Granny Hullabaloo?

baby blanket for tashRecently I was asked to write a blog post about “Granny Squares” – apparently they are the subject of much debate in the crochet world – I must admit I hadn’t noticed!

It seems that you’re either “for ’em or against ’em”.  I really can’t understand why these pretty little motifs are the subject of so much debate. It’s an exciting time to be a crochet designer, the pace of change moves so quickly, with innovative construction techniques, seamless crochet  becoming more popular and the most amazing crochet installations by talented artists such as Olek and Shauna Richardson. With so much happening in the world of crochet I’m surprised that Granny Square love / hate  still hogs the limelight.

Every time I teach a Learn to Crochet class, the first thing everyone asks is “Can I do a Granny Square”? The second question is usually  “Is it hard”? “Can anyone do it”? The answers of course are yes, no and yes. The beauty of the Granny Square lies in its simplicity. Anyone can grab a few balls of yarn and learn the simple pattern of chains and yarn over hook.

gtannies collage

Although I’ve been crocheting for many decades, I only began to crochet “grannies” a couple of years ago. Inspired by the beautiful blankets my boss (Riana at Fibre and Clay) was making with her mother.  I saw the shared joy in choosing colours, the calming influence of yarn over hook and the looks of amazement on customer’s faces when they saw how something beautiful could be made using only one stitch. Those blankets inspired many ladies to take up crochet. Many of them, their confidence boosted by the simplicity of the granny attempted more complicated motifs, triangles, stars, flowers and different joining techniques. Starting with the granny square they embarked on a crochet adventure which will hopefully last a lifetime.

2012-07-26 13.56.47

In the same way that knitters fall into many camps (circular vs flat, toe up vs cuff down for example), so crocheters have their favourite stitches and techniques. So, rather than a for or against debate let’s open up the world of crochet and share our knowledge and expertise. Accept our differences of opinion and experiment with new stitches and combinations of familiar favourites.

knit and crochet ref pics 115

Enjoy your crochet, and if like me, you find yourself at the end of a busy week, drinking a glass of wine, watching “rubbish tv” and crocheting grannies don’t beat yourself up for failing to challenge yourself. Remember that in years to come it will be those simple cuddly blankets your family will treasure. Like the blanket I still have, made by my Dad in the 1970’s. It’s garish and the colours don’t match, it’s made with cast off acrylic yarns in varying degrees of quality. Yet, it’s full of memories, a dress he made, a waistcoat, a baby blanket made for a friend. While the dresses, jumpers and waistcoats are long lost, that blanket endures and so will the granny square.

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4 Comments

  1. A lovely blog Tracey! Thank you x

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  2. It’s the same in the quilting world – traditional quilts, art quilts, sewn by hand, sewn by machine. I really can’t be bothered with all the nonsense – why can’t we just do what makes us happy! And don’t get me started on the knitters who sneer at those who like to knit toys and tea cosies!!

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  3. I love the therapeutic calming rhythm of going round in circles without counting stitches! Its also fun thinking up creative uses for the classic humble granny. What a great reminder of our 70s childhood too! Ali x

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  4. Just found your blog through the hexagon project forum and I’m very much with you on this… if you enjoy the soothing rhythm of trebles while watching tv or travelling then grannies are perfect. And they’re so versatile!

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  • I’m Tracey Todhunter. I’m a freelance writer. specialising in green / ethical living – with a “sideline” in craft!

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  • Blimey! My crochet a pumpkin workshop at @ditzyrosemakes is sold out already - thanks to everyone who has booked - there are dates planned for workshops in October & November so if you missed out on pumpkins look out for more soon (inc granny squares on 10th November).
#crochet #amigurumi #learntocrochet #lovecrochet #cheshire #ditzyrosemakery And in contrast to previous photo of moody grey sky, the sun just hit the dew on the nasturtiums!
#girlgardener #ediblegarden #naturelover #nofilter When you're enjoying a quiet mug of tea & the sound of geese becomes deafening! Seeing far more fly over the house this year (& occassionally landing in the field, calling to each other then taking off and regrouping as if they have practised for years!! Lots of red admirals in the garden today
#naturelover #redadmiral #butterfly #embracingautumn #girlgardener #wildgarden Sunday loaf. I've always baked bread -  not very successfully - but earlier this year I treated myself to a workshop with Andy, who runs the Coffee Kitchen bakery in Cockermouth. He taught us that bread making can be slow &  gentle, that bread is a living food & that inspired me to keep learning & keep experimenting. This is a 100% spelt sourdough fresh from the oven. Mr T is desperate for it to cool down so he can have a slice, thickly spread with butter! Thanks @thecoffkitchen for all your patience & advice.
#spelt #sourdough #cockermouth #notjustlakes #slowliving #theartofslowliving #naturallyleavened #morningslikethese #slowsundays #bakingandmaking #homesteading #realbread #wildyeast #slowfood My "get up and go" got up & went. Trying to restore my mojo with a walk in the forest, where it's so wet that even the squirrels look miserable! Normally I stop here to drink coffee from my flask, but it's onwards & upwards, then home for dry clothes & hot chocolate!
#dailywalk #forestwalk #woodland #embracingautumn
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