The Granny Square Blog Tour

If you have ever attended one of my workshops you will have heard me say ‘granny squares are like marmite’ because you either love ‘em or loathe ‘em. But whatever your views it seems granny squares are firmly embedded in the crochet world. Some people have very strong feelings about them, and some could not care less. So which are you?

I confess I used to hate them and I mean really hate them. Why? Well I think squares can be quite boring and I think the repetition of the design is, frankly, unexciting. And I had this view for many years.

In my teens I made a granny square blanket, it went to university with me part finished and I finished it in my first year. It came in very useful! But then I moved right on. And, I’m sorry to say, so did the blanket.

When formulating this blog I decided to have a look at what granny squares I had made recently and I was a little surprised. It seems in the last few months I have been making quite a few grannies:

Flower power cushion:

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Pin cushion:

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Granny purse:

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Perhaps age has mellowed my views, but now I can see they have their uses and to me their primary use is, to put it simply, colour! Perhaps it is the regularity of the design, but they certainly enable everyone to experiment with colour and somehow bring out the rainbow in all of us. My current experimenting with colour is via Bohemian Rhapsody, perhaps not a true granny but lots of granny elements:

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Now you can experiment with colour in lots of way with crochet, and I absolutely adore the beautiful motif designs by Amanda Perkins – I think they enable more alluring colour experimentation and her blankets are just exquisite, to me so much more pleasing to my eyes than any granny square could be. Have a look at her blog here: http://amandascrochetblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/granny-squares.html she shows how beautiful crochet motifs can be.

The secondary use of granny squares is that they are simple, and thus they enable beginner crocheters to experiment with colour and make useful items with confidence. No-one is a beginner forever, so in time most crocheters do move on from grannies. However, I recognise that some do not – they love grannies so much they just keep making them! So be it – the world is big enough for everyone.

So I no longer hate grannies, I see they have their place in the crochet world. So this blog is part of a celebration of them – the ‘granny square blog tour’, which enables crocheting bloggers the world over to join in and have their say. If you have a blog and want to join in, then please comment on this discussion thread on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2646102/1-25#11

Next on the tour is the talented Tracey Todhunter, look out for her blog early next week: http://bakingandmaking.com/

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

Inspiration………

I count myself very lucky to have some inspirational crafting friends, they make some amazing things and are always happy to share their ideas and what inspires them. So I am now going to share 2 things that I made thanks to inspiration from my friends.

The first is a sewing project. Whilst shopping in Tesco this week I spotted some lovely tea towels, good fabric with nice patterns – £4 for a pack of 3 – one spotty, one floral (a little Cath Kidston I think) and one plain white waffle. I instantly remembered Riana sharing her tea towel tote, so I knew exactly how useful these tea towels could be. I just needed a bit of webbing, which I found in John Lewis, and in no time I had made this:

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I call it the Tesco Tea Towel Tote! And it is destined to be a present. Thank you Riana!

The next inspiration came from Heike (do have a look at her blog here http://www.madewithloops.co.uk). She shared a photo on facebook of a very colourful granny bag, gathered at the top into some handles. And this inspired me to make a purse along the same lines – here is my take on a granny purse.

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The best bit of this is the lining, have a close look here:

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Yes, it is a white waffle – taken from one of the Tesco Tea Towels.

I can’t recommend tea towel sewing more highly, you frequently find some lovely printed fabrics (Riana made a tote using a cupcake printed towel from Ikea), they are good quality and they are generally very good value. And they are already edged, which reduces the sewing. Next time you go shopping look for tea towels, you may find yourself inspired to make something beautiful from one…or two……

Happy knitting, crocheting and sewing xx

Bohemian Rhapsody

Did anyone watch The Great British Sewing Bee?   Well if you did you may have spotted Ann (the winner and my heroine!) wearing a fabulous crochet scarf in the penultimate episode, it was so light some people even thought it was printed on fabric.  The scarf is a design by Marylene Lynx called Bohemian Rhapsody, you can see it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bohemian-rhapsody-2

Now I am not a huge fan of granny squares.  You should know by now that I am a hexagon girl!  However, what I do like about granny squares is the opportunity you have to experiment with colour, and there are so many amazing colour experts out there who create the most fabulous grannies.   Marylene Lynx did just that with Bohemian Rhapsody, there are 75 colours in the design – the complete colour range in the very fine lace weight merino wool by Renaissance Dyeing http://www.renaissancedyeing.com/en/

I just had to make one!   

First I purchased the kit, which is available only from Renaissance Dyeing and comes from France.   It arrived in double quick time and I laid out all the colours on the table – they looked so beautiful I didn’t want to start!

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Then I had to sort them into 3 groups

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Then I started the long laborious task of winding them into usable balls.  At first I did this on bits of paper as I was so impatient I wanted to start making the scarf.

Within a few days I had used 25 colours and made the first 8 squares – only another 136 to go!

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In the top left of the photo you will see the yarn on bits of paper.

After talking to a friend, who was tempted like me and has bought the kit, I very quickly realised it would be better to use embroidery cards and organise them into an embroidery box, so I had to rewind most of them!

But it has been worth it.  I set a plan to do 8 squares a fortnight and I am a little ahead of that plan – here it is now, 48 squares complete – so a third of the way through.  

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Look closely in the top right and you will see my yarns, now properly organised in a box!

It should be finished in time for Christmas!

 

Happy knitting and crocheting

xx