Monday 27 August 2012

Giant Granny Square Blanket: Finished!

With my mother & sister helping me take a photo of my sky-blanket-in-progress at the weekend, I thought it was a good opportunity to finally get a couple of snaps of the giant granny square blanket I made last year.

Look how big it is!

This blanket is the first thing I've ever crocheted (if you don't include the small practice square I made when learning the technique), and the largest thing I've ever made (I've knitted a couple of blankets before but they were much smaller than this).

One of the lovely ladies at my old knitting club taught me how to make a simple granny square and I just kept crocheting until the blanket was big enough for a double bed. It's a slightly distorted square but it looks "just square enough" not to look strange when it's lying on a bed.

The sunshine makes the colours seem a bit brighter than they are to the naked eye - this photo is a bit more

Lots and lots of happy hours went into the blanket - towards the end, it took over an hour to crochet a single round (I really don't want to do the maths and work out how long it must have taken in total).

It was a very relaxing project, not least because crocheting it all in one piece meant I only had a few ends to sew in when it was finished (just the strands which were left each time I switched colours). Its size did mean that it wasn't the world's most easily portable craft project though, and I had to take a break from it during the warmer weeks of summer as it was just too hot to sit with a great big blanket on my lap! (I started it in May and finally finished sewing in the ends in September).

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and I'm still a big fan of the colours I chose - the umming and aahhing in the shop while I was trying to find a selection of colours that worked well together (and the eye-rolls and slightly impolite comments I received from the shop staff, especially when I realised I needed to pop to a cash machine before paying as the yarn ended up costing a bit more than I'd expected as I'd chosen so many colours) was totally worth it.

I didn't plan the colour arrangement totally in advance, but I did plan each repeat of the seven colours. I stitched one row / two rows / one row / three rows, and made sure to arrange the colours so I ended up with a balance of the different shades throughout the blanket and so I avoided creating the same colour combinations over and over. I had planned on finishing with a double row of the navy blue, but alas I ran out of that shade / batch number of yarn & couldn't get hold of any more! (If my memory serves me well, I think I bought two balls of each shade?) Ah well. 

I definitely want to try making another crochet blanket sometime, and I'd very much recommend it if you're thinking of trying to make one yourself. If a crochet novice like me can manage it, so can you :)


Sarah said...

OOh, love this one too! I've never made a granny square, but this is so cute.

Dichohecho said...

It is awesome :) I started crocheting in straight lines and it took me several years to master a granny square at all!
I usually use Robin DK because it's cheap and I'm always amazed by how "meh" the customer service in the local department store I get it from is, they just don't seem interested in serving me (and I like being left alone in shops). I think it's partly to do with my being about 40 years younger than their average customer but it doesn't make me want to go back!
The super-cheap discount shop where I buy the same yarn for 3/5 of the price in Bristol on the other hand is staffed by lovely friendly people!
Are you on Ravelry at all?

Nathalie said...

Nice shot of the yarn used--I love the color palette.

Dee said...

It's gorgeous Laura.

Papercraft Post said...

That's an impressive first effort! Well done you. I've had an inclination to crochet a granny square project for a while now...

homemade@myplace said...

xxx Alessandra

Beth said...

I'm doing a rug like this myself. I taught myself to crochet using a DVD and wanted to really learn the granny stitch, so I just kept going round and round.
I'm using just 2 colours and found a YouTube video about how to sew in the ends of changing colours as you go. If you want to have a look check out my blog.

I do want to ask, did you have your corners sort of twisting around?
How many balls of wool did you use?
What is your actual finised size?

Tatkis said...

Such a beautiful and cosy blanket!
I'm sure crocheted blankets (especially grannies) are the best!


Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks everyone! It's great to be able to "show off" the finished blanket after putting all that work in :)

Dichoheco - ugh, customer service makes all the difference, doesn't it? I am on Ravelry but I don't use my account very much, what with blogging and Flickr and Twitter and Facebook I've found I unfortunately just don't have the time for it

Beth - I used two balls of each shade of yarn & each edge is about 2 metres I think?

This was the tutorial I used to learn how to make granny squares:

angharad handmade said...

Fantastic blanket - what a labour of love! I've always fancied doing a crochet blanket but I'm a real fly-by-night when it comes to crocheting, haven't really got a clue what I'm doing.

What a shame about the eyerolling shop staff. You win though, you have a gorgeous blanket to show for it!

Kay said...

This is fab. Learning to crochet is on my must do list sometime soon.

Alex - The Interior DIYer said...

YAAAAY, that looks fab Laura! And I really like the pattern you chose (1, 2, 1, 3 etc) which doesn't look thought out or repetitive.

Well done :)

Tumus said...

I'd really love to try this out if I can manage it. I'm more of a quilter but am keen on attempting crochet too. Good job, it still looks awesome no matter what :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

For me the key to learning crochet was having a *very* patient friend show me how to do it! I couldn't follow it at all from the books I had, no matter how clear their diagrams/instructions were.

Hydrangea Girl - thanks! I think I'd seen another blanket (on Flickr maybe? or someone else's blog?) that used that repeat and I liked how it didn't look too much like a pattern but meant I didn't have to plan the blanket out in advance to look totally "random".

Silly Little Sheep said...

I am definitely making one - Your sky-coloured blanket has inspired me to start crocheting squares (I cannot knit) and I hope to be adding to them a LOT more and finally making the blanket in the year(s) to come :D