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Maybe you want something less mindless, but still fun? Consider this is a perfect opportunity to try out some new pattern stitches and learn some new techniques. Pattern stitch dictionaries, like those by Barbara Walker and the Harmony Guide series, abound with all sorts of pattern stitches one could use to make afghan squares. You should work a gauge swatch for each pattern stitch you select, but this shouldn't take that long for most pattern stitches. Don't cut the yarn end of your swatch; after you have measured your gauge, rip out the knitting and re-use the yarn for your actual square.
If you prefer not to make up your own afghan square designs, try looking at patterns for existing afghans. Many of the are made from 12" squares. Just remember than you may need to alter these squares a bit to accommodate the challenge's requirement of a 3-row/3-ridge garter stitch border around each square.
Knitter's magazine has some wonderful afghan patterns whose squares are perfect for the challenge, using worsted weight yarns in just the right dimensions and come ready-made with the garter stitch border. The past couple years have seen their Great American Afghan and Great North American Afghan series, and the past couple issues have 12" squares for their Great American Kid's Afghan. Older issues of Knitter's have some other afghans by designers like Nicki Epstein; these, too, are based on squares and might be worth looking at for some additional variety in your afghan square knitting.
Below are a couple squares to help get you started. The blocked gauge for each is 4 sts per 1"; use the worsted weight yarn of your choice and needles of the appropriate size to get this gauge. When done, neatly hide any ends and block to 12" square.
Afghan Square #1 -- Roman Stripe
Cast on 48 sts. Work 3 ridges/6 rows of garter stitch, ending with a WS row. Beg patt st:
Rows 1 & 3: (RS) Knit. Rows 2 & 4: K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3. Row 5: K3, * k1, p1; rep from * to last 3 sts, k3. Row 6: K3, * p1, k1; rep from * to last 3 sts, k3.Rep Rows 1-6 until total length of square is 11.25". Discontinue patt st and work 3 ridges/6 rows of garter stitch, binding off on last row.
Afghan Square #2 -- Basketweave
Cast on 49 sts and work 3 ridges/6 rows of garter st, ending with a WS row. Beg patt st:
Row 1 & 5: (RS) Knit. Rows 2 & 4: K3, p3, *k5, p3; rep from * to last 3 sts, k3. Row 3: K6, * p5, k3; rep from * to last 3 sts, k3. Rows 6 & 8: K7, * p3, k5; rep from * to last 10 sts, p3, k7. Row 7: K3, p4, * k3, p5; rep from * to last 10 sts, k3, p4, k3.Rep Rows 1-8 until total length of square is 11.25". Discontinue patt st and work 3 ridges/6 rows of garter stitch, binding off on last row.