty, it’s time to start.

How to crochet an edge on a double sided knit GAL square:
  1. With the right side facing, attach your yarn to the bottom right hand corner of your square, ch 1, and single crochet into that same space. Crochet up the side using your knit row to sc ratio that you sussed out earlier. For me, that meant I followed this repeat up to the corner: [sc in next 2, skip next sc].
  2. 3 sc in corner.
  3. sc into each knit stitch along the top.
  4. 3 sc in corner.
  5. Sc down side as per step one.
  6. 3 sc in corner.
  7. sc into each knit stitch along the top.
  8. 2 sc into the same space as that first crochet, slip st to join.

If you’re a rebel and would like to crochet your edged squares into rows as you go along, do NOT slip st to join or cut the yarn. Instead, grab the square to the right of it and hold the squares to that the wrong sides are together. Insert your hook through that fist crochet AND the stitch its lined up with, now slip stitch those bad boys together. Ch 1, sc into same st as join. Single crochet together each sc along edge and finish off.

Below, you’ll see an example of how I do this. If you want to edge all of your squares first, you’ll follow the same directions, but will have to attach your yarn.

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Whether you assemble all of your rows at the end or crochet them together as you go, you’ll follow the same principal. With the wrong sides together, slip stitch to join. Ch 1, sc into same st as join. Single crochet together each sc along edge with the join counting as a sc. Finish off.

I recommend putting at least one round of sc around the entire blanket for a cleaner look. Attach the yarn anywhere and sc around, working three sc into each corner. Slip st the first and last sts together and finish off. CONGRATULATIONS, you’ve finished making your Geek-A-Long blanket! Now, all you have to do is weave in all those pesky ends.

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Yes, we did take the blanket to see Santa. He would like all of the good boys and girls to know that there’s still time to donate to Child’s Play Charity this year in order to get yourself off the naughty list. If you’d like to get on the “Pretty Okay List,” now through December 6th we’re donating $1 to CP Charity for each skein of Lattes & Llamas Yarn you purchase. You can read all the details here, but that’s basically the gist of it. Oh, and you can get 10% off your order when you use the coupon code: TOGETHER

If you’re not into crocheting your knitted squares together, you can view our past join tutorial here. We call it the LLJ, and it isn’t for the faint of heart. But it is the most beautiful. If you’re looking for something a little easier, you can check out your other option: The Double Sided Join.

~ Jac

“Jacquline Rivera, did you just pour bourbon into your coffee?!”
“There’s hot coco too, so basically it’s a wash.”