Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I should probably stick to knitting

A while back, I decided to finally get down to learning crochet. I bought a book, watched some YouTube videos and trawled the internet for project ideas. I became enamored with granny square quilts. They're so ubiquitous that it seems every house in America has one. At some point your great aunt Ruthie sent one to the family and it's just been sitting in a linen cupboard somewhere, right?

I figured it couldn't be too hard, so I jumped in with both feet. An ambitious outlook to complete my own lap quilt (8 rows of 12 squares). I gathered up my supplies and got to hooking!

Master of crochet!

My first attempts were pretty loose and bumpy, but I figured once I got the hang of it, it would be no sweat! The two above each took 3 hours. No exaggeration. How does any grandma find the time for an entire quilt?!

The more I practiced, the quicker the squares came together. Still, I was averaging about 30 minutes per piece, but these things are a labor of love, right? I dragged my yarn bag and hook with me across the country while traveling for work and would hook up a few more squares every day while watching TV in my hotel room.

About 4 months later, I had enough to start assembling! Over the course of the last two weeks, I sewed together all of my squares and last night finished the last one. HUZZAH!

Only... they were still pretty loose and bumpy. I thought that it was acceptable for a beginner's project and since I was keeping it myself I could overlook the bumps. I also was hoping that a hot water wash and hot-hot dryer would help felt it all together.

It did... sorta.


About 30% of my squares started to unravel. I guess I didn't finish all of the squares the same (honestly, I was winging it since I didn't REALLY know what I was doing). Toward the end, I had started tying the loose strings into knots and then weaving in the tails. It seems to have worked. Except for when it didn't.

I wouldn't say it's garbage-worthy just yet. I could still sew together some patches and probably fix a lot of it. But it's going to be MORE WORK. Either that, or the cat just got a new blankie!

I still don't know how grannies for centuries have managed to build these quilts. I have one that was given to me as a gift for my birthday and I marvel at it daily. The consistent stitches! The lovely scalloped edge! The even sewing! So at least I have one beautiful blanket to look at while I'm patching up my own quilt that looks like rats chewed it!



Miss Bliss said...

The more I embroider the more I appreciate the work that my Grandmothers did. I mean...holy crap they didn't even have good lights when they were doing most of this stuff and it looks awesome and it's lasted three generations for the love of god. I could never get the hang of crochet work and while I can knit I can't be bothered to count so I never make anything other than a scarf...a plain scarf at that. I think you made a might fine start there lady...I love your color choices. I bet if you gave it another try you'd have a fine piece that would last.

Giggly said...

I have always adored grannie square blankets. My grandma made tons, but I never got one. :( Max has one now that papa's mom had made. I'm always favoriting them on Etsy. I want them all over my house!

That's awesome that you made an entire blanket! I think it's beautiful. I'm too scared to try to even make one square.