September 24, 2012

On Granny Squares.

Filed under: On Crocheting. — Tags: , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 10:44 am

I have a LOT of yarn.

My mom used to knit and crochet a lot in the years before I came along. After I grew old enough and wanted to know what the boxes and boxes of yarn were doing in our closet, she taught me. She also kindly offered all the yarn in those boxes to my project whims. (Mothers are so darn selfless!) Of course, then I was the one in possession of all these possibilities.

I remember, so clearly, dragging the heavy metal stepstool from the laundry room up the stairs to the hall closet. The folding doors would squeak delightfully as I pushed them open on either side. I would, so carefully, open the step stool, because it made a sharp snap when it locked into place, and my mom had always made it clear that my fingers would not be happy if they were in the proximity of the snap. I’d climb up the three steps and, with my short, chubby kid fingers, inch the box off the top shelf, holding it in the crook of my neck and shoulder while I eased my way back off the stool. I’d look inside, knowing just what I’d find in there because, of course, my mom had marked in Sharpie on the outside what colors, and just how many, were kept inside.

Last year, when I started my Etsy shop, I bought even more yarn. And then, when I moved out of my parents’ house to pretend to be a grown-up, I brought some of her yarn with me. It hung out in a lot of eco-friendly bags until my fiance encouraged me to purchase a wooden storage bench with some lovely baskets (I think he was just getting sick of all the bags in the corner).

I think, at the time, I felt as though I needed as much yarn as possible, “just in case.” Then, my Etsy shop didn’t have quite the direction and continuity as it does now; I was not sure what the next item would be, so I felt as though I just had no clue what I needed. However, I now have a clear vision, and it does not include all this extra yarn! (Especially when I bought out a certain brand a Michael’s a month ago for those teddy bears I’ve been making. They do not fit in the baskets with everything else in there.)

So, I pondered what to do with this yarn. I didn’t want to store it somewhere, because then I would forget about it. I didn’t have the heart to fill my parents’ hall closet back up with it again. Then, I stumbled across the fascinating “granny square.”

You would think, being a hard-core yarner, yarn-artist, and general yarn-a-holic, that I would have a lot more experience with a granny square. (Really, my only “contact” with them was when I was just starting out crocheting and found some of my mom’s old, leftover granny squares. She taught me how to connect them, and my American Girl Dolls had a nice little blanket.) Granny squares are the perfect way to utilize this “homeless” yarn!

I wasted no time in looking up how to create them, and even less time in coming up with my own, slightly varied, version of the traditional granny square. I tried a couple out, and decided this would be the perfect project to do on the bus on my way to work.

Putting thought into action, I assumed–with a slight delight–that this might cause some interest on an otherwise morning-dulled bus. Maybe I can hand out some business cards, I thought to myself. This could be great shop publicity. People can see me in action!

I was wrong. No one even looked twice! It actually harkened back to some even odder behavior by myself, where, right after moving, I put all my crochet animals in bags and took them to the park and beach to photograph them. (I have since changed my photos on Etsy, but some of my fourth and fifth Etsy pictures do still have examples, like my octopus here.) Although I didn’t mean to draw attention to myself, I thought that at least a couple people would wonder what the heck this girl in a sundress was doing with bags of crochet animals slung over her shoulder. Nope.

At any rate, I’m still really excited about these granny squares. I have quickly mastered their efficiency and can knock them out relatively fast (a little over one per twenty-minute bus ride). I’m looking forward to having enough to connect them into a really fun, colorful young boy’s blanket! I’ll let you know when it makes it onto Etsy. 🙂


  1. I inherited a lot of yarn from my grandmother, but at the time, I was exclusively working with thread and I do not have the room in my apartment for yarn that I’m not going to use. So, I ended up donating a lot of it to my son’s after school program for their arts and crafts. I can’t wait to see the blanket. I’m using all the scraps I currently have for a scrap scarf and scrap washcloths.

    Comment by Jen Anderson — September 24, 2012 @ 10:58 am

  2. Can’t believe you’ve never really done anything with a granny square!! They are so fun. Such a good idea for that extra yarn. Dare I say you might even be able to sell the granny squares “as is” in your shop and list them as a “supply”?

    Comment by Gela — September 24, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    • I know! It’s like I skipped over one of the crochet basics! And I’ll have to think about listing them as is…. 🙂

      Comment by amandajocrafts — September 24, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  3. I like making granny squares, to, but I hate putting together, so I’ve adapted to the one big granny square afghan method. You can still use up yarn doing this, just switch color every row or two.

    Another way to use scrap yarn is to a ‘scrap’ animal. You can use your usual pattern, just use up one hunk of yarn, then the next, then next, and so on. They can be really cute!

    This summer, I used up a bunch a scraps of cotton yarn by making facial scrubbies. I put them together in colorful set, or sold them loose.

    I hope you will post post when you have the afghan completed.

    Comment by daffodilcorner — September 24, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

    • I am kind of dreading putting them together, but since I’m trying to method of making them on the bus, I couldn’t keep bringing a bigger and bigger blanket in my work tote bag! 🙂

      I love the idea of making the scrubbies and the scrap animals! I’m definitely going to try that out–I think a scrap teddy bear would be realllly cute!

      Comment by amandajocrafts — September 24, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

  4. I love granny squares and would love to learn how to make them. I know the knitting basics, but have never tried crochet before.

    Comment by Kira — September 25, 2012 @ 10:03 am

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