Friday, March 30, 2012

Basic Crocheted Square Pattern

This is a generic crocheted square that can be made any size by varying how many rounds you make. It's not as open and lacy as a traditional granny square which makes it more suitable for things with a denser texture. I used it for the straps on a bag I made.

Finished Basic Granny Square (3 rounds)

Instructions on how to crochet a basic granny square:

Keep a smaller hook nearby to use when weaving in ends and attaching new colors to your work. It seems to be easier, especially through the many stitches around the ring.
Work your ends in as you go. It seems like an almost insurmountable task if you wait until all your squares are finished. And it's just nicer to work on neat tidy squares without all sorts of strings dangling.

Start with a sliding ring. Interweave has a nice visual tutorial with good pictures of this prcess on the crochet me website.

Basic Granny Square - Round 1
Round 1: Ch 4, 3 dc in loop, [1 trc in loop, 3 dc in loop] 3 times, join to 4th ch of beg ch 4. Fasten off.

Basic Granny Square - Round 2

Round 2: Join new color at one of the trc. Ch 3, 1 trc and 1 dc in same st as joining, [(1 dc in next 3 dc), (1dc, 1trc, 1dc in next trc)] 3 times, 1 dc in next 3 dc. Join to 3rd ch of beg ch 3. Fasten off.

Basic Granny Square - Round 3

Round 3 and subsequent rounds: Join a new color at one of the trc. Ch 3, 1 trc and 1 dc in same st as joining. For rest of round, 1 dc in each dc and 1 dc, 1 trc, 1 dc in each trc. Join to 3rd ch of beg ch 3. Fasten off. 

I've made this square as large as 12 rounds. It's a good one to use on "Babette" style blankets and scarves. (I've got a diagram for different sized squares made into a blanket here.)

No matter how carefully I stitch I find my squares curl and and are uneven. A few minutes of blocking makes assembly much easier. I pin the squares (at about every inch) onto a Quilter's Board and float over them with a steam iron, not actually touching the squares with the iron, just letting the steam float down onto them. They'll be dry in an hour or so & ready to much more easily assemble. (Especially if you've faithfully woven those ends in all along!)

Basic Granny Square - blocking
I've found I use my Quilter's board constantly. They come in a few different sizes, have a handy carry handle and are a perfect size to pop onto the kitchen counter for quick pressing or blocking.

This is my favorite one.
It's 14" x 22" and has a rulered cutting surface on the back to use with rotary cutters or x-acto knives.

A slightly smaller (about 14 1/2" x 15 1/2") and cheaper option is this one, which is also great to take to classes and workshops.

I've got a couple of each as I always seem to have about 5 projects going on at a time.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crocheted Granny Square Bag

Crocheted Granny Square Bag with Striped Strap

I used odds and ends of needlepoint wool & washed it in warm water in the machine to full it a bit. I found a piece of vintage knit boucle from my grandmother’s stash for the lining. Yes, it took me three years to finish this one… A day to crochet it, a day to line it and 3 years of it lying around in the “to do” pile.

The squares are made by doing 5 rounds of a traditional granny square pattern as follows:

Main color is used for Rnd 5 to edge each square.

Make 12 squares using different color combos (no two squares alike!) on the first four rounds

Ch4, join with sl st to form a ring.

Rnd 1:Ch 3, 2 dc in ring, ch 3, * 3 dc in ring, ch3. Rep from * 2 more times. Join and break off on this and every rnd.

Rnd 2:Join yarn in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, work 2 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in same sp, * ch 1, work 3 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in next ch-3 sp. Rep from *2 more times, end ch 1.

Rnd 3:Join yarn in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, work 2 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in same sp, * ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1 work 3 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in next ch-3 sp(corner). Rep from * around end ch 1.

Rnd 4:Join yarn in any ch-3 sp, ch 3, work 2 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in same sp, * (ch1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp) twice, ch 1, work 3 dc, ch 3 and 3 dc in next corner sp. Rep from * around, end ch 1.

Rnd 5:With Main Color, sc in each dc and in each ch-1 sp, working 3 sc in ch-3 corner sps.

Create the strap by doing random colors of single crochet in the desired width (I did a 2" width) and length.

Assemble the bag by first joining 6 squares together for the front, and 6 together for the back.

Sew the ends of the strap together, Then sew onto the front and back. Cut lining to fit and attach with blanket stitch.

These are my working notes, and hopefully correct, accurate and understandable. And feedback is welcomed!