Happily Ever Afghan – Crochet a Flat Braid Join

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A flat braid join is a beautiful thing.  When I first laid eyes upon it I was in love and knew it was perfect for the Happily Ever Afghan project.Crochet afghan squares in cream, blue and gray yarn

The Happily Ever Afghan travels the journey from afghan idea to glorious afghan over 4 delicious posts.  In this third post of the series learn how to join with the fabulous flat braid join method!

Crochet afghan in blue, teal, pink , gray and off white yarn on chair.

COMPLETE HAPPILY EVER AFGHAN SERIES

If you love the Happily Ever Afghan Block pattern you might also like to check out the rest of the posts for this free crochet pattern series:multiple images of a cream, blue and pink crochet afghan

1. How Much Yarn To Crochet A Blanket //   2. Afghan Block //   3. Crochet Border

You will want to settle in.  This post is long and has lots of pictures to load.  This is my first go at a braided join technique.  I learned it primarily from following this post at The Patchwork Heart (which is in UK terminology).  I believe the braided join got its start from Priscilla Hewitt, who is an amazing crochet designer.  You can read her brief instructions on the braided join here.

When I was learning this method, I felt like I kept coming up to sections and thinking, “what do I do next?”  So I’m going to present this post with headers for the types of scenarios you will run into while you do this technique.  Hopefully when you get stuck (or forget), you can just go to the section and easily figure out what to do next!

To recap our Happily Ever Afghan project…  if you are following along, you should have 42 blocks (7 each of 6 different color ways named A-F) as follows:

Chart of colors for afghan squares

Here is the layout for the blocks for the afghan.  I suggest printing it out so you can join the blocks in order.

Block layout chart for afghan

From here on out, the flat braid join tutorial is written so you can follow it for joining any afghan blocks

Getting Started

Before joining blocks, it is a good idea to have a foundation row crocheted around each block.  If you are following along with the Happily Ever Afghan, you already did this in the last row of the block.  (If you are joining a different block, single crochet around the block with 3 sc in each corner space.)

This is a continuous braided join, which means, you can join the entire afghan without having to cut and weave in ends!  To do this, you start in the top right corner of the first block.  Here is a mini diagram of how this works:

Graphic of Flat Braid Join Path

The diagram shows a 3×3 block set up.  The Happily Ever Afghan has 7 rows of 6 blocks across.  So row 1 (in red) would continue until all 6 blocks of the first row are joined, then the bottom of the first row is worked.  Then row 2 (in blue) is worked, adding 6 more blocks, then the bottom of that row is worked.  And so forth.  I suggest printing out the diagrams above so you can refer to it as you go along.

Ivory crochet afghan square with gold crochet hook

WAIT….  Want the COMPLETE afghan pattern including a full color photographic tutorial of this amazing FLAT BRAID JOIN technique?

Purchase an ad-free printable version of the COMPLETE Happily Ever Afghan pattern here!

Happily Ever Afghan Flat Braid Join

Here is what you will need:

Resources and tutorials you may find helpful in following this pattern: Crochet AbbreviationsUS to UK Crochet Conversion Chart.  Find links to stitches on the “Tutorial” menu: Getting Started will show basic stitches used in many patterns and Crochet Stitch Dictionary shows our growing collection of crochet stitch tutorials.

Basic Steps

I think it is helpful to understand the stitches that comprise the edging.  Here is the finished block.  Sc is worked in the last round, with 3 sc in the corners.

crochet afghan square in pink, blue, gray and ivory yarn

Start in the top right hand corner.  Look at the 3 stitches that are in the corner space and attach the yarn to the 1st of the 3 stitches (the far right stitch).  Chain 5 and sc in the 3rd stitch of the corner (or the far left stitch).  The chain 5 is what makes the corner of the braided join.  Chain 3, skip a stitch, then sc in the next st.  Work around the side, chaining 3, skipping a stitch and sc in the next stitch until you come to the next corner.  Then repeat the chain 5 for the corner and continue on down the 2nd side.  So… to sum up here…  remember that you are always going to work a chain 5 in the corners (or a variation of it) and that the sides will have a single crochet every other stitch with a chain 3 in between them.

Adding One Block

On the first block, you’ve worked one a corner, one side, a 2nd corner and a 2nd side as shown here:

Two afghan squares in ivory, blue and pink yarn

Now it is time to join the 2nd block.  The yarn in the photo shows the path for block joining. The blocks are connected at the corners first.  So chain 5.

crochet pieces joined with yarn with gold hook

Single crochet into the 3rd (or far left) stitch of the corner of the new block to be joined.

Then, chain 1, and take out the crochet hook.  Re-insert the hook into the next loop on the 1st block and grab the loop:

Two crochet afghan squares being joined together with gold hook

Pull the loop through and chain 2.  So, the 3 chains for the side stitch are made and it is joined to the corresponding loop in the first block.
Crochet afghan squares being joined together

Skip a stitch on the 2nd block and single crochet.

Two afghan squares joined with flat braid crochet join with gold hook

Continue to work up the 2nd block, working a sc, ch 1, remove hook and pull chain through corresponding loop, ch 2, skipping every other stitch on the side of block 2.  When you get to the top edge, work as follows:

Top Edge Join

Start with a single crochet in the first stitch of the corner (right stitch of the 3 corner stitches).

Top of crochet squares joined with flat braid join technique in ivory yarn

A corner consists of 5 chains.  So, first chain 2, then take the hook out and insert it through the corner loop of the first block and grab the loose loop you just dropped an pull it through.

Crochet afghan squares in ivory being joined with flat braid join technique

Chain 1 to connect.  And then chain 2 more.  (Note that the 5 chains for a corner are now completed.)

Crochet afghan squares in ivory being joined with flat braid join technique

Single crochet the the last stitch of the corner (left stitch of 3 sc corner stitches).  This completes the corner for the newly joined block.

Crochet afghan squares in ivory being joined with flat braid join technique

Now just continue along the top and the side of the newly joined block.  Notice that this technique finishes off the edge.  When the braided join is done, all the edges will look like this.  As you are joining blocks, you will use this edge finishing technique every time you come to the top of the afghan AND at the left side as you rotate the work around.

Flat Braid Join of Crochet afghan squares in cream, blue and gray yarn

Continue to join the first row of blocks following the instructions for ‘Adding One Block’ and ‘Top Edge Join’.  When the last block is joined in row 1, rotate the afghan to work the side, down along the edge.  Then rotate again to begin working the bottom of the row.

Bottom of a Row

Before adding the next row of blocks, the edge for the bottom of the row needs to be worked.  Notice that there is a free loop that sticks out from the joined blocks.  This edging finishes off the row.

Crochet afghan squares in cream, blue and gray yarn

Start by making a single crochet in the first of the corner stitches.

Close up of crochet flat braid join in ivory

Chain 2 then single crochet into the loop.

crochet Flat Braid Join close up in ivory yarn with gold hookChain 3.  Then single crochet into the 3rd corner stitch of the 2nd block.

Flat Braid Join close up ivory yarn gold hook

The corner is done.

Flat Braid Crochet Join in ivory

Continue on in the pattern until the end of the row, at the last corner, chain 5 and work around the side of the block in the pattern.  Join the 1st block of the 2nd row, following the instructions above to ‘Adding One Block’.

Adding a Third Block

As you come up to the point where 3 blocks come together, start by making a sc into the 1st of the 3 corner stitches on the new block.Joining 3 crochet ivory squares with flat braid join

Single Crochet made.

Flat Braid crochet Join with 3 squares ivory yarn and gold hook

Chain 2.  Stop a moment and look at the 2 blocks already joined.  Note that there is 3 loops around that joining point.  Insert the hook into the furthest of the 3 loops.  So you will be connecting the new square to the point diagonally from it.

Flat Braid crochet Join at 3 square joining point with ivory yarn

Chain 3.  Remember, every corner has 5 chains so this completes the chain part of the corner.

 

Flat Braid Join 3 squares together ivory yarn with gold hook

Single crochet into the 3rd corner stitch of the new block that is being joined in.  This completes the corner for this new block.  Now, rotate your work so you can finish up that side and get read to add the next block.

continuing crochet flat braid join after 3 squares joined together

Here the work is rotated and you are back to working along a side.  When you come to the corner, it’s time to ‘Add 1 block’.  It is very helpful to continue to refer to the joining path diagram above and to continue to refer to the placement of the color ways.

Four Corner Join

You are in the home stretch!  Just one more join technique to learn and you will know how to handle each type of join you will encounter in the afghan!

flat braid crochet join 4 squares together with ivory, blue, teal and pink yarn and gold hook

Work a single crochet in the first of the corner stitches on the new block.  Then chain 2.  Remove the hook and reinsert it as shown in the next photo:

flat braid crochet join 4 squares together with ivory, blue, teal and pink yarn and gold hook

It took me awhile to understand this part.  It helped me to think about how this join looks when it is done.  It looks like a 4 petal flower.  The hook goes into the point where the top and right petal join.  It goes under the center and then grabs that loop just dropped and pulls it through.

flat braid crochet join 4 squares together with ivory, blue, teal and pink yarn and gold hook

Next, chain 3 to lock it down and complete the chains required for the corner.  And sc in the last of the corner stitches for the new block.

flat braid crochet join 4 squares together with ivory, blue, teal and pink yarn and gold hook

Then continue to join the side to the adjoining block.  This is the exact same technique you used to join the sides in the ‘Add 1 block’ section.  After a few stitches, stop and look at your join.  It should look like this:

Finished 4 corner crochet afghan squares with flat braid crochet join technique

Note that there are 4 petals.  Also note how the last twist is formed.  It is important that all your joins are done the same.

Final Steps

These are all the techniques you need to join the entire afghan. Just continue to add a block one by one in rows.  Refer to the joining path diagram and the block placement chart often to be sure you are adding the right block and going in the correct direction.

When you complete the last block of row 7, work along the bottom edge of row 7 and then rotate your work and using the same technique, work up the sides of the blocks so that you finish at the same corner you started.  And ta-da you just crocheted a flat braid join!

I encourage you to take breaks and look at the photos carefully.  If my directions are not helpful or you need more information, refer to the links I provided earlier.  Sometimes words and pictures by others are helpful.  Once you “get it”, this method becomes easy to do and you will have a great sense of accomplishment when you look back on your work!

Remember…

If you’re finding it hard to follow all the steps online and would like a printable, easy to read version, I’ve got you covered:

Flat Braid crochet join top of row in ivory yarn and gold hook

Purchase an ad-free printable version of the COMPLETE Happily Ever Afghan pattern here!

I love seeing your finished projects! If you enjoyed crocheting a flat braid join I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @crochet365knittoo.  If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Crochet 365 Knit Too Facebook page or pop over to the Crochet365KnitToo Club and share a photo!  I’d love to see your work!

Be sure to head to the rest of the crochet posts in the series:

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Graphic up close braided crochet join afghan squares in cream yarn

 

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33 Comments

  1. I love the look of the flat braid, I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the tutorial its well done.

  2. This tutorial is so well done! I have a good many granny squares that I will immediately try it on. Thank you for this most informative tutorial.

  3. I’m brand new to crocheting and have most probably bitten off more than I can chew. But I have all these squares done and I’ve connected the top row. :::patting myself on the back:::: but after doing the bottom edge of the first row I’m stumped ? All 6 blocks are completely edged except for F The right hand side of it is unfinished and I think the instructions read to finish off that side, but the diagram looks like the far right hand edge of all the rows will be work in one long row at the end.

    So top row color block F has the topside finished the left side it connected to colorblock E and the bottom edge of F is finished off. I’ve left off with a SC and chain 5 in the first (far left) SC of the corner. Where to go from here?

    1. So after you finish the bottom edge of the first row, you leave that right side unfinished for now and rotate back around and attach the blocks of the 2nd row underneath the first row (follow the blue arrows). Try printing it out and see if that is easier for you to follow (especially the diagram). It is a challenge, especially for a brand new crocheter, but you did make it through the first row, so I think you will get it. 🙂 BTW, I did have to edit your comment as I’m unable to publish personal information on the blog. I hope that helps you with the 2nd row.

  4. Love all your patterns, and this one is a exceptional beauty and the directions are so easy to follow. The addition of pics is bonus. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You have explained this in a way that has made it so incredibly easy to follow and the pictures are wonderful. I have looked at this join method but always got discouraged. You are awesome. Love your patterns. Thanks again ?

  6. I WISH I’d seen this idea when I was working on Granny squares in Deceember! A much better finished look! ! will definitely try this technique in the future!

  7. Thank you so much for this incredible tutorial. You are a careful and considerate teacher. I so appreciate your help. So many directions are complicated, but yours are clear and manageable. Bless you.

  8. I really like your tutorial. Everything is clearly explained and the pictures are a great help. Unfortunately i didn’t always pay the closest attention while making my squares (30 squares can get a bit boring) and I added a couple of accent squares that were a different pattern. Now I have some squares with +/- a stitch or two. What’s the best way to accommodate these variations? Thanks

    1. Of course the best finish will be when the squares you are joining have the same number of stitches. If you are only off a stitch here and there you can try just skipping a stitch on the one that has more stitches and seeing how it looks. It really is a matter of “playing” with it and seeing if you like the results.

  9. Your flat braid joining is AMAZING! I crocheted big mandala blocks to represented garden plots. I was looking for a joining that looked like plowed ground between the plots and would separate the blocks too. I used brown and it truly set off the different colors. Thank you Very Much!

  10. Hello! I’ve just finished knitting a pair of baby leg warmers. They were not knitted in-the-round and I’m fairly confident that, with the bumps caused by several stripes and woven-in ends, I’m not going to get a
    seamless look with any grafting stitches. I just found your beautiful join and am going to
    try it . If it works for this project, it’ll cover a couple of things: making a pretty seam, and adding some width as the baby has likely grown in the time it took to finish the leg warmers.
    I can see that your post was made a good while ago, but want to say thank you! I’m pretty sure it’s going to work, but if it doesn’t, this is still a win because I’ll have learned this great new join from you!
    Thank you!!

  11. Your instructions are clear and easy to follow. I’m still learning but I’m going to make this. I love the square. I’m going to keep this one for myself. Thank you for sharing. You are a wonderful teacher. And your work is beautiful.

  12. Oh my!! This is the BEST tutorial and photo description of the flat braid join I have seen! Excellent!! Thank you for all the work you put into making this! ?

  13. Cheryl – I just wanted to let you know that you have been elevated to my “Angel of the Day/Month/Year” and if there was any way to do it I would give you the biggest hug.

    I have been trying to find a better way to make my seams more professional for more years than I can remember. I have shied away from making granny square afghans or any others that required joint seams because every method I’ve tried up to this point always ended up looking so bad that I almost didn’t want to give the finished afghan to anyone. Consequently most of my afghans have been a series of changing the thread color.

    My grandson is getting married in June and I found a pattern that I fell in love with and decided to make it even though it was going to involve joining three sections together. I got the first two sections finished and was just getting started on the third (and the biggest) section when I opened up your email with the instructions for the flat braid join.

    I started joining the sections together today and I couldn’t be happier with the way my seams are looking. I am so pleased with the way this is coming together. The seam is almost invisible and If I didn’t know where to look for the join I wouldn’t know that it was even there and the back side looks a good as the front.

    I will never again shy away from making an afghan that requires joining pieces together. This method is truly awesome as well as a lot easier then other methods I have tried.

    I would send a pic if I could remember how to do that or had someone here to show me how – again.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. Thank you SO much for this! I have been looking all over for something that explains the why, not just the how, of a continuous join so I can adapt it as I need it. You are a superstar!

  15. In over 50 years of crochet, I have never mastered the corners in the flat braid join, usually ended up sewing them together! This tutorial is excellent, clear and concise. Thank you so much. And I also used the border pattern too but I needed two coffees ☺️

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful! I find that the complex joins and borders look so wonderful.. but yes.. they do require some concentration! And coffee!