My pile of Granny flower squares is blooming almost as fast as the real flowers in the garden. No surprise, really, as they have become my default relaxation activity. Time for a tea break? Time for a quick Granny square while my favourite Assam brews and cools.
A few minutes sitting in the sunshine before dinner? A few minutes busy with hook and yarn, blissfully happy in my little world of colour and warmth.
The only rule I set myself at the start of this project was to weave in all the ends of yarn after finishing each square. Dull and boring – oh, yes! Far more exciting to rush on to the next square. However, it didn’t take very tricky maths to work out that a hundred squares with six tails each to deal with would be a pretty soul-destroying task all at once so I’ve stuck to my rule with every single square. The little tails are very pretty in themselves; I’m surprised those twine-stealing blue tits aren’t eyeing them up for their nestbox.
Despite my original happy-go-lucky approach, I have noticed that the more squares I have made, the more I felt the need for a bit of organisation. This isn’t because I want to abandon the idea of ‘random’. Quite the opposite, in fact: I really want to preserve the sense of colourful pick ‘n’ mix but I wasn’t sure anymore that just randomly making squares was going to work. I know this probably sounds completely irrational but please bear with me. I know what I mean. Honest. So . . . at the fifty squares mark, I sorted them into piles according to their edging colour to help me keep a balance where I had definitely been favouring the blues, greens and purples.
Ten more squares and I began to wonder about my colour choices for the first and second rounds, too. To be completely honest, I had to admit my hand probably reached for those blues and greens rather too often, I just love those cool shades. I decided to weigh each ball of yarn to see how much of the 100g I had used . . . and the results were quite surprising.
The good news is that I had used a similar amount of most of the colours – even the so-bright-it’s-almost-fluorescent pink which I’m not overly keen on – but far less lilac and way more orange and yellow than anything else. Wow! Personally, I blame the powerful influence of sunshine and marigolds in my work space for that one. Back to crocheting squares with lots of lilac and no sunny colours for a while.
Seventy squares done and I felt the pressing need for a Construction Plan. (Much as I love spontaneity and going with the flow, there are times when nothing beats a good plan and my experiences of making patchwork quilts suggested this might just be one of those occasions.) I lined up my piles of squares in the evening sunshine and started piecing them together in rows of ten with different edging colours where they met.
Trying to keep a balance horizontally and vertically became more difficult the more squares I added, and I decided that if the same colour (but different shade) met diagonally then that would have to be alright – otherwise I could be at this for years.
All seven rows done and I set to work inventing Row 8 in true designer style; well, okay – I chewed my pencil for a long time then scribbled notes on the back of an old envelope. This was far more difficult than I imagined! I found myself working from the outer edge of each square and trying to visualise colour combinations that would fit, then scanning all the other squares to check I wasn’t repeating myself. I swear it took more time to plan those ten squares than to actually make them!
Now obviously in order for this Grand Plan to work for Row 9 and Row 10 in the same way, it was important to keep the blanket pieced in exactly the same way, otherwise this would all be a pointless exercise. I carefully gathered up each row from left to right, labelled the top square and piled them in a storage basket (yes, another one . . . I now have four baskets of woolly things on the go, it’s all getting a bit out of hand).
That way, in theory, I should be able to lay them out quickly in the same arrangement, adding Row 8 to the bottom in order to plan Row 9. Guess what? It worked!
So now I am very, very close to planning Row 10, the last row of squares I need to create my blanket. Please, please, please just don’t let me drop that basket . . . 🙂