About four years ago, I learned to crochet. I say “learned” like it was an easy task, but in fact it was a long, arduous process in which I would sit with my crochet hook and wool, and struggle, then swear, then throw the whole lot across the room. I went on like this for about eight months. I could knit perfectly well, for goodness’ sake! Why couldn’t I do the crochet dance? My annoyance mainly stemmed from wanting so much to be able to make a granny square. Those neat little colourful squares looked so much fun – and so satisfying – and I wanted to join the club. Mostly, really, after falling in love with this wondrous granny square afghan by Molly Chicken.
So I persevered, and thanks to lots of patient help and demonstrations from my friends Mabel and Helen, it finally, one day, just…clicked. I got it! I was no longer resigned to gaze with wonder at the projects in my copy of Happy Hooker. Finally, single and double and triple crochet meant something to me, and I knew how to make a magic circle, and I could actually understand those little symbols in crochet patterns!
As usual, I jumped right in, ordering eight balls of Rowan Pure Wool DK in bright rainbow colours, and with Happy Hooker as my guide, I set to work. Man, I was obsessed. After eight months of pent-up crochet frustration, I must admit I got a little bit carried away. I drew out a chart so I could tick off the colours and avoid the horror of making two squares in the same colours (NEVER). I took my squares everywhere with me, and crocheted wherever and whenever I could: on the bus to and from work, in the car (as a passenger, silly), on my lunchbreak. I even took them all on holiday to Indonesia with me, along with a wooden hook so I could crochet on the plane.
Gradually, my pile of squares grew. I wasn’t sure yet how big I wanted my finished blanket to be, but after a while I had enough to be able to lay the squares out and play with colour combinations: another very addictive activity.
I would highly recommend weaving the ends of your squares in as you go, taking a break from crocheting to tidy them up. Otherwise you’ll have them all to do at the end, and that would be a pretty monotonous job. After another month I needed to buy more wool…and after another month I had enough so my blanket measured 9 by 11 squares, which I decided was enough. I spent a good, ahem, few days playing around with the layout of the squares, then sorted then into neat piles before stitching them together using a simple mattress stitch, first stitching the squares into rows, then stitching the rows together. In the end, my blanket about one metre by 140cm.
And so, after several months, many miles of travelling and lots and lots and lots of wool the granny square afghan…was finished! It now has pride of place on our sofa. I actually finished this blanket a couple of years ago, so think I’m about ready to tackle a new crocheted afghan…maybe a black number…and a bit bigger this time I think…