I am not a crocheter by nature or by training, but I do find crochet very soothing in a way that knitting is not for me. Because I can practically knit in my sleep I have to be doing something else while I’m knitting, either watching a film, listening to an engaging programme on the radio, or chatting to a member of my family. However, crochet requires my constant attention and focus and so is a more absorbing and mindful activity for me. I find the rhythmic and repetitive nature of the hooking process quite hypnotic, and it’s therefore one of the few activities that really make me ‘switch off’.
Being lucky enough to be surrounded by yarn of multiple colours, I have simply craved for a long time to make a granny squares blanket, using all the delicious ten colours from my Chunky range. But I have had to be patient to see this project finished, as it has taken me the best part of a year! This is because knitting calls on my time more urgently, more persuasively and more effectively (probably because I need to knit to generate income). However, I have made the most of snippets of time to crochet in between activities. One of the great things about crochet is that it is far more portable than knitting. My crochet hook and various balls of half used yarn came with me to Cornwall and Suffolk last summer, travelled with me on the train down to London, accompanied me on taxi runs for my children which required waiting time in the car. After repeating the squares numerous times, I could finish one in fifteen minutes, so it was a perfect occupation for those ten minute windows of time that inevitably crop up when you’ve been asked to pick someone up at 5pm and they don’t emerge until 5.15pm. Crochet has also therefore kept me calm and less likely to get irritable, as I am naturally a very impatient person and find it particularly irksome waiting for my children, as they seem to have little sense of the value of my time compared to theirs!
As I do not write crochet patterns, I am letting you have this one for free in the form of a series of three video tutorials (scroll to the bottom of this post), accompanied by a schematic chart for a colour scheme, a list of materials, and a few tips for completing your blanket. Of course, you can vary the colour combinations or schematic as you wish, but I thought I would let you know exactly what I did, so that if you like the results you can make your own. The videos are also up on my YouTube Channel.
As a special bonus for all you lovely crocheters out there reading this, I have put together some Granny Squares Blanket Yarn Packs of 10 x 100g balls, one of each ten Chunky colours, which you can buy here for only £64, saving 20% off the price of buying the yarn separately (normally £80 for 1kg). You will need two packs to complete the blanket (2kg in all!) but maybe you'll want to buy one pack at a time to spread the cost. I hope this helps someway towards getting your blanket started.
6.5mm crochet hook
Darning needle for sewing up
Each square uses approximately 15g of Libby Summers Chunky and to make a blanket you will make 96 squares.
3g of this is for the first round, 5g of this is for the second round and 7g of this is for the third round.
For the colour combination that I did, you will need the following 2 x 100g balls of each of the ten colours in the range
2 x 007 City Lights
2 x 100 Elderflower Cream
2 x 008 Alleyway Shadows
2 x 009 Evening Horizon
2 x 010 Congestion Red
2 x 011 Apple Blossom
2 x 661 Asphalt Grey
2 x 207 Stamford Stone
2 x 860 Clear Skies
2 x 434 Misty Day
Each square measures approximately 12cm wide and 12cm high
Approximately 144cm high x 96cm wide
Follow the videos below to learn to make a granny square, if you don't know how. This particular design uses the treble stitch, but there are other ways of making granny squares using other stitches and other configurations. Follow the schematic below to get the same colour scheme as I used and to ensure you have enough yarn. By all means make up your own colour scheme, but bear in mind that you may need to purchase more yarn.
I decided to sew my squares together using a simple overstitch in 434 Misty Day. You shouldn’t need to buy extra of your sewing up colour, as long as it’s not 007 City Lights or 100 Elderflower Cream, as these two colours are used the most in the blanket. You may choose to join your squares using a crochet stitch. This can tend to create a raised edges running vertically and horizontally through the blanket, which I don’t really like the look of, which is why I chose to sew it together. Its a matter of personal choice, however.
Today I want to write about the fun I am having at Crochet Camp.
What a brilliant concept this is! The brain child of the lovely Kat Goldin, and a fantastic way of bringing crocheters or aspiring crocheters (like me!) together over a hook and some yarn. We haven't only been crocheting, we've been spinning a yarn about it as well on the facebook group which Kat set up, where everyone can show off their work, write about their experience of the patterns and yarns, and just generally enthuse about all things crochet.
It took me until Wednesday to get my kit out and get started, due to work and life and stuff getting in the way. In the odd spare minutes on Monday and Tuesday I was oohing and sighing over everyone's else's work on facebook, which was kinda useful because I was able to learn some lessons which I could apply to my own project.
Now, I have been knitting non-stop since I was seven years old (I'm 40 this year - Argh!) but I only picked up a crochet hook when I was about 33 for the first time, and taught myself to do the BASICS. I crocheted a blanket, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but then never took things to the next level, and the crochet hooks got buried beneath the knitting needles.
So, when I heard about crochet camp, I knew this was my chance. Here is the front of my potholder (above). I did this in one evening, but was watching the Apprentice at the same time, so that's why I was so slow! I sewed it up the next morning, discovering that my stem was a bit too long, so I had to give it an artistic bend. The pattern says to make two chains for the stems, but I cheated and made one and folded it in half. I love finding short cuts.
Here is my finished potholder. I had to change the design, because of my tension problems. Basically, my red back piece came out about 0.5cm bigger than the blue one all the way round! So, rather than start again, I crocheted the two pieces together by inserting the hook into the second st/row in on the red piece, and half a st/row in on the blue piece. This brought the two pieces together whilst keeping them flat. It meant I had to do the edging in red instead of blue, otherwise this cunning plan would have just looked like what it really was - a bit of a mess. Anyway, I think the end result is ok, don't you? Not bad for a near beginner. Oh, and the other thing I did differently from the pattern was to create the hanging loop as I went round making my edging, instead of doing it afterwards. I hate sewing in ends, so this was another cheat on my part.
This has really helped me think about the end user when writing my own knitting patterns and the importance of tension, and the difficulty of achieving the right tension that a beginner has. I really liked the way Kat included photos all the way through her patterns of each step, and this is a real necessity for a beginner, or even someone like me who has crocheted before but can't remember anything other than a dc!
I'm crazy about yarn, Scotland, food, my husband and my three girls, and I live in a perpetual state of organised chaos. Some just call it creativity.