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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grannies

Not a bunch of old ladies!  Granny Squares are crocheted squares that is a very traditional pattern for using those left over bits of yarn that a real grannie would have left from knitting sweaters for the grandchildren... 

I do not have grandchildren so I don't knit sweaters, so I get to make granny squares from new yarn, or more often from yarn that I pick up at a fraction of the price from thrift stores.  Of course, the way a crafter's brain works means that there probably are never enough colours for a granny square afghan, but we try, don't we?

So all through the summer, I have been working on making a multi colour traditional style granny square afghan.  The little middles seem endless, and there really is no point in counting them because there just doesn't seem to quite enough when it finally comes to putting the squares together, suffice to say, at a minimum I would suggest at least a shoebox full, then count and see if you have at least 100, 120 is better though -- which would make a nice size 10 x 12 squares...


Then you get to the second round where the combinations of colours becomes at times quite a difficult decision.  You don't want too many pink and blue, unless of course that is exactly what you do what.  Maybe it is!   With that second round of colour come the problem of hiding your ends.  I know that alot of us, simply dislike dealing with those ends, but hey! if you hid them after each round, you won't have to be weaving in 500 straggly bits when you have all those squares done and should be saying that the masterpiece is complete.

Isn't it amazing how the variety of colours just always seem to go together? No matter what your choice of colours are, in the long run -- the more, the merrier!


For very many years, I have making these granny square afghans and even though I knew of a method that you could use to join the finished squares as you went along, or as you got enough of the three round squares done that you could join them so that there are not two alike side by side.  I did not know how to do that join as you go method.  My sister had the system down pat, a long time ago, but she is not particularly inclined to teach her secrets, so after hoping she would show me, I finally decided there must be somewhere to learn it on my own...

Here is a close up of the join as you go.  I really like this system because it does not create that 'sewn' line between each square.  It might seem a bit awkward when you first try it but it will not long before you are flying along and joining those squares with very few scraggly bits (which you will weave in as you go, RIGHT?)

Now instead of me making this post longer than you want to sit and read it for, here are a few links that will explain this system very very well...

To learn how to do the join as you go - 2 parts to this so watch both sections...


I thought I would add a couple of more links to You Tube videos, in case you have always wanted to make your own granny square afghan (do you remember the one that lay across the back of your gramma's couch?)

So check out these, IN Order.  This lady does her demo slowly enough that just about anyone should be able to pick up the method, even if you have not done a crochet square before...


and here is another video that shows you how to change colour for each round AND at the same time weave in your ends -- you will barely notice that you are weaving in the ends!

 this is the second part of the above video (the guy, yes guy! who demos this accidently, I suspect, cut off the first video, but it continues exactly where the previous one abruptly stops...


If you go to these links, you will also find many other videos, some of them similar or showing a slightly different method of joining -- there are at least three different ways to join granny squares, so really choose what would suit you best.  After many years of doing it one by one tho, and with ends to weave in, I am LOVING the join as you go method in the first two links above... don't forget the list of videos  on the right side of your page -- oh and if you find one that is interesting, bookmark it for a time until you perfect the method!

It never ceases to amaze me how many things there are to learn, whether on the internet or in your library or even just by listening to your friends.  Strive to learn something new everyday.  The more you learn about things, the more you want to learn!  I am hoping that this little lecture (though I hope it doesn't sound like your third grade teacher trying to hammer the "times table" into your brain) will lead you to a new way of doing or at least trying things or open your mind to a new place to look for things to learn -- not just crochet.  Got a question?  Ask your computer!!

I am hoping to show the finished, or almost finished granny square afghan in the next couple of weeks -- certainly before the snow flies up here in the great north west.  I actually have two granny square afghans on the go, this multi-colour scrappy one and another where the whole square is one colour, but the joining will be a contrast...