Thursday, 17 April 2014

Granny Scrap Blanket: Part Two- Joining Up

Hopefully you will have seen the previous post here in which I showed you how I started making a granny square blanket from a whole bunch of scrap yarn I had lying around. The next thing to do once you have all your squares, is to join them up!

I had in my mind, an idea of how I might like to join them. I didn't want to just sew them directly together for two reasons 1- because they looked too bright right next to each other; and 2- I am not a great sewer, and my poor skills would have been exposed in this type of project. What I was thinking about was some kind of border that linked all the squares but also created a border around the whole thing while being flat, even and uniform. 

Leonie over at Kiwi at Heart kindly shared with me this join as you go method. I looked at it so many times, but I just couldn't figure out how I could make this method work for my squares. Perhaps it was the mathematic formula at the start of the post that put me off? (I lost the ability to do maths once I left high school!). What I had envisaged was some kid of granny border, and I came across this tutorial after some big time googling!! It was exactly the kind of join I was looking for- a "granny join"  Once I read through the instructions, I realised in order to get my blanket to have the same uniform border, I would need to do a border around each of my granny squares so that when I joined them, the outline and the border would be the same colour. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, definitely have a look at the tutorial in the above link again!) 

So I this point I needed to make a decision about what I wanted my border colour to be. A popular choice for granny blankets is black. In my opinion, black would make my blanket to gypsy-like, not the look I was going for. My go-to colour for ANY project is alway a pale grey (have a look hereherehere and here to see what I mean), but I didn't think grey would make the blanket as fresh looking as I wanted. So I decided on white. As is always my downfall, I chose a stupid yarn that wasn't really fit for purpose! It's called "Stallion" and was all fluffy and stringy and kept separating every time I was making a new stitch. I didn't take any pictures of me doing the borders for each square, but all I did was one round of the white for each square in treble crochet. 

Lining everything up to make sure the lengths are more or less equal

I think it's a good time to mention how I have decided I hate do not like treble crochet. For several reasons. Number one, I thought treble crochet was double crochet, see the tutorial for the granny squares I used, apparently UK treble crochet is the same as US double crochet. Confused? My point exactly! They are quite different stitches. The treble crochet has a "yarn over" twice before beginning each crochet stitch, whereby double crochet only has one "yarn over". So reason number two, treble crochet uses too much yarn. Although I used up a lot of little scrappy bits for my granny squares, I could have likely made a lot more if I had done them all in double crochet. Number three, treble crochet is very loose. I guess this could actually be a good reason if you are wanting to make something light, but for this purpose where I am making a blanket, I want it to be warm and snuggly, so the loose stitches kind of defeat this purpose. I think my main bug-bear is the amount of yarn. 

Who's with me on hating sewing in threads?!

Anyway...I digress, once I finished doing a round of treble crochet for each granny square, I was ready to join them together. The tutorial I follow joins the squares in rows, then joins each row, then you do a border around. I sort of did my own interpretation of the instructions, I got the basic idea and then did what I wanted to get the effect I was looking for. The great thing about this method is that it's REALLY quick. I joined all my squares into their rows in one afternoon. The next day I was able to join all my rows into a blanket. The only downside here is that you do end up with quite a few yarn tails. No one likes sewing these in, but it has to be done if you haven't got your own method of sewing them in as you go (I have tried and failed!). Once all the rows are joined, its very simple to do a border around the outside. I decided on making quite a wide border to offset the really bright colours of the granny squares. With the border I switched to a "Marvel" yarn which is much sturdier that the Stallion. I really wish I'd chosen the Marvel for all of the borders, c'est la vie! Again, I was persevering continuing on with the treble crochet until the outside border was the same width as the border connecting each square and each row. When I got to this point, I switched to double crochet for another four rounds. I did this essentially because of the reasons I dislike treble crochet! The double crochet enabled a tighter border, made the blanket feel sturdier and also added a neater edge. 

You can see in the photos that where four granny squares intersect each other, the joining isn't very precise and actually quite loose. I am sure this is because of the treble crochet stitch, and also the type of yarn I was using. 

Not as straight as it was to begin with, now that it has been used and snuggled in!
And then to really finish it off, I did another little edging in my favourite colour! The edging is just something I made up as I was running a little low in the grey yarn. I did one full round of double crochet, then the next round I did 3 single crochet in the gaps of the double crochet groups, and chain 3 between each group of single crochet. For the corners I did 3 groups of three. It was quite an economical border, and understated, which is what I was going for! 

 All in all I'm REALLY pleased and proud with how this project worked out. I'm really keen to have a go at another granny square blanket! It's now in it's new home in my little boy's bedroom on his couch. It will make a cold leather couch nice and cosy come wintertime!

I do have to apologise for the terrible lighting that doesn't allow the gorgeous bright colours of this blanket to show up! Here in Wellington we are currently experiencing the longest stretch of cloudy weather EVER! So it's difficult to photograph in natural light!

And very please to be linking in two weeks in a row with Show & Tell! Be sure to check out the other links!

 Show & Tell Thursday's

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