What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Granny Square Afghan

Granny Square Afghan

Knitted and crocheted afghans are a family favourite so I make quite a few. A granny square afghan is worked one square at a time then the squares are sewn together and an edging added to form the finihed piece. It is an ideal project for those learning to crochet as it involves simple stitches. The variations in how granny squares are made are as varied and unique as the people who make them.

Here's how I made a basic shell style granny square. More detailed instructions by Martha Stewart along with diagrams can be found here. I make the initial stitch then chain (ch) six stitches. Leaving the last stitch on the hook, I put the hook into the first stitch of the chain, catch the yarn with the hook and draw through both stitches. This is called a slip (sl) stitch. Then I chain 3, double crochet (dc) twice chain 3, [double crochet three, chain three] I repeat [] three more times ending with a chain 3. I slip (sl) stitch into the top of the chain forming the first shell. There are now four shells and four holes that will become the corners. I slip the next two stitches then chain 3, double crochet (dc) twice, chain 3 in the first hole, double crochet (dc), into the same hole. There are now two shells in the first hole. I chain (ch) 3 then double chrochet (dc) 3, chain (ch) 3, double crochet (dc) 3 into the second hole, chain (ch) and repeat for last two holes, chain 3 and slip into the first stitch of the first shell. The piece is now a square. I continue making rounds by working two shells in each corner, one shell in each of the holes in the sides of the square.

Once you have tried making a granny square it will become clear as to how this works and diagrams make it a lot easier to visualize. There are a lot of good references online for making the basic granny square. One tip I would offer is to use cotton yarn when learning. Make the square about 9" then edge with a row of single crochet (sc) and you now have a wash or dish cloth.

When I was looking for a couple of sites for making basic granny squares, I came across a site that said traditionally granny squares are made in bright colours then trimmed in black. Well, when I made this afghan, I had never heard of that. Usually when I start a piece I have a particular idea or yarn in mind. The idea I had for this afghan was to create a piece somewhat mimicking an Amish pieced quilt. However, I couldn't resist working in the variegated yarns as the practical purpose was using up left-over yarns in my stash. Anyone who knits or chrochets knows how quickly that stash can grow!

The finished piece is a heavy afghan perfect for snuggling in on cold winter evenings. It measures 55" x 78". There are seventy squares consisting of 4 rounds of shells edged in double crochet (dc) worked in worsted 4 ply yarn. The squares were place right side down and joined through only the back loop forming a textured ridge on the right side of the afghan. I then edged the afghan with a row of black, row of muted blue and final row of black worked in double crochet (dc).

While the beauty of the basic granny square can be used in so many ways, I just had to try this more advanced version. This is an afghan (?) project I have in progress at the moment. I have a question mark because I am considering on making it big enough to use as a bedspred for or bed. The piece is being worked in Bernat worsted 4 ply. The heart is worked first and is raised from the square. The square is then started by attaching at 8 points on the back of the heart. The square is then worked as normal and edged in double crochet (dc). I will likely piece together through the back loop of the double crochet as I like that look for added texture and definition.

Garden Gnome
© 2007