Almost two years ago, I embarked on the journey of crocheting my first blanket. I had always admired granny square blankets, but had never dared to begin one myself. The thought of having to crochet one hundred squares or more simply put me off…..I was afraid it would take ages to complete and I would probably lose enthusiasm halfway through, so it would end up unfinished, guiltily hidden away in some corner…..
And then one day I just did it: it was a project born of despair, because when school started after the summer holidays, I was faced with the fact that I would have to do a lot of driving my children around and waiting for them to finish one lesson or the other…..what I needed was an easily portable project in my handbag so I could put all that time to good use – granny squares!
So when I stumbled upon an inexpensive yarn in lovely colours in a local shop I knew exactly what to do with it…
I bought a huge amount of yarn (Red Heart Soft Baby Steps) and started crocheting on the very same day. I knew I wanted nothing too complicated, no fancy pattern, just plain classic granny squares in a decent size, in a single colour each to keep the necessary weaving in of ends to a minimum, with a frame of trebles in white. After a bit of experimenting and calculating I went back to the shop some days later and bought more yarn – I wanted a proper blanket, about 190 x 150 cm…..and full of enthusiasm I crocheted everywhere: in the car, during train rides, even on a flight to London!
I was surprised how fast my stack of squares grew…soon I had ten, then twenty…. some multicoloured squares between all those plain ones would look lovely, the weaving in of ends was not so bad after all….and then I had the idea that this blanket would make a wonderful Christmas gift for my youngest daughter – if I could finish it in time, and if I could keep it a secret!
But of course one day my daughter caught me crocheting happily away at her ballet school- and assumed I was making potholders. And indeed, my “decent-sized” granny squares kind of looked like potholders – 19×19 cm – and my secret project had a name: from now on, it was the Potholder Blanket!
Some weeks later she caught me again with my granny square and exclaimed: “What – another potholder? You must have made at least ten by now!”……it was about number seventy-three, and it was only November, so I had a real chance of finishing before Christmas!
My goal was 88 squares, arranged in 11 rows of 8 squares. I wanted to have one multicoloured square in each row, 11 in total, with the remaining 77 made up of equal amounts of green, blue, pink and yellow squares.
Ten days before Christmas I finished the final square and the next day I spent hours arranging them on the spare bed in our guest room, so the colours would be evenly distributed. And then I had still to join them together……I had intended to crochet the squares together, but after a bit of experimenting I found that I liked a whip stitch seam best. So I sewed like mad whenever my daughter was out of sight – this part I had to do at home, because my project was no longer portable and certainly did not fit in my handbag anymore!
And then there was only the border of the blanket left. The blanket being already quite huge, I didn’t want to add a wide border, just a bit of colour to bring it all together nicely. I did a row of trebles in green and finished with a row of crab stitches (reverse single crochet) in pink. The crab stitches lend some structure and stability to the edges and I like the look of those neat tight stitches.
Three days before Christmas the blanket was finished, it had taken me just over four months. I was soooo proud – and the look on my daughter’s face when she unwrapped her present and saw what had become of all those “potholders” was priceless!
And I have a confession to make: crocheting those granny squares was rather addictive….and the thought of making another blanket doesn’t seem daunting at all….