Getting the Grannies to a Mellow-Groove

comments: 75

Blocking2

Twenty grannies done, twenty-eight to go, though it's all on hold for a bit as I finish up some commissioned patterns that are due . . . pronto. I have so many things going on backstage, most of which involve other peoples' projects, so I must be coy. Making grannies is my little end-of-the-day treat.

Kitty1

The Bee is irritated that I've moved all the squares to the table, so she's defected to our bedroom, and kicked Violet off of the ripple blankie. The cats can't be on the same blanket at the same time, and at some point last week, Bridget, perched next to a pinned-down granny in the guest room, just said, "Hey, what's my problem. There's a perfectly good finished blanket over there. See ya, sap," and booted Vi off with a hiss and a swat.

Pins4

Sometimes I think my greatest incentive in finishing a square is getting to go upstairs and block it. I am blocking all squares as I finish them, because blocking absolutely transforms these babies from slightly fraught, tweaked-out, anxious little trapezoids to drapey, blissed-out grown-ups — they're all mature and perfectly square and presentable after spa-treatment. To achieve that end, simply pin them out (with stainless-steel pins, so they don't rust when wet) into eight-inch squares using a tape measure. Be sure to add three or four pins per side, and tack down more than just the corners. (I use the guest bed because the mattress is old and the quilts on it are hard-working old dogs that can take a sprinkle or two, but I know that people have used towels or padded boards to do this. Just use whatever flat, water-and-pin-friendly surface you have.) Then, spray it all with a water bottle until it's nice and saturated. Then leave it to dry completely, and when you return to unpin and lift you'll see how addictive this whole process is. I always get very psyched when I hear that someone hasn't ever blocked their work before because I know they will be so pleased with the transformation.

Pins3

Are there any other tips on blocking I should know about? I know there are a few ways to do it, but this is what I've always done. I plan to block the seams after I crochet all the squares together, as well. I can't wait. I think I'm going to repaint the guest room to go with this blanket when I'm done. Maybe blue, like the blue in that white-blue-pink-red square. Hydrangea blue. A granny flower.

75 comments

Oh yes darling, I have a tip! (And I agree blocking is so magical. Those who haven't tried it yet, you're really missing something good.). I block the same way you do for most types of yarn but with one addition, a single layer of plastic bag (garbage bag or whatever) between the knitting and the bed. If you wet knitting on top of a bed, the bed gets a bit wet, and then it needs to dry through the bed and it all keeps each other rather moist. The plastic layer makes the whole thing go a lot faster. Not as cute, but the results come sooner and the bed is released for use.

I should say, between the crochet and the bed. I'm in full-immersion knitting mode this week. Sorry...

That went fast! So pretty :)

I love your blankie :o)

I can't crochet, can sorta knit, but I love fabric and wool, so I muddle along with my knitted squares in the hope that one day I'll have enough for a blanket!

I will learn to crochet one day- maybe this June/july during our uni break (winter here in Australia, perfect for playing with wool!)

You mentioned you would like to paint your room the blue in the granny square. I just recently painted one of my walls in my study a very similar colour- called "chickadee" by Taubmans. Awesome colour, and not at all cold feeling.

Keep all those beautiful words and pictures coming, I really love reading your blog.

Christine

I seriously can't wait for my daily Posie post to see the next amazingly beautiful piece you're making! First, you've got me "hooked" on the ripple blanket and now the granny squares....I can't keep up! I started teaching myself how to crochet just so I could make them. My own Andrew thinks it's all a bit silly, but I just tell him I'm making heirlooms....he's definately not as craft-oriented as your Andy! Anyway, marvelous work as always, the squares are brillant! (and the cat ain't too shabby either!)

Chris Howard says: March 20, 2007 at 03:14 PM

How do you wash the finished product? Do you have to reblock it to dry it out properly?

Soooo pretty! I NEVER recoomend STEAM for blocking - it changes the fiber memory forever. A Spray mist bottle works great (as you know).

Thanks for the photos. The granny squares look really really cool. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I am in absolute AWE!

I am simply amazed at how lovely your creations are!! Thank you for the inspiration *I wrote about you!* and how I was now itching for yarn!! I wondered how on earth you made those squares so.....square! Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

You're entirely to blame. I just checked "Cozy Crochet" out from the library. I have a hook. I have the yarn. Now just looking for the brainspace.

I thought I was being the slack friend, didn't I owe you a phone call? I don't remember anymore. Miss your laugh. I need to hear it. xo

That's so pretty. I want the kitty and the blanket. Just like some of the other comments above I am beginning to feel like a stalker too. My daughter is now addicted too and we talk about you like you're an old friend. I know our family thinks we are strange!

That blanket is beautiful!!

And thanks for the tips on blocking. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on enough of some non-acrylic yarn soon so I can try it out!

Between you and Jane at yarnstorm I am smitten with crochet. I have only ever known enough crochet to edge sweaters and I don't love all crochet. But your ripple and granny squares are so inspiring! I took up hook and taught myself this weekend. Thank you and I can't wait to see more.

Yes, my crafty mojo is returning after losing my Mum in January and I have started knitting again. I really want to make a Granny Afgan for myself or buy the Ripple Stitch book. Thanks for the pictures.

The blanket is beautiful. I wish I had your talents. I tried doing a little ripple action, (like everyone else), today and am finding that I can't remember much from my crochet days, (which were very few to begin with). Looks like I'll be heading off to the LYS soon.

Oh baby, you've got orange in there, and I love it!

oh so that is what blocking is! I'm using a mix of cotton and acryllic yarn. i wonder if that is going to pose problems?

How timely your post. I have finished about 12 super-sized Granny blocks adn was just wondering how in the world this blocking malarky worked. Thank you again Miss Posie. I can't get enough of looking at your blanky.

Gorgeous! I am crocheting. I blame you. I could just about have managed if it had just been Jane's ripple, but what with yours and the vintage stripe one and now the Grannies, I have had to learn. Bah!

AHHH! so that's what and why you block! I am currently doing a granny afghan, too, but all acrylic as I have done in the past and have not found a need to block before the whole thing is completed. But I discovered a cotton yarn recently and am buying skiens of it already planny the next afghan -- it is a recycled cotton 80% and 20% acrylic, called eco......
The photos of my grannies are pre-blocked on my blog if anyone wishes to visit and check out the difference -- pre blocked, definately looks rather messy...
http://jswb.blogspot.com/

look at those spa-fresh grannies. they're lovely, alicia!

i love how your kittys appreciate your work!

One day I will learn how to knit, I swear. I love how the inner squares are not the same size, very fresh!

I completely understand your love for blocking. I crocheted very delicate snowflakes as christmas presents last year and the blocking made all the difference. Before, they looked like a strange little accumulation of strings. After, like (more or less) perfect little ice crystals. It was amazing.

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About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

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