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.


Don't forget your continence issues in your 88 year old blog. Becuase seriously do you know many 88 year olds? Its a whole topic. xo

I love your squares! I just finished crocheting a couple granny square dishcloths today. Love 'em.

And the kitty is cute too :)
God bless :)

I vote you paint the guest room green. It can even be a greeny-blue. But not blue...

(I do love blue though.)

I think Vi would prefer the room to be a soft shade of....violet, of course!

what if the walls of the room were the same color as Vi's eyes?

All this talk of grannies and 'ghans. I can't help but jump fifty years into the future, when your grandchild or grandniece or some grand-descendant has inherited this marvelous granny square afghan from you and keeps this blog entry as part of the treasured lore of it. I find that so very cool.

Can I just ask what yarn weight and hook you're using? Because I too am obsessed with grannies. Me and my two kitties! I'm trying to work out some sizing on a blanket and I'm curious.

You make me laugh and I LOVE to laugh. Grammy Ruth's quilt is amazing and so modern! How did you marry someone who "came with" fun stuff? I don't do either kitties or grannies but I sure love reading about them!

I think it is funny that in a world with every modern convenience in the world that we choose to bring back the crafts of our grandmothers. Cue Justin Timberlake "We are bringing granny back"

Your blog is always entertaining no matter what you write about. Cats and quilts are fine as long as you throw in an adorable photo of Audrey every once in a while!

Bring on more granny squares! Love the quilt.

Those colours are gorgeous. Makes me wish that I knew how to crochet, my left handed mother tried to teach right handed me and it was a disaster! Joining in on the blue love too, I love the wall colour from the studio photo in a previous post.

Those squares are looking great and that cat is looking impatient as ever.

I have always heard the expression, "young at heart" and wondered if that never would apply to me. I have always been a bit bookish and after being raised in a large family, I have never minded spending time alone. I love to putter around in the garden. I love old people music, like Frank Sinatra and all the Big Band stuff. I love to read books & newspapers and to write letters. I am a home-loving sort. I like having time to think. I think that I might be "old at heart."

I like your blog so much because you like gardens and flowers and little tea cups and pretty colors too... everything that is cozy .. actually. :)

oh my! your cat looks like our cat.. Beautiful!

alicia, I love your site! I stumbled across it last week (spring break) and I've been ever so addicted ever since. Vi is so lovely, and I just adore the snippets of your life that you share. Love your kitties and your grannies, keep 'em coming! Oh, and my entire townhouse is currently painted in shades of blue-grays and blue-greens (except ONE soft beige room). Personally, I love Restoration Hardware's "Silver Sage" and Dutch Boy's "Preppy Duds." Just a random two cents, can't wait to see it when it's done!

I'm a long time lurker, usually too envious of your talent to respond. Love the 'ghan in progress. just wanted to say when you scroll down over the picture of Vi, well, it looks like a mounted head, and I though maybe you had gone to far with the cat thing... once recovered from the initial shock... understood what you meant!

Well, I love both grannies and cats so I think I´ll keep reading your blog anyway :) How about a light yellow-vanilla guest-room?

Turns out, the internet was INVENTED for sharing cat stories, so no problems there. I love hearing about Vi and Bee - and Audrey too, don't want her getting jealous. The squares are looking lovely, I look forward to seeing the finished article soon!

I love the squares, especially the last one with the wide green around the edge. I have bought some yarn to start mine....I know I should have used stash, but I know what I want it to look like in my head and none of those balls would have done. Your idea of doing one a night is good, especially if you are doing a hundred other things as well!!! My cat lso features in my blog, so `I agree with Kitty JimJams!

Sweet Vi thinks blue, too! The grannies are gorgeous, and I love the quilt.

You are killing me with "'ghan" I need to know all the hip slang so I'll fit in with the crochet community when I get going with my own 'ghan.

Most of my house is blue too, and it isn't even different shades. I never even knew how much I loved blue until we painted the house this color.

You're too funny. You reminded me of a few summers back when I was living by myself and I would be talking on the phone to my bf (now husband) and he stopped me midconversation and said, "Kittens and curtains! Kittens and curtains! That's all you ever talk about now!"

I was just explain my frustration of not finding the right material to make bedroom curtains with and the possibility of adopting a cat! Geesh!

Well, see Alicia, we're a team! You have your existentially and beautifully chronicled boring life posted for us to read and fall in love with. And I have my boring, in-a-rut-'cause-I have young-kids-and-they-NEED-routines, don't they? life. And the collision is beautiful. Please keep posting about grannies and kitties, and I'll keep reading it at the same time of day in the same ratty fleece and my cuppa joe. hugs

You make me laugh. Love your squares and your cat. Does that make me a square cat??? LOL!

Keep sharing - I'm hooked.

I find absolutely nothing boring about your blog, even if you do blog for several days straight about not much more than granny-squares & kitty cats. I love reading the small details of your sweet life. The small details are the ones that make the most difference, and yet we forget the importance of them too often. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded by hearing about how carefully one might block a granny square, a sweet kitty face picture, how to properly prepare a Thai coffee, or the joy of a new crock-pot.

Thanks for sharing your small details with us!

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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




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.