Friday, 16 August 2013

Granny Square Blog Tour - Flying the Flag

There is something joyous about a granny square.  I know a lot of people find them naff or label them an old-fashioned crochet no-no.  For me that way lies with the lacy toilet roll covers and tissue box cosies – but that is for another post.  Granny squares are glorious.

How do I love them?  Let me count the ways:

Granny Squares provide an icon for crochet.  It is like having a flag for our craft.  We can wave a granny and it is almost universally recognised as crochet.   Everyone who picks up a hook knows how to whip up a granny square.  They unite us as a community.

I'm calling for this amazing piece by Kitsch Bitsch to be the new crocheter's uniform. It is one of my favourite crochet things ever.

They are easy to teach and easy to learn.  If I am teaching the granny square I can take a short workshop and have happy students.  They go away from their first ever crochet session with a finished and beautiful item.  First-timers also have the ability to progress on their own and turn their one square into many and then into a scarf, a blanket, a throw, a table mat ...  My mum and I sell at fairs and shows.  The first thing we always ask our customers is: "Do you crochet?"  It is really pleasing the number of people who say, "No, it's too difficult for me but I know how to make those square things." 



Kane's Granny Skirt in cashmere - beautiful.
Grannies come in infinite varieties.  You can choose colour combinations to suit any mood, style and fashion.  They can be sleek and haute couture, cute and soft, bright and jazzy, crazy and eclectic.  Just look at some examples of crochet fashion over recent and past years.  I was lucky enough to make up some of these in cashmere in the wake of the Christopher Kane collection.  They are a brilliant example of how grannies fit perfectly into modern design.   











They work in any yarn.  Cheap and cheerful to expensive and luxurious; lace to super chunky.  What's not to love!

One of my own recent granny designs.
Mini granny squares in Sirdar Calico.
They use up stash.  This is a very important consideration. If you're like me, you will always have loads of otherwise useless ends in your stash.  Mine go to grannies, freeform and flowers mostly :)


Granny Squares are a ‘gate-way’ crochety drug that leads you to all sorts of beautiful motifs.  Just google 'crochet motif' to see where the granny goes as it grows up. Complex, unique and original designs all born from the humble granny ... the granny of grannies ...



I have always known them.  I think I've said before that I remember my mum teaching crochet when I was really quite small.  I have grown up with crochet and I have grown up with granny squares.  They have simply been part of my world.  I suppose it's a bit like growing up by the sea and always missing it when you are not nearby.   Granny squares 'feel' right.  I still have two granny bags my mum crocheted for me to take away to university and a blue and white blanket with matching teddy (I can't remember when she made that).

My oldest, Danny, when he was a baby.  Having fun on one of Grandma Stotty's creations.

I still live with them.  Of course, now I have children, Grandma Stotty has created amazing granny blankets for them too so my boys are growing up surrounded!   (If you want to hear what my mum thinks she'll be bloggin about granny squares here at some time over the weekend too.)

Grannies are a big part of my professional life.  My first ever big commission after I'd started taking my crochet seriously was a pattern for a cotton cart-wheel granny blanket.  I still have some of the photos taken for the instructions.  Naturally, we still work in granny squares all the time.  They are appealing, fashionable and popular. Oh, and importantly for us, a granny square design will always sell.

Pile of cart-wheel grannies ready to be sewn together  (I don't join as I go.  I know it saves time but I much prefer the neat and professional finish of the back-loop whip-stitch.  Call me fussy - I am a bit OCD about my crochet.)
Making a multi-coloured
cart-wheel granny
Single colour cart-wheel adaptation










They make people happy.  Just look at the runaway success of @crochetali's granny bag recently.  She created the design for Slugson the Refrigerator's Crochet Camp and the crochet world went wild for it.  I can completely understand why.  

Ali's eye-popping bag!

I did a quick google search for Granny Square Blog and came up with over 2 million hits (by the way - search for Granny squares in images.  I defy you not to smile when you see them).

So I think it's quite clear where I stand :)   I love them.  They have a central and important place in crochet - both historical and current.  We should celebrate our grannies rather than hiding them away embarrassed in case someone reminds us of a 70s swimming suit in shades of brown and orange.  In fact, I'll meet you at the beach!



If you're interested in the debate head over to some of the other blogs on the tour (listed below) or come back here after the weekend to read my mum's point of view.

The orginal question - Do  you like Granny Squares or not? - was posted by Valerie of:   http://agrarianartisan.com/





If  you're a Ravelrer (is that a word?) you can visit the thread here to find out where the tour is going next.  Why not join in and add your voice to the debate?