101 Crochet Squares crochet-a-long

Ravelry is an online fiber community with (as of ) over 1,000,000 users.

One of the advantages of joining a community like Ravelry is the opportunity to participate in groups within the larger community. When I last checked (just before I started writing this post) Raverly had 18,717 groups to choose from.

There are groups for Gustav Klimt admirers, Farmville fans, and color enthusiasts. One of the more popular sorts of groups to join is the kal (knit-a-long) or cal (crochet-a-long) where people work on a common pattern, a common object, or from a common book. One such group is a crochet-a-long organized around Jean Leinhauser’s book, 101 Crochet Squares.

Originally published in 1996, by the American School of Needlework, the book is now out-of-print, and copies of the book at a price of under $40 are non-existent, prices in the $40-$150 are available, and if you are willing to put out anywhere from $150-$266, you have even more choices.

So using an unorthodox, but legal method, I got access to patterns for four of the squares in the book so that I could participate at some level.

Because St. Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly, and because I liked the textured look, I began by working Square 3 which has at its center, an appliquéd heart. The square itself can be seen here:

Pink crochet square with a white ruffle
Square 3 without the heart

Despite having made the heart first, I did not get the ends woven in, nor did I get it appliquéd to the square, but this is generally how it will look when it is done:

Pink crochet square with an orange crochet heart
Square 3 with heart

Of the patterns I had access to, the next one that caught my eye was Square 1, which featured a pansy. Again, the pansy is appliquéd onto a completed square. I think, however, the unadorned square has possibilities of its own that would be interesting to pursue:

Green crochet square with purple edge
Square 1 without pansy

Having said that, even with the ends not yet woven in and with the pansy not yet sewn on, I think the square looks pretty amazing with the pansy:

Crochet square with a crochet pansy
Square 1 with pansy

The last square I had time to work on before it was time to get my son to his choir practice was Square 4. Initially, I was not that excited about this square, but as I worked on it, my affection for it grew. While I think the square might be a bit small for the colors I was working with, there is some interesting design to this square such that the flower is not a separate piece sewed onto the top of a completed square, but is rather, an integral structural component of the square.

A crochet square with a crochet flower at its center
Square 4 completed

While I have enjoyed working on these squares immensely, I am not inclined to spend over $40 for the book (let alone some of the other prices I have seen).

If the rights to this book have reverted to the author, I certainly hope that she will consider publishing it in an electronic format so that these patterns can once again be available to the public at a reasonable price.

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8 thoughts on “101 Crochet Squares crochet-a-long

  1. Wow, I was suddenly really excited when I saw the words “101 Crochet Squares.” When I finished reading your post, I was much less enthused about buying the book. I really like squares 1 & 3 without the appliqués.

    1. I was particularly taken with square 1 as a design on its own, and can certainly see square 3 used in a lot of interesting ways that could be quite interesting.

  2. That pansy square is gorgeous! I wish I could create things like that! But I am much less enthused about the others. Without the applique the heart one is pretty but the heart sort of ruins it.

    1. Because it is a crochet-a-long, I am making them mostly according to the directions, but I am making notes about how I would alter them for future use.

      One square I really want to try because it so unique and has a boxy, old-fashioned quality to it is Square 73.

  3. I WAS AGHAST AT THE PRICE OF THE BOOK, TOO. BUT GUESS WHAT? ON A WHIM I LOOKED IN MICHAELS AND I FOUND A NEW ONE, THEIR LAST ONE, FOR !6 DOLLARS!!!

    1. For me there was a real gap between what sellers want for this book and what most buyers are willing to pay. I have to say there seems to be a tendency for resellers to set a scalper’s price for this book. I am glad you were able to find it at a price you were willing to pay.

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