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

So fun! I can't wait to see it finished!

I haven't crocheted a granny square in years but you have inspired me to get back into it. That and the fact that I have a ton of leftover yarn from various crochet and knit projects to use up. Your granny sq. afghan is absolutely lovely!!

Simply lovely! When your blanket is done it will be a treasure!

Wow Alicia, it is so gorgeous. You are the bomb!! I want to come live in your house!! diana

hmmmm, the water thing.....never knew that. That could explain my very trapezoidial granny square blanket. Dang. I should've done my research!
Looks beautiful, Alicia!

That mint-ish green is just wonderful in these squares! Great color combo all around.

My that is stunning! I wish I could crochet like that....I'm so very bad at it! I love the colours your using...and your shop, by the way!! : )

Your granny squares are lovely. That afghan is going to be gorgeous!!

I love making granny squares too. But I do not enjoy putting them all together. In fact, I have several half-afghans in the closet because I just can't seem to finish them.

However, all of your granny squares have inspired me to start making one big granny square afghan for my friend's brand new baby, who will be born in June. I'll probably post a pic of it on my blog later in the week. It's just pink and white. Not too original, but hey, it works.

God bless :)

After lurking for months, finally I write. A room painted in hydrangea blue has been on my want list for some time, but can never seem to find the perfect color. Am anxiously awaiting to hear what you find.

Thank you for being who you are! You have inspired me to reunite with my crochet hook! Even though nearly every post causes me to spend money :), your posts are a bright spot in my day.

I'm a bit late with this, but thanks for the blocking guidance. I posted on my blog last week about blocking and mentioned that I'd kind of copied what i could see you were doing, but you've cleared a couple of things up for me. Your blanket is beautiful, perfect sugar almond colouring!

My sister uses those huge foam puzzle piece things to block on. Here's a pic:

http://www.trailingyarn.com/index.php?paged=2

Just scroll down about a third of the way to the end of the page, just past the 10-year-old with a camera sequence.

Hi Alicia-
I just wanted to write and tell you that your crocheting has totally inspired me, I love the ripple blanket. I have an appointment with my crocheting friend in a couple of weeks to show me some of the basics and to help me get started on a project.
I also wanted to tell you that I love your little food embroidery! I'll bet if you made a pattern out of them people would buy them- I know I would!
Elisabeth

Love Love Love the granny squares. I wish I had time to try this. But I have way to many knitting projects to finish before I can start anything else. You are a wonder woman!!

you have totally convinced me that I will have to block my squares. I'm crocheting in the ends as I go (weaving them in with the hook). And as I've passed the 20 square mark I'm starting to think ahead...how do you join them together and are you going to go around them in green like the cream in the photo that started it all...and what stitch would you use to do that? So many questions I know, but this would have to be my favourite crochet project EVER!

Wow! This is just gorgeous!!! I seriously need to get back into crochet.

Oh wow your squares are so pretty. I wish I could master how to make them :(

Hi,
I just wanted to add to the list of movie's that you like because of the way that the interior of a home is decorated.......

I love Janes apartment in "27 Dresses". and I like the house that Julia Roberts runs away to in the movie "Sleeping with the Enemy".

hi! I'm in the process of putting together a granny and had never heard of blocking! I think I'm going to take everything apart and block...then try again. yay! oxox

Wow, that blanket is so beautiful! I want to make one similar to that, ay I ask what type of Yarn you used. Also, have you used your blocking technique on scarves or other shaped knitted items? I knitted a scarf and the edges are all in moss stitch, but still curling. DO you think your blovking method would work. It's 100% merino Wool? THanks so Much, Cheers, Robyn

Hi, I am a newbie crocheter, and I love your granny squares. I am addicted to making them, and I'd love to know what yarn you used and what size needle. Love love LOVE the color ways!

Hi Alicia, Your afghan is going to be sooo deliciously beautiful! Are you using regular worsted yarn? Mollye

Only just discovered your blog, I am just getting back into crochet, after about 20 years, I would love to know what yarn and size hook you used for your grannie blanket, also what size the actual squares are. the colours you have used are just fabulous. Thanks

Hi love the granny square blanket, I'm a beginner crochet-er and would love to know how to make this blanket, also hook size and weight of yarn.
When making a granny square blanket such as this, does your yarn have to be same texture and weight?
Hope you can give us the pattern,and instructions PLEASE

Heather Howe says: January 24, 2011 at 04:26 PM

I have no idea what blocking is - please forgive me, fellow crocheters. I can make the squares, but when it comes to putting the blanket together, I go out of my mind trying to get everything to fit each other. Could someone help this 60 year older (soon). I love to crochet - and have taught myself from books, so far, with no fellow crocheter to talk to. My email is negativedaisy@yahoo.ca and i would love to hear from you all.

Looking Good Alicia. :)

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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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