Monday, December 15, 2014

The Big Book of Granny Squares

The Big Book of Granny Squares
365 Crochet Motifs
by Tracey Lord

Yes, that's right – there are 365 crochet motifs in this book – not all Granny Squares – but motifs just the same. Some start in the middle like a real Granny Square, some start along one edge, some start in a corner, some are lacy, some are solid, some are one color, some are multiple colors. There are enough variations in this book that you could make a different square each day for a year, and have a big pile of squares at the end. Just think of the patchwork afghans you could create! Or, you could choose one or two or three squares, and just keep repeating them, in the same colors, or in different colors, and you would have another afghan. Or you could make lots of other things – patchwork sweaters, totes, pillows, rugs, scarves, etc., etc., etc. You can use any yarn – it just would depend on the project you want to make. And depending on the square(s) you choose to crochet, you may want to use a bigger hook than you usually use with that yarn, or a smaller hook – it just depends on the kind of fabric you want. If you are not great at picking colors, you can follow the color guidelines for each square. And you can use only the squares in one color-coordinated section, (there are plenty of squares in each color section). All the squares in each color section will all go together.
Tracey seems to have thought of everything to help you choose what to make. She has a Color Wheel, and explains how to choose colors. She explains the basic crochet stitches and techniques, and provides a list of decorative stitches with directions on how to crochet them. She tells you how to finish off the squares – darning in ends, blocking, and then how to join the squares. She even has a list of crochet hook sizes, and the range of the weight of yarn that is appropriate for each hook size.
Best of all, the squares, if worked in the same yarn with the same hook, should work up to be about the same size, so that there would be no problem in joining them. 
When I looked through the book at all the 365 crochet motifs, I couldn't decide which to try first. I wanted to make a scarf, so I thought I would try some motifs that started along the bottom. But instead of making them separate, I wanted to see if I could make them in one strip. Less ends to weave in! So, I made a list of which motifs I would like to try. Because I wanted only the ones that started at the bottom edge, my choice was a little limited, but I still had quite a few to pick from. I know I listed at least a dozen, and that was just at the beginning of the book, but then I lost my list!  So, I decided to just start with one pattern, and look for another, and crochet that, and then look for another, and crochet that, etc., etc., etc.  I found my first pattern, #36, Filet Dot, 
 and then my second one, #38, Hearth Rug.

And it was then that I decided that some of the patterns didn't have to have as many rows in them as they showed in the book. I could use one or more as dividers between lacy, or filet, or fancy patterns. So I only crocheted 5 rows in the Hearth Rug pattern. 
Then I picked another pattern, #87 Granny Stripes,  

and decided to work only 5 rows of that one, and then did another 5 rows of #38, Hearth Rug. Now I'm on my next pattern #172, Lime Juice, 

which is not the usual Puff pattern – and I don't know how many rows I'll do of that one. Some of the patterns, you see, lend themselves to as many rows as you want to do. So you can do just a few, and get more patterns in one scarf (or afghan, or what-have-you), or you can do an entire scarf, or afghan, or what-have-you in one pattern.
That's what makes this book so much fun – you get 365 different stitch patterns, and you can use them in so many ways. Like one pattern? Make an entire afghan, or shawl, or scarf, or sweater with that pattern. Think two or more patterns look good together? Make a patchwork afghan, or shawl, or scarf, or sweater with those patterns. Want to use just one color? Want to use a lot of colors? Want to use bulky weight yarn? Want to use lace weight yarn? It's your choice! (This is a great stash buster book of stitch patterns. And, if you use up your stash, that just means you can buy more!!!)

Here's a picture of my scarf in progress. 

There are 4 patterns so far, and the start of the 5th pattern, the Puff pattern variation. I'm just using one color yarn - a big skein, too - so I'll only have 2 ends to weave in.

Want to see more?
Check out this link:

Interweave/F+W; $29.99

to see more squares and to order the book from Interweave/F+W. I know you'll like it!