Join As You Go (JAYG)




★★☆ - Improver

This is an excellent time saving technique as it saves you all the trouble and bother of having to sew or crochet all your squares or motifs together once they've all been made.  Using this method you join the units to each other as you make them.


To join the squares together you'll need to work up one square in the normal way, but all subsequent squares will make use of the last round to join them to another square or squares.

If you'd like more help with making the square motif, please have a look at my Classic Granny Square tutorial.

PART ONE:  JOINING THE FIRST SQUARE

We we are ready to join the squares.  The first square is complete and the second square had been made, but the last row is now yet completed.  Work two sides of the last row of the second square, and stop once you've worked the first set of treble (double) crochets for the corner.

To complete the second side, we'll make just one of the corner chains.  The second corner chain we can consider as the start of the third side of the square.

Now we are starting the third side, we need to begin making joins to the first square.  To do that we need to work a 'joining slip stitch' or jss.  So, insert the hook into the corner space of the first square as shown.
Then wrap the yarn around the hook.
And pull the yarn through the first square and through the loop already on your hook.
This makes the joining slip stitch.  You might need to pull it up a little more snuggly if your stitch looks loose.
Now we need to complete the corner, so we'll make 3 treble (double) crochets into the corner space of the second square in the normal way.
This is how your corner should look so far.

Now we would usually make a chain stitch, but as this is the side we are joining, we are going to make a joining slip stitch instead.  So insert your hook into the corresponding chain space of the first square.
Wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the first square and the loop already on your hook to complete the stitch.
Then we need to make a group of 3 treble (double) crochets into the chain space of the row below on the second square, as we normally would.
Instead of making the chain stitch, we again make a joining slip stitch into the corresponding chain space of the first square.
Continue in this way along the side of the square, substituting joining slip stitches instead of chains to join the second square to the first, until you have made the first 3 treble (double) crochets in the corner space.
To complete this side, we need to make one more joining slip stitch instead of a chain, this time into the corner space of the first square.
Now that the whole side of the third side of the second square is complete, you can finish off the fourth side in the normal way.  The joining slip stitch we just made into the other square counts as one of our corner chains, so we now need to make a normal chain stitch for our second chain.
Then complete the corner as you normally would be making 3 more treble (double) crochets into the corner space of the second square.
This is how it should look.  One side of the first and second squares are neatly joined together.
Work the fourth side of the second square in the usual way to finish the square.

Continue in this way, joining new squares to the previous ones along one side in a strip until you have a row of squares as long as you would like.  I usually always join squares to the left, but you can work in any direction you like.





STEP TWO:  JOINING THE SECOND ROW

Once the first row of squares is complete you are ready to work the second row.  This is down in exactly the same way, but this time we will join our new square underneath our first square.  In the picture I have just rotated the squares a little so that my new square is on the left, I find it easier that way.
I've worked the new square up to the same point as before, with just two sides of the last row worked.  As before I make one corner chain to complete the second side, then instead of making a second corner chain, I work a joining slip stitch into the corner space of the first square in exactly the same way as I did before.
Complete the corner stitches and then continue on working up the third side, substituting joining slip stitches into the first square whenever you would normally make a chain stitch, just as we did in before.  Here I have completed the side and am ready to work the corner chains.
As before, to complete the third side, make a joining slip stitch into the corner space of the first square by inserting the hook into the corner space of the first square.
Then wrapping the yarn over the hook and pulling it through the square and the loop already on the hook.
To complete the corner space of the new square, make a normal chain stitch.
You can then work the remaining three trebles (doubles) needed to complete the corner and then finish the rest of the fourth side in the usual way.
This is how it'll look once there is a square attached to the next row.  Although you may well have more than two squares in your top row!










PART THREE: JOINING A SQUARE ON TWO SIDES

The next square we need to add will be a little bit different because we'll need to join along two sides.  First to the square in the current row and then to the square above.

So for this square we only work one side of the last row, up to the first 3 treble (double) crochets of the corner.
At first we continue as described above, make 1 normal chain and then make a joining slip stitch into the first square of the second row.
Carry on joining this first side of the square all the way along the edge until you reach the corner space.  Make the first 3 treble (double) crochets into the corner space of the current square in the normal way.
To finish joining this side of the current square, we make 1 joining slip stitch into the corner space of the first square of the row.  (This is the substitute for our first corner chain.)
Then, we immediately need to start working the next side of our current square and at the same time, start joining to the square above.  To do that we make a joining slip stitch into the corner space of the square above.  So insert your hook.
Wrap the yarn over and pull through the square above and the loop on your hook.  Remember you can always pull the working yarn up a little tighter after working each joining slip stitch to make sure the squares sit nice and snuggly together.  (This is the substitute for the second corner chain.)
Now make another 3 treble (double) crochet stitches into the corner space of the current square to finish the corner.  As you can see, we've made a nice, neat join where the corners meet.
Now all you need to do is work your way along this side, making joining slip stitches into the chain spaces of the square above.  Once you've reached the corner space and made the first 3 treble (double) crochets you just need to finish the corner.
So, as with any other last corner, we make one joining slip stitch into the corner space of square we are joining to, then make a normal chain to complete the corner space of the current square. You can now go on and finish the corner and the rest of the last side of the current square.
Here is our last square joined into place and now you know all you need to know to join as many squares together as you'd like.  You can also join them in a different order if you like but I prefer to always join from the same side as I think it gives a neater, more regular look to the final piece.







Next steps:

✽  Find out how to use Join As You Go to join other shapes together - coming soon
✽  Find out how to use Crochet Joining