I have seen several patterns like the one below, but have been disappointed with the way they have turned out. Ever happen to you? Well, I decided to work with the square to see how I could improve it. I was getting an elongated corner and it drove me nuts!!
The original design had a chain one between each shell, and chain two at the corner. I changed that to no chains between shells, but was still ending up with the corner stretching out too much.
The third try produced this square above. I like it best. I went down a size in my hook which helped to make it a little less floppy and 'holey' (also helped by eliminating the chain between shells). Lastly, I ended up doing one chain in the far corner, and one time doing NO chain in the corner, just six dc's. I think it helped quite a bit. It has a tendency to want to "grow" so eliminating just the one chain once helped pull it in.
Now I LOVE this square. I hope the recipient will too - especially as I made her two, but patterned differently....as you can see. ;o) The one below is the 2nd try, and as you can see it is a tad elongated, but I wove in the ends to tighten it a little in order to keep it square. It will be perfect once joined to other squares in an afghan. I did add a "stripe" of sorts in the red just to try something different. I think I like it best with all shells.