Ever wondered why those crochet squares are so-called? Granny squares is something of the 1970’s. It is a crochet square worked from the centre outwards, in multiple rows and well-formed corners. A ‘solid’ granny square will have a dense stitch done in single colour, where multiple colours will add variety, colour and pattern to the simple solid granny square. Because they are portable, simple and a great way to re-use yarn, it’s so Granny!
The Woman’s Day Book of Granny Squares (Fawcett, 1975), is a collection of granny-based designs and notes (checkout on Google).
Here are my recent granny square projects using new yarn.
Begin with the magic circle and work 5-6 rows of double crochet to make the classic pattern. In each corner chain – work 3 double crochet, 2 chains, 3 double crochet. This will give the corner a good finish. Add an all round double crochet border stitch to complete and make a neat square. Make another similar square for the other side of bag.
Now join both squares at one end using a single crochet stitch. Measure a soft fabric, choose a matching colour or make it contrasting bright. Lay flat, measure adding extra 1 inch all round for hem. Cut, fold hem inwards and sew fabric to the inner side of crochet square, using a big eye needle and thread.
Now turn the square ‘right side on right side’ and using needle and yarn sew the other 2 sides of square, leaving one side open for top end. (There are many You tube videos that explain this in detail.) Add tassels or beads on a string as embellishments.
To make the handle – make a chain stitch as long or short as you wish for the size, then crochet 2 rows of double crochet into each. Finish off by sewing both ends to the top edges of the handbag.
A crochet dress
This dress will fit a 2-year-old girl. It is slightly modified from a pattern I saw on Etsy. Remember that thickness of yarn, needle size, hand tension, pattern – are variants to the outcome.
I used multicoloured blue /green yarn (2 balls), yellow and turtle green.
I made a two varieties of Granny squares : Classic granny square and mitered patterns with blue and yellow.
Join the required number of squares by sewing together or using single crochet and make 2-3 rows lengthwise. Measure a sample skirt for desired width and length. When using different colours and patterns, first lay them out as desired, change positions as preferred, then join one by one to make a horizontal row. Add another 1-2 horizontal rows as required. Make similar for back part of skirt.
To begin the body, single crochet into each chain on the top end of skirt. Next 1-2 rows you may need to decrease stitches to get a narrow waist.
I experimented with few rows of basket weave stitch and double crochet to produce a designed effect. Continue working upwards till you reach arm hole.
Find the centre of the body (front and back). Mark with a pin. Now mark for arm hole on sides of body, counting exact same number of stitches.
Crochet double crochet bands of desired width as shoulder straps and attach to body part, taking cue from the marking of arm hole and centre. You may need a bit of adjustment here.
To finish the skirt end – I did 3-4 rows of simple double crochet using body and skirt colours. This is the time you may wish to try learning an edging, picot or lace design.
For the girly effect: beads, satin or glazed ribbon, lace, crochet flower brooch will all add that extra sparkle and ‘oooooh’ effect. I kept my dress simple, due time restraints.
Do share photos of your work if you make a granny square dress. Good luck to creativity!