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.


Your cats are my cyber kitties because we have allergies here. Could never tire of them or your beautiful work. Looking at your blog makes my heart sunny.

Oh my gosh! I love that photo of your cat so much! It's the perfect oval shape and face looking up. I've tried to get a similar look with my Italian greyhound but he won't sit still long enough to catch his pose. Leave it to a cat to pose perfectly still.

Count me as officially one of those who loves reading your blog posts no matter what they are about! I am nowhere near as talented nor crafty as you- and I don't even crochet or knit - but I still enjoy reading all about your projects. And I am a kitty fanatic -completely in love with my Dizzy Little Kitty - so no problem there, either!! Keep 'em comin' - that's all we ask!

Thanks for sharing your granny's postage stamp quilt. I'm working on one right now and it's so nice seeing other quilts like it. It's nice that you can snuggle up with it too and I'm sure it's full of memories. Granny-Along! How fun! I've got to go check that out.

Beautiful kitty, and beautiful squares. I recently finished a doll quilt for my daughter. Just a random postage stamp-type quilt--but I am reminded of your conscious effort to maintain "unconscious" color decisions. I would find myself being attracted to a certain color scheme (often pinks and blues) and it would lose balance. Directing the colors to a more "crazy" color scheme seemed to keep it in check.

sandi! this is a hilarious notion...too close to home, perhaps??! :)


Love all your granny squares...don't they just make you happy? I made a skirt out of the ones I was working on:

If you want a surefire method of keeping the squares from twisting... as you complete each round, turn the work. Your rounds will alternate wrong side and right side, but they will be perfectly square.

A little late for this afghan, but I hope you will make more beautiful blankets!

i love your site, it's full of colour and is so inspiring

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


post a comment

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




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.