Thursday, May 23, 2013

Twelve Block Granny Square Blanket

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This one was so easy, then it was so hard.  I made twelve twenty-round granny squares, using odds and ends from my scraps basket, and it was a breeze, I tell you.  It felt like I could’ve done that part of it all at once.  Which of course isn’t the point, and why be in a rush, but the grannies call to us, don’t they? 

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So satisfying, that part.  The grannies.  How beautifully, perfectly simple is the humble granny square.  How I love to fill a basket with three dozen different leftovers, and turn them into granny squares, and I love how they are all the same, and yet no two are alike.  But of course you understand perfectly.

I had twelve squares, and they were great, cheerful and thrifty. 

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I also had about six big skeins of navy blue yarn, and so I thought about it carefully for about a quarter of a second, and using the join-as-you-go method, added one round to each square and worked them together in navy. 

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Okay.  All right.  Not awful.

And it was a blanket, and it was large, and with all the squares joined together, it was almost finished, which is the most tremendous motivation I know for getting a thing all the way done. 

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It needed a border, so I delved back into the basket (which, as you can see there, is finally emptying out) and there was just nothing left.  But I am undeterred by such things!  No yarn left?  That can’t be true, not around here!  Not on my watch!  I’ll find some yarn in here, yes I will.  I dug around and found a whole bunch of uninspired colors that looked terrible together and proceeded.  I started working a border involving granny clusters, rounds of single crochet, some rounds of dc, ch1, sk ch1 sp, blah blah…it got elaborate, and it was taking a thousand years because every ten stitches, I’d pull back a little, and look at it.  Study it.  Stand up and look at it from a distance.  And it became clear. 

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I did not like it.  The navy yarn was sucking all the life out of it.  Still—and this is how lazy I am—I kept going.  That sounds like a contradiction, to keep crocheting because I’m lazy, but this was already a blanket, and it was on the fourth side of the last round, a last round of navy yarn done in an improvised and half-baked shell pattern that had four dcs in it, which even as a side issue was bugging me--why four?  There’s a topic for another day, the number four.  Anyway, it was 99.998% done, and I frankly could have just cut the yarn and woven in the end right where it sat and nobody could have denied it was a blanket, and I did not like it, but the thought of ripping it all out, all the way back to a pile of twelve squares, and then going back and figuring out what to do when I had already visited that problem and failed, just seemed like a hassle.  So it sat there for days, and I didn’t want to work on it.  I didn’t want to finish it, even though it was, literally, minutes from the finish line.

I was gathering my strength, I suppose, because eventually, I knew it had to come apart, and then it did.  It took hours.  I unraveled ten rounds of border, and then picked out all the ends and unraveled the last round of each square, the ones that had joined them together. 

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It always seems like it’s going to feel awful doing that, pulling something apart that didn’t work and trying again, but it never does.  It feels great.  It feels right.  Why toil for weeks just to end up with something that bugs you?  Anyway, I sewed the squares together and added a two round border, one in granny clusters, and one in single crochet.  That’s it. 

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So much better.  I don’t know why these things always have to be so epic.

62 comments:

  1. you did it right!!!!!
    beautiful!!!!
    xxxx Ale

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  2. Well, first of all, your blanket is beautiful! I wanted to say, I understand totally! I've done similar things. In fact, I am in the process of undoing a ripple that I wasn't happy with and I have a finished blanket that I wasn't loving but kept going that is going to be taken apart. I enjoyed your post. Have a nice day! Twyla

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  3. You are so right! I am just the same ;-) Your finished blanket is perfect - well done for biting the bullet! Have a lovely rest of your week, Helen x

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  4. It's beautiful.
    I feel the same way with frogging, the thought of that time and then having to admit I was right in the first place. And then I take a deap breath and I do it, and suddenly it's a happy project again, I'm happy to work at it.

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  5. Your blanket is so,so lovely x

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  6. You did the right thing. It's not time wasted, it's time spent perfecting. I would've done the same thing if it bugged me, but it would've taken longer for me to settle into the chore. The blanket looks great without the navy ... extra cheerful and lovely! Wendy :)

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  7. I love it, very brave to make it right! I think you did the right thing, I can see the blue took it in another direction, it' so nice I would really enjoy living with that! Heather x

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  8. Yummy, yummy, yummy! When I know I have to rip something, I have to walk away from it and stare at it for a few days...just trying to compose myself enough to rip! When I work up the courage, I do the deed! But I typically have to stare at it for a few days! LOL. Your work is always gorgeous and this is just fabulous! Makes me want to go start one just like it right now!

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  9. Oh Kristen....it's beautiful, yummy, G O R G E O U S!!! so glad you finished it, it looked great either way but I how you feel, I myself have done the same things so so many times!
    xx, Shari!

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  10. To me, time spent crocheting, even frogging, is never a waste of time. There is something so cathartic about crocheting and its process (yes, even frogging!) that every minute spent on it is worth it!

    I agree with you, the navy just did not look right. Your end result is perfect! :)

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  11. Gosh Kristen..You are amazing! Love it!

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  12. Aah I love it both ways :-)
    You work like a machine, Kristen, and always beautiful.

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  13. Wow your blanket is so beautiful and the colors are so bright and cheerful! I admire your perseverance; it really paid off! :)

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  14. I know all too well about "epic"! Your granny sparkles! It's lovely.

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  15. This is so recognizable.

    I just finished Daniël Dachshund:
    http://homeiswherethedachshundis.blogspot.be/2013/05/daniel-dachshund.html

    He is really really small and the knitting was terrible for me (I am not patient at all). At the moment I wanted to make its head on its tummy, I realized I knitted it the wrong way (backwards front)and I got really desperate. But in my case there absolutely was no choice: had to do it all over and pull everything out. And I can assure you I'm very lazy as well (about pulling yarn out after I've done something with it).

    So that's why I think it very brave of you to start all over again. I don't know what I would have done. But is sure was a good thing to do because now it looks perfect.
    (I don't like navy either)

    Well done!

    I like the way you put it that the squares are always calling us because that's what they do.

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  16. It's fantastic. I know what it felt like, though. My most recent blanket made me want to punch holes in the wall. I didn't think crochet was supposed to be so angry.

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  17. Hi There, I know the feeling!!!I am doing the same thing right now on my big granny blanket!!!Fourth time!!!But it has to be right, right??!!!No point in making 100s of grannies and spoiling it with a stupid border, right??!!And seeing your finished blanket just confirm that it is the right thing to do!!!Redo and redo till your happy with it!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  18. Your blanket is amazing! I have done the exact same thing. Why do we keep going when we know its so wrong? I think you are right, lazy me! Have a great weekend!
    Eileen

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  19. I always love your colors! I try (unsuccessfully) to emulate, but you truly have a special touch. Just beautiful!

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  20. I love it SO much!!! It looks perfect now it's all done. How long did it take you to make???
    Carly
    x

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  21. It's WONDERFUL Kristen , and I think you were right to get rid of the navy....I'm feeling inspired :0)
    Jacquie x

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  22. Oh! I have been waiting for this since you teased us with the single square. It is so up my street. I always kind of plod on but as I get older and invest time in this sort of stuff I also feel it needs to be right - not perfect- just right to me. Love it! Jo x

    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. Oh it's beautiful! Well done for being brave and ripping back! x

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  24. I totally understand- I made a mistake in a sock recently- placed a yarnover in the wrong spot- and only realized it about 17 rows later. I did rip back to fix it, because it would have driven me nuts to know I had left it there out of laziness... Your end result was well worth it; it sings!

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  25. Yummy! And I love the soft aqua of the chair it is laid on!!
    xo Kris

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  26. Love it, so beautiful and you are right the navy was not letting the other colors breath the way they needed to.
    Great job, and boy are you fast.
    Hugs,'
    meredith

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  27. You did the right thing. You don't want to be stuck with something you don't feel right about. It's beautiful!

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  28. It's beautiful! !!!

    Luv Jane xx

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  29. Oh how I know that place. Knowing in your heart that it's not right but keeping on non-the-less as if it's going to end up ok in the end. You just know that eventually you'll have to unpick or unravel as you're never going to love it. It's beautiful and so much brighter without the navy. Sarah x

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  30. I love your blanket, it's lovely.
    M x

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  31. Oh I actually really liked that navy! But it looks good now too. Well done. x

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  32. I feel your pain! I too have to pull it out if I am not happy!
    The great thing is ~ you now have a lovely blanket that you love and can be proud of. Well done. It's beautiful.

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  33. You were definitely right. It has so much more life to it now. But it must have been a heartbreaking moment when you realised you had to do it!

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  34. Just gorgeous. You have yet to make anything that I don't love; and I don't love easily believe me... always trust your colour instincts because they're honed to perfection ♥

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  35. holy mother of god, i cannot BELIEVE you pulled that all out!!! but, you were right! it does look so much better in it's final incarnation! it's beautiful!

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  36. It's a lovely blanket and if you didn't love the navy then it was the right thing to pull it out. I nearly finished a cardigan for myself but wasn't happy with the way it looked and I pulled it out and started again, it didn't bother me at all, I'm much happier with the way its looking now.
    I always think granny's are a pleasure to do, your blanket is a great stash-buster :)

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  37. THAT was so worth all your wonderful effort. It's just... PERFECT! XO

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  38. Sweet mother of pearl, I would have done the same thing. When you know, you know. But sometimes we have to take things allllll the way to the end just to be sure. Your blanket is completely, 100%, granny goodness of the very best kind. Well done!

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  39. The Ones who do not get it, who do not ripe and rework are merely going through the motions..
    The do not listen - do not hear what the yarn wants from us.....
    What choice really do 'we' have but to listen and allow the yarn to speak to us.... Only then can we truly be happy!
    Now Your blanket is perfect!
    I've a large shopping bag I crocheted for my sister in law - in a coral that she is partial too and final at long last it was complete.... Not loving the color I made many excuses not to work on it as consistently as I might otherwise have done... but finish it I finally did... then for the felting - only to find it had grown in size rather than felted.... Oh Sweet Mother of Pearl after all of this work I discovered the fiber while a blend that did not have a high enough content of wool to felt... I hate this piece..... and have been avoiding frogging this ginormous mess and beginning anew to make things right! Perhaps if I can find some wool in another color to add to this mess it will not only make it more pleasurable to work on but enable the felting process to succeed!
    Here's hoping the Yarn will resolve this mess for me! :)

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  40. Your blanket is gorgeous! I love it and am now inspired to make one of my own :)

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  41. You are such a brave and wise girl!
    And the blanket of course is wonderful...
    xo
    Hilde

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  42. 'Tis better to frog than not frog at all!Beautiful End Result.:-)

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  43. Good decision. Your blanket looks gorgeous, it is really a beaut! Congratulations with it!

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  44. YUP. Done it. Not quite as epic as your rip-out, but pretty darn close :)

    I'm trying to envision the navy blue and I can't so maybe that's good??

    I love the end result :) so lovely!

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  45. What a lovely blanket and you are so right, if it doesn' t work one should take it back apart! I admire your tenacity!!

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  46. Oh man. I can't imagine unraveling all that. Gorgeous blanket. Best wishes, Tammy

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  47. Ha... Love the story! Especially the happy ending! (the blanket is beautiful, BTW)

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  48. Wow, I love it! I have a bunch of yarn I was going to give away. Now I'm thinking I should just do what you did. Thank you for the inspiration.

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  49. Your finished blanket looks really beautiful!

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  50. I'm glad I'm not he only one this happens to! Your blanket is beautiful. Enjoy it!

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  51. LOVE the way you wrote about this, um, issue. :)
    i've been there too, right to the end. i have no idea why i keep going either when i know in my heart i'm going to rip. somehow it does make me feel better to know i'm in good company ;)
    gorgeous blanket kristen!

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  52. Ahhhh....the epic: well done and well told, Kristen :-) Thanks for posting!
    Gracie xx

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  53. Wow... Another glorious work of art. You are so great at putting together the best combinations of color. Your blankets are amazing and just inspire me to no end. Love it. I think it was worth it taking it apart to end up with a final work exactly the way you envisioned it :) I love it!

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  54. Such a great story!!! And an amazing blanket!!!
    I've been there too, in fact I'm there now trying to decide about colours for a nearly finished blanket.
    But you have inspired me not to give up!!!
    I love the colours of your blanket.

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  55. Just beautiful ... I'm about to start another granny square blanket and love how yours has turned out x

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  56. I'm in love with your blanket and quite new to crochet... i wondered if all your wool was the same ply - would it matter if it wasn't? and what number crochet hook did you use? these might be silly questions but i like to start things right from the beginning :)

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    1. Thanks very much! I do try to keep all the yarns in a blanket at approximately the same weight, but if some are worsted and some are DK, I don't sweat it. Since a blanket doesn't have to fit you, I don't think it matters all that much. As long as you are still getting a fabric you like, I say feel free to mix and match as you please. I used a US size F hook for mine, which is made primarily of worsted weight yarns. Good luck with your project! :)

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  57. Es preciosa tu manta, esta llena de color, yo tambien estoy haciendo una aunque todavia no esta terminada, espero que algun dia puedas verla en mi blog, tejes muy bien, enhorabuena

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  58. j'adore !!!!!
    magnifique photo aussi !

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