Step 3 of our CAL: Time to Join! (Part 1)

Welcome back to the MysterySquare2014 CAL!

Now it’s time to join our squares. And it’s a Choose Your Own Adventure 🙂 (Remember those books??) Today, I will go over the first option for joining: the Flat Braid Join. In Part 2 of this installment, I’ll demonstrate the other two joining options: Celtic Lace Join and Continuous Flat Braid Join.

Here is a photo of the Flat Braid Join. If you love it, then follow along with me today! If you love it, and you’re also feeling adventurous, then wait for the Continuous version of this join, which I’ll show tomorrow.

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And here is an example of the Celtic Lace join I’ll show tomorrow – of course if you’re following along with me, you’ll have motifs oriented diagonally. Choose your join wisely… just kidding! Go wild!!

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Made by Instagram user Butterfly26964

Okay, so here we go.

Flat Braid Join

I think everyone has their squares and partial squares all arranged? Here is a drawn diagram with the placement and numbers labelling the joining order.

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Round 1 (SC round): Attach joining yarn with a slip stitch in any corner. 3SC in same corner loop, SC through back loop only around in all stitches, putting 3SC in each corner loop. Join in first SC. Note: When I work through back loop only, I also pick up the horizontal bar that lies behind the stitch, for added support. It looks identical, but it’s much stronger.

Also, polvorones (sugar-coated shortbread cookies) help immensely with the joining process 🙂

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 Round 2 – first motif only (Chain loop round): SC in same stitch as join. **Chain 5 (corner chain), skip 1 stitch, SC in next stitch. (Chain 3, skip 2 stitches, SC in next stitch) 5 times, Chain 3, skip 1 stitch, SC in next stitch, (Chain 3, skip 2 stitches, SC in next stitch) 5 times, repeat from ** 3 times. Join in beginning SC. Finish off.
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Close-up of the side
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Motif #1 complete!
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Motif #2: Work round 1 as before.

Work one side of round 2 as before, up through 2 chains of the 5-chain corner. Line up your motifs as below, keeping in mind the placement in the diagram above.
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Here is how your make the joins in your Flat Braid Join. I’ll call this maneuver “FBJ” from now on:  Take off the loop from your hook, insert your hook in the opposing chain loop from the completed motif, and put the loop back on your hook.

In the photo below, I have done all 3 steps described above. (Release loop, insert hook, re-place loop.)
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Now, pull that loop through and complete your chain “around” the completed chain loop.
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Complete the corner chain by making 2 more chains, skip 1 stitch, and SC in the  next stitch just like Motif #1.
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Keep going around Motif #2, finishing Round 2 as before.
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Motif #3: Work same as Motif #2

Motif #4: Work round 1 as normal, and work round 2 up through the first side, plus, complete the second 5-chain corner, SC, and chain 1. FBJ in the first chain-3 loop just like in the photo below. Make 1 more chain to complete the chain-3 loop.

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Work across, making your chain-3 loops, stopping to FBJ in each loop as below. When you get to the top corner, make the 5-chain loop, but leave it un-joined for now.

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Work side 3 of Motif #4 as below, and work the fourth chain-5 corner, leaving it un-joined (see below). Work final side as normal.

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Motif #5: Join just like Motif #4, but when you work the second 5-chain corner loop, FBJ the 3rd chain of the loop to the 4th corner of Motif #4. Leave the 1st corner of motif #2 un-joined. Work side 3 of this motif, joining it to Motif #3.

All subsequent motifs (#6 – #13) will be worked in this manner. Some join to only 1 side, some join to 2 sides. Leave corner loops un-joined until the diagonal corner loop comes along to FBJ. Make sure to keep the vertical joined loops on top when you pick up diagonal loops.

Join in Half-Motifs

First half-motif

Row 1: With right side facing up, attach joining yarn with a slip stitch in the first 3-chain corner. 3 SC in same corner loop. SC through back loop only as before, putting 3 SC in next 2 corners. Turn work. Flip entire blanket over, as you will be joining these motifs with the wrong side showing.(See below)

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Row 2: SC in first stitch, chain 5, skip 1 stitch, SC in next stitch, chain 1, FBJ in corresponding loop, chain 1, skip 2 stitches as normal, SC in next stitch. Continue down side 1, SC and chain 2 for corner loop.

Look at the photo below. I am pulling up the free diagonal loop from under the horizontally joined loops. This is because when I flip the piece back over, the vertical loops are on top.

FBJ in this loop as below, chain 2, skip 1 stitch, SC in next stitch to complete corner.

Work side 2 of motif.

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Here is the half-motif all joined in. take note of which corner loops are joined, and which aren’t.

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Close-Up

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Join in Quarter-Motifs

First Quarter-motif

Work Row 1: Join yarn in first corner with right side facing. Work 3 SC in same corner, SC through back loop only across, 3SC in final corner. Turn work.

Flip the whole piece over as before.

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Row 2: Work across, making FBJ to connect all the chain-3 loops.

When you approach the second corner, SC, chain 2.

Now you should be looking at something like the photo below.

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It’s a little hard to tell in the photo, but what I’ve done is, using my fingers, pull  the right side loop through the center loop. In the photo below, you can see it done.

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Now, FBJ into that loop you pulled through, chain 2, SC in to final stitch. Corner complete.

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Now, I have flipped the piece back over and situated the corner join so that it is centered correctly. You can see below that the center loop crosses around the horizontally-joined corners.

This is how you will join the corners on all remaining half- and quarter-motifs around the perimeter. Once you have all partial motifs joined in, there will be no un-joined corner loops.

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Take great care to make sure your corner loops are joined correctly, with the vertically-join corners lying on top.

More pics tomorrow!

To read more about the Flat Braid Join, see this tutorial!

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2 thoughts on “Step 3 of our CAL: Time to Join! (Part 1)

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