Saturday, 3 October 2009

Granny Square Afghan



Finally completed, after 18 years!
Well that's when I started the middle (slightly faded) part of this blanket, as a cot quilt for Jacob (now 17). I obviously washed it a few times so that part has fused and almost 'felted' nicely.
As this was the first thing I had ever crocheted, I was very fond of it and when it became clear that I wouldn't be needing it as a cot quilt again, I decided to extend it. Only problem was that, by then, I had forgotten how to crochet! So it was back to my sister Jane, the 'crochet mistress', for a re-cap. I made a handful more squares, got diverted (by a patchwork quilt most likely) and found it again a few years later. Of course the old brain cells were decreasing by the year so I had to go BACK to Jane again to remind me how to crochet these damn squares!
It didn't help that this was the one and only form of crocheting I had ever done and had no real idea of the basics. It was a very pleasant surprise, when I got properly into 'the crochet' this year, to discover the delights of double crochet!

The original cot quilt squares had been made with left over Appleton's tapestry wool, which we had in abundance because my first bit of entrepreneurship was a tapestry kit business. Called Cleopatra's Needle, it was started when I was a naive 21 year old after encouragement from Jonathan to 'do something with my life'! When we moved up to Scotland and had a young family the business was our main source of income. Jonathan had taken over the running though we shared the designing. Annoyingly Jonathan designed our best selling kit ever immediately after being shown how to do needlepoint!

It was very successful, we sold the kits all over the world and in all the major department stores in the UK and it is still going strong now. We sold it in 1993 so Jonathan could concentrate on furniture making. The people we sold it to sold it again in 2006 and these people still own it
http://intro.cleopatrasneedle.co.uk/
I have just had a look at their retail website and they still have lots of the designs that Jonathan and I produced.
I've slightly got off the point here, so back to the blanket!

When I took up the blanket for the final time earlier this year, I realised I had depleted my stock of lovely Appletons wool (I think I will write a whole post about Appletons wool one day!) and so started buying and using a variety of wools. This has led to a slight uneveness of size and texture in the squares, not helped by the fact that I forgot the size of hook I was using at one point (3) and made quite a number with a '4'! These ones have gone around the edge, giving a slightly 'frilly' effect.


Frustrated by the differences I was getting by using different wools, I decided to have a good rake about for more stocks tapestry wool. Jonathan reminded me that we had been hoarding some for years with the plan of making a 'hooky rug' together in our twilight years! So down to the cellar I went and lugged upstairs 2 boxes that looked promising. They were both full of wool! Loads and loads of different colours of wool! So much wool that it actually scared me and I had to take a few bag fulls out quick and shove the rest back down to the cellar. I think it was the sheer number of creative possibilities that scared and overwhelmed me!

Anyway, armed with more of the right type of wool I powered on with the squares, even crocheting them on journeys in the van, much to Jonathan's disgust (he just doesn't get crochet).
A few weeks ago I thought I had enough and started the process of crocheting them together with black wool. The last thing to do was a border of 'trebles'. I finished it on my day off last Monday.
It is a bit 'rustic' due to it's long gestation, but I think all the better for that!

8 comments:

  1. I think the faded part in the middle almost looks like a heart!
    Love the story of how you found hordes of wool in the basement!

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  2. Wow, I saw this on the sidebar when I was looking at today's cushion, it's wonderful! I just love simple squares (not that it's simple to do, I'm sure!). This is what I'd like to make for my son. If it takes me 18 years, I'll be able to give it to him for his 21st birthday ;)

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  3. From a distance, I thought this was a quilt. It is not only totaly fabulous but you also posted that post on my birthday!

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  4. Wow! What an amazing crochet blanket you made. It is absolutely absolutely stunning!

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  5. Lovely! What stitch did you use to join the squares?

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  6. Hi there,
    You have inspire me and I have crocheted almost all the squares. Just wondering what stitch you used to join them?

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  7. I used double crochet to join them. worked from the right side :)

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