Not so Granny Squares

I had been wanting to learn how to crochet for years. I had tried a few times without success and not much patience either. I knew how to make the beginning chain but I just couldn't figure out how to do the second row, where to insert the darn crochet. So about 3 years ago, on a nice vacation day, I decided that it was going to happen then. I "locked" myself in my room with yarn, a crochet and a laptop to watch a Creativebug (my favorite creative learning site) beginners crochet class. I chose a class to learn how to make granny squares. They seamed to be the base for a lot of projects. It took me about 2 hours of watching, re-watching, re-re-re- watching sections of the class to make sure I understood each steps as well as crocheting and unraveling several time the same square until it looked like it should. I was then ready for my very first project. I chose to make a baby blanket. I love colours, so of course, I chose a pattern that used several. Here's a picture of it I took just before I sewed the squares.

After this very first project, I made hats, other, blankets, little heart garlands,etc. All made for the love of crocheting and giving. I really like making small pieces to assemble. I love being able to change my mind at the last minute, when it's the time to assemble everything. They also make easier projects to do on the road.

For my most recent project, I wanted to go back to using lots of colours. Searching for inspiration, the one piece that I constantly went back to was this gorgeous blanket from Purl Soho.

Photo: Purl Soho

The thing is, it's made with 41(!!!) colours. I had quite a few balls of yarn in my stash but I didn't have 41 of the same weight. I found 19 and bought the white to complete. I decided to use solid granny squares (less holes). I started by crocheting 1 square per colour (I know, 7 are missing on the photo 😏).

To decide how many squares I needed and how to arrange them, I "played" with them on Photoshop. If you don't have PS, you can simply print and cut several photos of the squares. Here's the plan I ended up with:

You can purchase a written version of the pattern HERE

I used a 4.5mm (G/7) crochet

Almost all (16 - Neon Pink) the yarn are Patons Canadiana

White 10005

1 - Pale Améthyste 10343

2 - Cherished Lavander 10320 3 - Grape Jelly 10307 4 - Royal Blue 10134 5 -Clearwater Blue 10725 6 - Cherished Blue 10128 7 - Pale Teal 10743 8 - Medium Teal 10744 9 - Dark Teal 10747 10 - Leap Frog 10708 11 - Lime Juice 10712 12 - Tweet Yellow 10622 13 - Tangy 10628 14 - Grapefruit 10746 15 - Bubble Gum 10732 ***** 16 - Neon Pink CARON - SIMPLY SOFT YARN **** 17 - Cardinal 10707 18 - Burgundy 10430 19 - Deep Orchid10332

To do this version, you will need to crochet 11 of colours 11 to 18 and 10 of the other colours.

To figure out how much yarn you will need:

Each colour center:

303in per colour center (770cm) HERE 303in x 11 squares = 3333in /36in (to convert to yards) = 93 yards (85 meters)

White: 210in per white border for each square (535cm) HERE: 210in x 198 squares = 41580in /36in = 1155 yards (1056 meters) 12in per square for sewing (30cm) HERE: 10 rows of 18 squares = 180 + 17 columns of 11 squares = 187 so 367 x 12in = 4404 /36in = 36 yards (33 meters) 60in per side of a square for the blanket border (150cm) HERE: the rectangle blanket as 2 sides of 18 squares and 2 sides of 11 squares. So its border mesures 58 squares. The white yarn to do the border needs to mesure: 58 x 60in = 3480in /36in = 97 yards (89 meters)

For this blanket, we need a total of 1155 yards (for square borders) + 36 yards (seams) + 97 yards (blanket border) = 1288 yards (1178 meters). Each Patons canadiana ball of yarn mesures 205 yards (187 meters), we need 7 (1288 yards / 205 yards, 1178 meters / 187 meters)

All crochet terms are US terms

- Square centers:

Chain 4 and close to form a ring. Start the center square by chaining 3 (it forms the last "double crochet" of the 4th side of the square). Crochet 2 double crochet in the center. Crochet 1 chain. Crochet 3 double crochet in the center. Crochet 1 chain. Crochet 3 double crochet in the center. Chain 1. Crochet 2 double crochet. Close the square by inserting the crochet in the 3rd chain on the beginning chain and making a slip stitch.

- Les next rows:

1- Chain 3 (it constitutes the last "double crochet" in the last corner

2 - 2 double crochet in the corner.

3 - Double crochet in each stitch (3 for the 2nd row, 6 for the 3rd, 9 for the white border) of the last row. SEE IMAGES: to understand exactly where to insert the hook for the very first double stitch on each side.

4 - 2 double crochet in the corner.

5 - Chain 1

Redo steps 2 to 5 to go all around. BUT crochet only 1 crochet in the last corner of the square because the beginning 3 chain constitutes the second one. Close the square.

With the same yarn, make a 3rd row using the same steps.

After closing the square cut the yarn at about 3in. When you have a few squares, take the time to weave in the tails.

To make the contrasting border, slip knot the yarn on the hook, insert the hook in one corner, make a slip stitch to attach this yarn to the square. Proceed like other rows. Step 3: make 9 double crochets.

When you will have several made, weave in the tails and block the squares.

When all the squares are made, arrange them on the floor. Attach squares to form rows with safety needles. Using pieces of paper pined to rows, not the order of each. Attach rows in pairs. Sew the rows. Attach pairs of rows together and sew. Continue until all the rows are sewn. Weave in the tails. Sew the columns. weave in the tails. Crochet a border using the same technique as the square borders. Weave in the tails.

Et voilà!

Do you feel like making one? :) Do not hesitate to ask if you have any question.