Friday, January 30, 2009

Finally Granny is here

I always wanted to make a granny square. I decided back in 2007 that it would be a goal. I was intimidated by crochet, never having done really well at it before, blaming it on being a lefty taught by righties. Now that I was knitting intricate lace I decided I could no longer find lame excuses as to why I hadn't yet conquered this form of needle arts which had been growing by leaps and bounds all around me. I was so inspired by CaftyObsessions version of a Cath Kidston Granny Square quilt that I saw on their web page which cost oodles of dollars. This was the push I needed to finally teach myself to make grannies. I ran to my LYS and picked an array of brightly colored Cascade 220 skeins. I went for the superwash to make it a bit more easy to wash. With various patterns in hand and YouTube streaming, I sat down to create the first of which would be 60 of these happy, bright granny squares which I decided would look great in my youngest daughters room. I started this back in the summer of 2007. It came off the hook about a year later in July of 2008. I sewed all the blocks together with a mattress stitch and buried all the ends. Then I washed it in cold water and THE RED RAN MAD CRAZY!. I removed the Soak solution and added vinegar. Too late, all the whites were pink, the light greens were muted, the yellow, were, well, not too yellow anymore. Gone was my happy colored quilt. But I perservered. Really, what else could I do at this point but move forward? So gently, very gently, I lifted this 60 square wool behemoth out of the basin and POP! grannies were popping all over the place. Some from the centers, some from the mattress stitch borders, some from more than one place. I laid this mutant piece of wool waste down and gently tried to square it to a sheet that I had placed in a secure drying spot. It was no use. I looked like strings of colorful cheese melted over my sheet. So calmly, I got my scissors out and began to free the squares from their mattress stitches. I had to cut into the outside borders to do this, since their was no way to tell what was a mattress stitch and what was a double crochet. I made a pile - Good, Bad, Ugly. The Good just needed new red borders, the bad needed advice on how to fix them. (Thank you crocheters on Ravelry) and the ugly, well, let's just say they went away - far away. When all was said and done, 35 grannies remained. I soaked them again to try and get more of the red out, and was starting to like the muted look the read had given everything, even if I did miss the white hot white. The blocks got a "time out" for a few months until I could bring myself to give them all new borders and reattach them I finally did, and here is my finished product:

No, I'm not going to get a beauty shot, with terrific outdoor lighting, laid out all flat and perfect. It is done. It is being used and gently loved. I am requested to place it over her every night after the good tuck I give the comforter underneath. I can tag this

What went wrong? I think it was a combination of errors. First, I used a hook that was too large for the gauge of yarn. Cascade is a light worsted, almost dk weight. I used a J hook, and later a G when I realized my error, but it made the squares too drapey, which when wet had no body to hold itself together. Then I blame my lack of experience in burying ends in crochet. I thought if I just crocheted over the tails it would be enough, but I think now that I needed to bury them more deligently. Then, I blame the yarn choice. While Cascade 220 superwash is a dream to work with, In my opinion it might be best served on smaller items, like sweaters and such. Certainly not 60 12" square grannies. But anyway, it's all good now and it is really all about the learning.


Kathy said...

Wow. Found you on Finishing friday. Lovely wonderul all the accolades I can think of, blanket. Hooray for a finish

PattieJ said...

OOOOH!!! Your Cath Kidston lookalike is beautiful!!! Sorry to hear you had a problem with the yarn fading and all... But in the end it came out gorgeous!!Thanks for posting on my blog and letting me know I was an inspiration to you, It makes me happy to hear that. I haven't posted on my blog in 6 months or so, I really should start posting again, your post made me remember how much fun it is sharing on each others blogs.

Pattie :)

Angie said...

That really makes me want to make a Granny Blanky. It's beautiful!!