As many of you know, I am not a big crocheter. Yes, I am crocheting a temperature blanket, but that is just one stitch repeated again and again in a straight line. When I happened upon the Ikigai Fibers booth at a trade show, I fell in love with this granny square blanket. This is not my grandmother's acrylic yarn crochet of the early 70’s.
Pam Power’s Granny Square Lite Blanket, worked in a beautiful color palette, looks modern. Six large squares are crocheted in her Paka Chunky yarn, put together and finished off with a 3-row border. The result is everything I hoped. The project was easy, fun and quick, so you should give it a whirl.….that said, I have a few hints for those of you new to crochet.
The kit comes with one skein and one cone of French Vanilla for the borders. When you are working with the yarn from the skein it is fluffier then that which comes off the cone. Ikigai Fibers notes, “There is a slightly tighter twist as a result of the coning process. After wet blocking, the gauge is the same as the skein yarn.” They are not wrong about that. You cannot tell the difference once the piece is completed and blocked.
Do a gauge swatch. Yes, we always tell you to make one for knitting but I figured, it is crochet, how off could I be? Little did I know, I am a loose crocheter. I finished my first granny square and measured it and it was 2-inches too big. Rip, rip, rip, and start over with a smaller hook. Do yourself a favor and just crochet a little gauge square.
Even though I was not used to reading a crochet pattern, I did just fine. Just break down the instructions term by term, line by line. For example, the directions for the first square reads:
“Ch 6 (counts as first dc, ch-3, dc for corner, here and throughout pattern), into center of ring, dc [ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc, ch 3, dc]; rep [ ] 2 more times, ch 1, dc, ch 1, sl st in 3rd ch of beg ch-6 to join—12 dc, 4 ch-3 corners.” (What the heck?)
Break it down….
- Chain 6 (this counts as the first double crochet and chain 3 for the corner of the square throughout the pattern)
- Into the center of the ring, double crochet
- [then chain 1, then double crochet, then chain 1, then double crochet, then chain 3, then double crochet] do everything in between [ ], 2 more times
- then chain 1, then double crochet, then chain 1
- slip the 3rd stitch in chain 6 you made in the beginning to join
- Stitch count - for this row you will have 12 double crochets, 4 chain 3 corners.
It might look confusing, but trust me, when you have your yarn and crochet hook in front of you, you will get the hang of the pattern in a couple of rows. After that this round, the number of stitches just increases.
In her pattern, Pam has outlined joining the squares and doing the finishing rows very clearly. I did go down a crochet hook size, as she suggests, for this part of the project.
I gave the blanket a soak in some Eucalan and gave it a light spin in my washing machine to get rid of the excess water. I patted it out to the suggested measurements and left it to dry.
I am so pleased and happy with this blanket. It is a large baby blanket or would also work well as a lap blanket. The best part, if you want it a bit larger, you can simply increase the number of squares. Enjoy!