Several years ago, when the publishing company I was working for started creating knit and crochet project books, I asked my mom to teach me to crochet. At the time we had several talented knitters on the team, but crochet skills were a bit lagging. So while I was home for vacation, she taught me three stitches: chain, single crochet and double crochet.
As those versed in the world of crochet know, those three stitches are just the tip of the iceberg. And yet, even without being able to read patterns, those three stitches got me pretty far.
Here’s a baby blanket I made for a little girl named Stella.
And here’s a purse I made in which the inside and the strap are lined with fabric.
But in preparation for this beach vacation, I wanted to up my crochet skills. I wanted to learn to make granny squares.
Why? First, I love having a crochet project when I’m traveling. It’s so easy to crochet in the airport, on the plane and even on the beach if you don’t mind a little sand in your bag. Too, I see so many great crochet patterns, and I simply don’t know how to work them. So I thought a granny square would be a great place to start reading patterns. Finally, granny squares are cool.
I went online for a tutorial, and after a couple of missteps, I came upon this granny square tutorial that clicked with me. It was written a few years ago for the Purl Bee blog, and the pictures and instruction just make sense (to me anyway).
But that doesn’t mean all went smoothly. For my first attempt, I thought I’d use just one color yarn for both of the first two rounds. Wouldn’t that be easier than trying to switch colors right in the middle of learning this new pattern?
No. No, I don’t think it was easier. In fact, it kind of made it harder to see what I was doing in the second round. So I switched to two colors.
OK. I was improving. This one at least had a granny square look to it. The stitches are a bit neater. But there’s something going on where I joined the two colors of yarn (on the left).
Attempt number three (at least of those that were worth keeping) shows my progression to a third round.
Alrighty. The transition from gray to green is still a bit wonky. But I completely tied off the green before starting the blue, so that transition is much smoother. Stitches are still OK. Only OK. But OK.
After taking a break over the weekend, I picked up my yarn and hook again on Monday, and plowed right through to the final round.
Transitions are pretty smooth. The stitches are not bad. The overall shape is really not perfectly square. But I think it’s a keeper! I’ll make a few more before the trip, just to stay in practice, and then I’ll figure out what to do with those I finish when I return. So more granny square goodness to come!
If you’re interested, for the granny square samples, I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease yarn and a Susan Bates bamboo handle crochet hook (size H).