Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crochet Granny Blanket

After finally finishing my ripple blanket, my fingers got itchy for another long-term crochet project.  Many great options presented themselves, a bobble blanket maybe chief among them, but I had a lot of yarn left over from the ripple that I felt like needed to be used.  On the other hand, I didn't want to make something in exactly the same color way, so I ADDED to the yarn collection I was trying to use up (there is a twisted logic in there somewhere, I hope:) by purchasing all the rest of the solid colors in the I Love This Cotton yarn that is sold by Hobby Lobby.
Completed squares so far
Now some of these colors are not necessarily beautiful, and some of the colors are very similar to other colors, and Hobby Lobby doesn't sell some of the colors I wish they would (like raspberry, apricot, pumpkin, a silver gray, watermelon), so it is not readily apparent that all these colors are going to play nicely together.  (Since I began this project, they have added a color, "Apple Green," which I am happy about).  However, I felt sorry for the ugly colors.  Attributing hurt feelings to inanimate objects is a trait that I share with my oldest son.  Usually I root this feeling out with some strong common sense arguments, but not this time.  I did feel downright greedy buying ALL the colors, but the skeins are only $2.66 each when on sale, so that's not too bad, is it?

Anyway, my inspiration blanket is Kristen's summer cottage blanket.  If you love beautiful crochet and knitting -- among other things -- then you will love her blog, aptly named Cozy Things.  I don't really imagine that mine will end up looking quite as lovely as that, especially not with the colors I am using, but I am making it like hers, and will use her directions to join the squares when I get to that part.

For the granny square itself, I followed Jacquie's instructions here, on her blog Bunny Mummy, which is another very happy and helpful crochet site.  It's an 11-round granny square, changing colors each round. The colors are random, and once I use a color I don't reuse it until all the other colors have been used.  That forces me to pick the colors that are not on the 'favorites' list.  There is no master plan, I just start with a color and then the next is chosen, and then the next..... Each square is a 'surprise' when it is finished, which adds to the pleasure and anticipation for me.

Yes, it's a little psychedelic
When I have enough squares, I will use a single color to make a final round around each square, and that will hopefully unify the blanket.  My daughter is very doubtful about how this is going to turn out:  it looks too great-grandmother-y for her.  Maybe that is why I like it.  As I make this blanket, I feel a connection to the women (including my great-grandmother) who have made similar objects before me.  I understand what they were thinking as they looked in their yarn bag and thought, "I'll choose THIS color," or "I'll just shut my eyes and pull a color out."  No overanalyzing the color scheme here, just relaxing and letting the blanket design itself, in a way.

The only bad things are: 1) it is not super portable, since you have to drag around ALL those colors of yarn and 2) this:
Lots and lots of ends that will have to be woven in.  I try to save those for mindless TV watching, or for long phone conversations.  That way I can get something done without having to devote a lot of brain power to it.

It will be a good while before this is done, maybe not until next winter.  But I have a totally unreasonable fear of running out of things to do, and I certainly don't have to fear that as long as I have projects like this to keep me busy.


  1. I wish I lived near a Hobby Lobby...You sure have the patience to make granny squares, they are looking great, love the colors you are using for each.

  2. Now this is just the thing about an never know quite what you're going to get. Kristen's truly is lovely. Yours is going to look more like winter than summer and that is very cozy indeed. Isn't there a way to blend in those strings as you go? (Yes, check with You Tube. It makes life so much easier.)

  3. I love this and the thinking that goes with it. I am afraid I too attribute "hurt feelings" to inanimate objects. I know it's illogical but i can't help it. So I completely understand your wanting to use lonely colours that nobody picks. And the strange thing is that sometimes it's the less obvious colours that act as a fantastic foil for the more obviously popular ones and show them off better than if one had just stuck to using popularity contest winners. I also find the idea of the unpredictability on your afghan mesmerisingly inviting! The fact that one never knows quite how each square is going to come out....! I would find this whole project so addictive I can't tell you! Yes, the snag about using lots of colours is the portability - your comment in this regard is a happy coincidence about which I will say no more! Cats and bags etc!! I do crochet in the ends of inner rounds as I go which helps but unfortunately there are still loads of ends from the final rounds that can't be dealt with until the end. : ( But think of the result - it's going to be wonderful and I suspect will have a whole character and personality of its own because of the way its colours have sort of chosen themselves!! E x

  4. Here I am again...admiring a lovely project of yours. I must be so impatient, because I usually tackle projects that can be completed in a few hours or days. Long-term projects scare me. Maybe it goes back to the counted cross stitch picture I did for my oldest daughter's room. My frugal husband (and to be fair, we were poor in those days) told me not to have it framed because he would make a frame for it. But no frame ever came. Over the years, the picture was soiled and I could only bemoan the hours and hours that I had invested in nothing. OR maybe it goes back to the quilt top I lovingly pieced for the same daughter, and then never quilted. No one to blame but myself for that one. Sigh...

    Anyway, I have no doubt that your afghan will be beautiful. Please promise to show it to us when you're finished, even if it is next winter.

  5. I've started a crochet blanket too and began with great enthusiasm but I'm now wishing I hadn't chosen a pattern which needed 400 blocks! A long-term project I think. I weave in the ends as I go to save having to sew in so many afterwards. From the blocks you've made so far, I think it's going to be a beauty. x

  6. I like those colours very much. But yes, weaving in the ends...very tedious. I also do it in front of the tv.

    I'm looking forward to seeing your blanket when it is complete - I'm sure it will be very beautiful.

    Gillian x


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