Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Giant Granny Square

This past weekend I finally finished my Giant Granny Square afghan. This project has been a true labor of love. I started in early September and it took me all the way into early January. I didn't know it would be such a long-lived project but I am so glad it was.

This blanket is made in Stylecraft Special DK yarn; I used the "Lucy Pack" assortment of yarn sold by Deramore's in honor of Attic 24's Lucy who does such beautiful colorwork in her crochet projects. I can't recommend this yarn enough, and this color assortment, all 17 skeins of it, is just perfect. There is so much yarn in the pack and it's very affordable, even for those of us who live in the US; Deramore's will ship for free to us if we spend $50.

The Lucy Pack includes the following shades of Stylecraft Special DK:

Aspen, Meadow, Spring Green, Aster, Cloud Blue, Turquoise, Lavender, Sherbet, Wisteria, Plum, Magenta, Clematis, Shrimp, Pomegranate, Fondant, Lipstick and Saffron.

I also added Teal because it's a color I really love. I personally feel that this color assortment could benefit from a shade which pulls the greens and blues together a bit more and Teal seemed to work well for me.

As I worked, I mostly chose my colors randomly but I tried to do several shade progressions just to keep it looking pulled-together. I didn't want anything too rainbow-y though, so I tried to avoid letting the progressions continue through more than two color families at a time (i.e., greens and blues, or reds and purples) before breaking from the progression.

I used Bunny Mummy's granny square tutorial for this project as well as her Double V edging for the border. I am so happy with Bunny Mummy's tutorials; I recommend them highly for any project, though this is my first project using her tutorials so far. This was actually my very first attempt at granny-squaring and I really took it all the way, I guess. I was familiar with the concept of granny clusters because I had already made a granny stripe blanket but I needed to learn how to go around corners. Here's how it looked on the second day of my endeavor.

Early September.

This blanket took me from late summer, through fall, and into the coldest part of the New Mexico winter. I worked on it outdoors sometimes when the weather was still warm. I did a lot of hooking in our backyard on the patio while my small Bears played in the afternoons.

Early October.

The weather soon grew cooler and grannying became an indoor project. I worked some every single day and it was a lot of crocheting but I really enjoyed it. I worked primarily in the afternoons, while my small Bears and I listened to books on CD, which we borrow from the library. We listen every afternoon for one hour. The small Bears play, draw or color while they listen and I usually hook. It's one of my favorite parts of the day. We have listened to some excellent literature and I am able to be creative at the same time.

I wasn't sure what I would do with this blanket so I just kept making it bigger. Soon my square was large enough to stop testing it on floors and tables and start testing it on my bed, to see how large it would need to grow into order to be a coverlet on top of the duvet. It turned out that it would need to be quite large to fit my queen-sized bed but I tested it every few weeks just to see the progress I was making. I started thinking about my granny square as female; she is a granny after all.

Early November.

Late November.

Early December.

That last picture was a bit dangerous to take; I had to stand on my nightstand and lean way over the bed on one foot to take my granny square's picture. I almost fell off but that's how important she has become to me: we are bound together through thick and thin!

I had a lot of time to work on my giant granny over the holidays, with the Bear on vacation from work. I may have sped up a little bit too, starting to feel a slight itch to get her done. And finally, on January 5, I was finished. I tried my granny square on the bed and she fit perfectly so I decided to add the Double V border I linked to above. I did it in the same color (Wisteria) that I used for the final round of the blanket so that it would look wider and more solid.

And finally now for the BIG REVEAL! I'll just post the pictures as a group for the visual experience of this huge, colorful, soft, warm blanket. I'm in love with it, truly! This is my most involved, longest-lived and biggest crochet project yet and I am very proud. We had a lot of fun photographing this blanket.

You can sling her over the bed.

You can fold her at the foot.

You can fold her in a bundle and admire the stripes.

You can admire them from a different angle.

You can turn her to see the edging instead.


My corners are perfection, if I do say so myself.

I just love this edging technique; simple yet delicate and pretty.

Gorgeous center of the square.
Granny from above; the Bear figured out a much safer way to do this, by mounting a camera on a monopod.

And finally, our bed with my lovely giant granny square.




Oh, I am in love with this blanket. I am so very proud of it. I walk past my bedroom door just to catch a glimpse of her on the bed. The colors are vibrant and cheerful and they work beautifully with our duvet and shams set. The bed frame itself is new, our tenth wedding anniversary present to ourselves, and we've only had it a few months. We bought a new mattress and box-spring set at the same time. I think this afghan is worthy of our beautiful new bed. No, they are worthy of each other. Beautiful blanket and beautiful bed. We sleep with our granny square on top of the duvet and we are warm and snuggly all night. I have loved waking up to see its brightness in the mornings.

This blanket makes my heart happy and it makes me feel like I am a real crocheter now; I have learned new techniques, exercised my color-planning skills and worked until it was big enough for my needs. I was a little impatient by the end, just wishing to be done, but I am glad I kept going until my granny square was exactly what I wanted.

Now for some interesting statistics about this blanket. Here we go...

  • Nearly 6,000 yards (most of 18 full skeins) of Stylecraft Special DK
  • 4.00 mm Susan Bates Silvalume hook
  • 67 inches by 67 inches square, finished size (with edging)
  • Over 52,000 stitches in total (tabulated by the brilliant Bear)
  • Four months of daily hooking, indoors, outdoors, day and night

And that's my Giant Granny Square. I think you should make one too. It will be a beautiful experience of hooky-love.

14 comments:

  1. Jennifer - this is absolutely beautiful. I just love it. And it looks great with your duvet cover, which is also beautiful, by the way. I'm in the middle of making a baby blanket right now and I think I'll use that stitch to edge it.

    Have a good evening,
    Jenny

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  2. Thank you, Jenny! I appreciate your compliments. The edging stitch is so easy, you'll love it.

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  3. Wow, just wow! This is SO beautiful. Well done. The edging stitch really gives it an extra something, and your choice of colours works so well. They are varied without being rainbowy.

    I love it when this happens - you see something on a blog that inspires you so much that you can't wait to start your own. A granny blanket was on my list this year, I'm going to make a start on one right away. Thanks Jennifer!

    Gillian x

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  4. Hi Gillian! Thank you so much. I am very happy with this blanket. I am so glad you're going to make one too! I can't wait to see it.

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  5. Hi Jennifer,
    Your blog is GREAT and full of love. What great things you do!
    I particularly love this your blanket. I'm not good at stitching, but my granny is. She made me a big wool blanket like this when I got married, in order to put it on the bed in winter, when it's freezing outside and one duvet is not enought. It's my favourite blanket, the best of all, it's made by small squares, but yours looks like mine very much.

    Anabell xoxo

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    1. Hi Anabell! Thank you so much. I love to crochet. How wonderful that your granny made you such a nice blanket! You must really treasure it. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the follow. :)

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  6. Beautiful! Granny squares are my favorite! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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  7. What is pattern for edging? Please!

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    1. Hi Evelyn, the pattern I used for the edging is Bunny Mummy's Double-V Edging: http://bunnymummy-jacquie.blogspot.com/2010/11/double-v-edging.html

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  8. Wow! I'm a new crocheter and have just cracked the art of the granny square! I've made lots of little ones but am not very good at stitching them together. You've inspired me to make a single square giant blanket like yours instead! X

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  9. Wow! I'm a new crocheter and have just cracked the art of the granny square! I've made lots of little ones but am not very good at stitching them together. I'm off wool shopping today and will embark on a giant, single square granny blanket like yours instead!

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  10. hi jenny how many rounds did you do if its ok ask please its beautiful ty sharon

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon, thank you. I think it's about 120 rounds.

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