Only Grannies and Cats, Only Ever Them

comments: 59


That's right. This blog is now only ever about granny squares and cats. That's it. Every day, "My cat is so funny!" or "Look, another square, wow, man." It bears a lot of similarity to the blog I'll have when I'm 88, which will also be about grannies and cats, no doubt, but couldn't possibly be more boring than I am now, so if you want to stop reading now and just come back in fifty years, I won't blame you.

This quilt kind of reminds me of the squares, and it was made by an actual granny, Andy's grammy, Ruth. These squares are a little over an inch big, and the whole thing is zig-zagged within an inch of its life. It is sturdy. I love it. I just put it on the couch this weekend, traded out the wool-plaid throws we usually keep around and replaced them with the cottony quilts. The nice thing about making 'ghans in Oregon and not being done in time for the weather to get hot is that it usually always gets chilly at night, through the summer. So you always need 'ghans, of one kind or another, around.


When I look at that quilt, sometimes I have to remind myself to "see" the individual fabrics in each square. There are so many disparate colors and shapes you wouldn't think it would all work together, but of course it does. Nevertheless, there are definitely fabrics in there I can't imagine ever choosing on purpose. It made me look at my granny squares individually again. When I'm making each square, I'm mostly looking at it for itself, but I will admit that in the back of my mind I have the rest of them lurking; I am conscious of not wanting to use the same colors over and over so that they look like slightly different renditions of the same melody. No. I want them to look like themselves, and be quite different from each other. I don't want the whole thing, when it's all stitched together, to look just like lots of the "same" patch over and over.


That said, I also want the squares to feel individually spontaneous, uncalculated, rather clashy. This year's "clash" is next year's "cool," so I consciously try to unconsciously choose colors and not care too much about what I'm choosing. If that makes sense. People have talked about different ways of making "random" happen and I'm not naturally great at it. But let me tell you, forty-eight squares — forty-eight squares. You stop caring somewhere around fourteen. I'm in the second half of the 'ghan now and I only barely care what colors I'm using, though I will admit to having bought a few more skeins of the edgier colors, like mustard, chocolate brown, weird orange.


This is another reason why, after the first four, I stopped stitching them together. (Actually, I'll be single crocheting them all together.) I am actually going to wait until I'm completely finished with all forty-eight and then arrange, and then stitch. That's because I know that I have some interesting colors that I only picked up halfway through doing this and I don't want to backload the blanket with those colors, or with red. I do sort of want them scattered throughout. There is enough mindlessness in the stitch pattern itself that I should think it won't be too much trouble to care a little bit about how they go together.


Some of these squares haven't been blocked yet, as I mentioned yesterday, and you'll see that they look kind of twisty. Blocking doesn't completely eliminate that — I think it has to do with where each new color starts, and how the ends get sort of pulled smooth — but it helps, and I figure that once the thing is in use, if all its twisty squares are lined up to sort of "pull" against each other it'll all get "square" somehow. In its own way. We'll see. I totally need more green, too, so so much for busting the stash. Now I'm having to buy. DAMN. What can you do.


As mentioned, these squares are based on Erika Knight's "Modern Afghan" squares from Simple Crochet, but to me they are just the classic that everyone knows and loves. If you're wondering how this blanket has come to be, please just read back through the posts about it — all I know is there, and there is lots of good info and discussion at the Granny-Along blog, too. I need to update my posts there. It's amazing how many people are working on these and how different they all are. There are almost ninety participants!


I still want to paint the guest room, where this 'ghan will live. It's been pale pink for seven years and just ready for a freshen. I am still thinking blue, but I always paint my rooms blue. There are SEVEN blue rooms in our house. That's almost the whole house. Of course, those shades of blue range from gray to turquoise, but still — blues. I like blue, I guess. That is a very, very hot room in the summer, facing due west. Maybe it should be blue. Maybe I'll wait until I've finished the 'ghan.


What do you think, sweet Vi? I sense you have an opinion.


You're so cute. Alicia-the-cat-lady's Granny Blog.

Those afghans and quilts with random colours are like Life, I think. Zooming in and out from micro to macro changes your perception of them......Lilli's guide to consciousness in crafting :)

Love the squares--and the cats, keep it coming!
I love that we could still be doing this at 88. Why not have color and beauty...and process... be lifelong persuits? The quilt is a great bit of inspiration too!

Vi is saying, "You don't have to finish the thing right now -- just give me a few to get comfy with."

I am a quiltmaker and I have found that the best quilts I have ever made are the ones that are scrappy - the ones that you put the God awful fabrics in - you know the 'what was I thinking' stuff. But they work! And they are the most loved. I wish I had the yarn stash you have as I would certainly be rippling, or grannying! I am constantly inspired by your creativity and your outlook on life. Thanks!

You're post is too funny. The quilt is gorgeous - the colors really work well.

I think that quilt is what they used to call a postage stamp quilt, isn't it? Very nice. Maybe Vi could cuddle on the quilt until you finish the 'ghan.

Oh, I also love the zig-zagging on the quilt.

Mary D.

Your creativity is so amazing and inspiring. And you tell witty stories too. I bet you will be an interesting granny with lots to share.

Give that Vi a kiss for me, right between the ears ( when she isn't paying attention, you could always pretend you were trying to whisper something to her and not actually KISS her!) She is such a beauty, and I can tell by the look in her eyes...she knows it!!

Colours are looking just great! I just picked up a copy of that Simple Crochet book brand new for £1! Actually I bought 9 and hope to convert some friends into crochet!

Mmm if this is a boring blog then does that make me boring for reading it? Cats and quilts and grannies are some how very interesting, i think? ;)

Geez, Alicia, you had me in a fit of the giggles right at your title.

I like blue, too. I'm thinking of redoing our apartment and am convinced that deep teal in the bedroom, aqua in the kitchen, and turquoise in the livingroom are VERY very different color schemes and also acceptable. You have some baby blues, right? That's like, wild and crazy color range right there, to me anyway. Whatever you do looks great. Blue it up!

We were recently also kind of stuck on picking a bedroom color and half-joking, held out the swatches to our dog to pick. He jumped to the same color 4 out of 5 times, hey works for us! :-D

Vi is sort of hoping you'll practice-crochet about a dozen together, let her sit on them, then wander onto another project and sort of let that turn into a cat throw because she loves it so much.

Good call on waiting to arrange the squares until they're all done! I can't wait to see it...unless Vi's idea comes to pass. :)

The story, the squares, the the cat and those hypnotic green eyes!
That quilt is awesome! I just posted on ebay a boat load of already cut, already hand-stitched, EIGHT DOZEN plus vintage stars for a quilt! Oh, how I wish I knew how to quilt but I have so much going on, I just know I won't ever sit down to make anything from them. Soooo, hopefully someone with more time and talent than I gives them a good home and makes something wonderful from them. I can't imagine all the work that goes into a venture like that and your Granny Squares. You rock....really!

Vi says "Paint the room green, like my eyes!"
I talk to cats, so I know these things...

The grannies look awesome, I love how grannies always seem to look great no matter what color combos are used. If you think you're blog is boring-then I guess boring loves company because there are a lot of people right there with ya.

That's ok, I love reading about grannies and cats! :O)

The squares and the quilt are beautiful!

Nothing wrong with lots of blue walls, my house will soon be all shades of blue, turquoisey and robins egg, I just love it!

Alicia...what a funny post. All that thinking over a RELAXING project. I am doing it too and check on all the lovely ones coming along. Miss Vi is telling you with her eyes...too much blue well there is green. Like the bit that is like the colour you are using. Let's see use stash, plan unplanned pattern, really cool and buy more. I got it. Randomly.

grammy's quilt is awesome and the zig-zag stitching makes it rock. right on grammy!

I'm happy to see your granny squares again. I love how the green outline matches the green of your blog background. They are looking fantastic, and I totally get what you are saying about randomness. I'm resisting joining mine together for the same reason. Even though I chose a colour palette to start with, the way I combine the colours has evolved over the last 37 squares. And the cats...we all love the cats. (oh, and thanks to you I blocked and You were right! Totally get it now).

How about a light yellow room? Our bedroom is a light yellow (painted before it was ours) and I'm a blue gal myself (blue here, maybe just a touch more blue... Oh, that'd be nice in a blue...). Anyhow I love the bedroom's yellow, especially in the sun, and all of my blues look so darn good in there.

A couple of my favorite bloggers are moving on and when I hear about it my first thought is that it's fine as long I can still come -here- to visit. Write about cats and grannies all you want!

Chris Howard says: April 03, 2007 at 02:37 PM

If you never post about anything but cats and afghan squares I will be happy. I need my daily dose of Posie! You keep writing about your life, and we'll keep reading it!

I've had carpal tunnels, so that's why I haven't been around. Typing was a no-no for me.

Your grannies and cats blogs are the best! As a mother of four cats I can attest to the large (and hairy) part they play in every single creation of mine! I think they bemoan the fact that I don't simply make decadent cat collars all the livelong day =)

Your grannies and cats blogs are the best! As a mother of four cats I can attest to the large (and hairy) part they play in every single creation of mine! I think they bemoan the fact that I don't simply make decadent cat collars all the livelong day =)

I shall never tire of this blog. I live to read another 50 years' worth of posts!

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About Alicia Paulson


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