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A week behind and the first component of the mystery afghan completed... a basic granny square.  No surprises there ~ several people complained as soon as the first clue was released ~ expressing their disappointment at the simplicity of the first task.

But from what I understand, we're going to be taught a variety of new techniques.  It makes sense to begin with the basics so that we have a good foundation to build upon and not overwhelm anyone by jumping head first into the more challenging stitches.

In actuality, getting the gauge right was a challenge in itself ~ something that most of us appear to have struggled with ~ with many either crocheting much tighter or much looser than the pattern's gauge.  I ended up having two goes at it.  The first square, which I completed on a 5.5mm hook (as opposed to the prescribed 5.0mm hook) came out at just barely 4.25".  Apparently, the original pattern stated that the square should be 4" in size but following feedback, the designers changed the pattern to 5".  In reality, I probably would achieved 4" on a 5mm hook, but the latest advice stated that as long as the squares are somewhere between 4 and 5" then we will have enough yarn to complete the project.  So I made a second attempt on a 6.5mm hook which came out at a good 4.5mm wide square (perfectly in the middle of the recommendation) and much softer than the first attempt.

So it's settled, I will complete the rest of the project on the 6.5mm hook and attempt to keep my stitches as even as possible so it all fits together in the end.  Fingers crossed!!

Personally, I haven't crocheted a basic granny square in living memory.  Decades in fact!  So thus far it's been rather novel and a pleasure to make.  Though I suspect the novelty will wear off by the time I get to the last square of this kind.

Just 19 more to go...