Granny Square Crochet

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I’m not the best at crochet, in fact I can’t actually hold my hook and tension my yarn correctly, instead I choose to knit my crochet.  This means I hold the hook and the yarn in my right hand and work as if I’m knitting with one pin.  It achieves pretty much the same results, although apparently a crochet professional can tell the difference?

Anyway, undeterred it is my goal in life to cover everything in glorious multicolour granny  crochet, trebles to the initiated.  This book was made for just that and much to my delight Granny Square Crochet by Catherine Hirst has come in with May’s samples from The Book People.  Even better their selling copies of it for just €8 at the moment.

Ok, so there is a ‘Useful Information’ chapter at the back of the book, full of stitches, abbreviations and pictures of how to hold your hook (gulp!).  Can you hear this section being closed as I go straight back to the pretty pictures?

35 projects are in this book, yes I did say 35 – lets look at some of my favourites.

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I love the Granny Round Cushion Cover to pieces and can see a beautiful round table cloth in the making.  Actually, more of a centrepiece thingy to be precise.

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What’s not to like about the Stripes lampshade Cover?  Great way to transform those cheapy lamps from Dunnes and Heatons and make them more personalised.  I’m sure I picked up a job lot in the Dunnes Sale for €2 each and they’d make a great gift for friends.


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I could definitely be persuaded to use a teapot more often if it looked as pretty as this, what about you?


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The Colourful Granny Stripes Scarf is beautiful and if you made it a little wider and slightly longer it would make a great summer evening shawl to wrap round your shoulders.  Or perhaps you have a friend in hospital that would love the cheery colours and welcome the extra warmth?


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The riot of colour in the Granny Square Cushion Cover is created using 7 complimentary colours and would be a great way of using up your ends although I”m duty bound to mention that knitting a few Knit Happens stockings is another great way too (cheeky!)

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Lastly and only because I want to leave a little mystery, look at these beautiful little shoes.  The Mini Granny Square Booties are so adorable I’d happily use them as a decoration in my house just so I could look at them.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m rather in love with this book – power project finishing here I come because it wouldn’t do to start yet another project would it…..?

Happy Crochet!


Moody Blanket – Part 2

If you read Part 1 , you’ll know that I had decided upon 3 shades of Sirdar Bonus Aran to use for my blanket.  Each shade represents my predominant mood of that day.

The 3 shades knitted up
The 3 shades knitted up

The darker shade (top right) represents my OK days.

The lighter shade (top left) represents my good days.

The brighter blue (bottom) represents my very good days.

I will also have to include a colour or 2 for a totally ‘unexpected day’ which will probably be navy for a bloody horrendous day (hope I don’t have any of those) and maybe a baby blue or something else for a truly spectacular day, but it would have to be out of this world, super fantastic to make it into my blanket.

I’m assuming the bulk of my blanket will be made up of the darker and lighter shades as most of my days will probably be OK or good.

Tension next.  The little sample squares above were knitted on 10mm’s and the tension seemed a little on the loose side, especially for a blanket.  So I opted to use 8mm’s instead.

Tension on 8mm
Tension on 8mm

Based on this I was able to calculate that I would need to cast on 216 sts to achieve a blanket that’s approximately 6 foot wide.  It will also take 324 rows or 162 garter stitch ridges to achieve the 6 foot in length that I’d like to achieve (although I might end up making it a little longer).

Ooops – The glaringly obvious problem is it’s not going to take me a year to knit is it?  I would prefer to knit 1 garter stitch ridge or 2 rows per day to keep the blanket the same on both sides.  Nevermind, if it works I shall knit one for each of my 3 children as per their mood, so now I have the next 2 years planned.  Another way of doing the blanket could be to do your mood based on so many days per months, days of the week.

As an added design element  also thought an applied I-Cord edge would tidy up the blanket, whilst providing the ideal place to hide the multiple ends whilst sewing them in.  I’ve used it many times before on blankets and am currently trying to finish my Ravi (designed by Carol Feller) which uses it too.

Applied i-cord
Applied i-cord

To make finishing with the i-cord around all four sides, I decided to use a provisional cast on.  I find it easiest to use a crochet chain and use each chain to knit through.

My very long crochet chain
My very long crochet chain

It’s easier if you use a hook a couple of sizes larger that the needles your going to eventually use and you need to make sure you add a few extra chains just to make it easier to put your stitches up.

I used a 12mm hook (because I didn’t have a 10mm) and some Wendy Serenity Super Chunky that I had left in my stash.  The chain is 228 stitches long which is plenty for the 222 stitches I need.

There are a few more things that I needed to work out before writing the pattern up.

How much yarn will the blanket take? – I can get 30 stitches on my 8mm’s out of a metre of yarn, which means one complete row will take 7.4metres (there about) x 2 because the yarn is worked doubled.  That means the blanket will take at lease 2398 metres of yarn, not allowing for the extra yarn for the applied i-cord at the cast on and cast off edges.
There are 840 metres in each ball of Sirdar Bonus Aran/Aran Tweed so I will need at least 3 x 400g balls in the base shade 929 and there’s no real way to be sure how much I’ll need in each of the ‘mood’ shades.  Based on the size of the balls and my predominate moods I envisage it will be 2 of the lighter and darker shades (817 & 822) and 1 of  the brighter one (994)

I also wanted to time how long it will take to complete a row, so I know I’ll have enough time to do a little each day.  It took me approximately 9 minutes to knit all 222 stitches, but there is no weight or bulk to the knitting yet so I assume it will end up taking much longer as the knitting grows.

Begining my moody blanket
Begining my moody blanket

For the pattern see part 3.