Several months ago, I came up with the idea to teach a “granny square” class at YarnStory, the local yarn store in Honolulu where I teach crochet. The class has a two-fold purpose: to teach students how to crochet granny squares and to illustrate the many ways granny squares can be incorporated into crochet projects. So I pitched the idea to Kim, the store owner, and she went for it.
In order to prepare for the class, I needed to work up some examples of granny-square-based projects, and I also started a Pinterest board to collect photos of a wide variety of granny square projects to show to my students.
Unfortunately, the class didn’t run because we didn’t have enough sign ups, but I am still adding granny squares to my “Granny Squares Are Back ” Pinterest board, and these marvelous photos are inspiring me to crochet even more granny square projects.
Here are a few of the projects I worked up for my class and the pins that inspired them (be sure to click the pin to go to the site where the photo is featured for patterns and other information about the project):
Granny Square Top
This top was inspired by a pin of a similar granny square top designed for a toddler. I can’t tell you how easy it was to make! I simply crocheted two large granny squares, seamed the shoulders and sides, leaving an inch or two open at the bottom, and crocheted some little sleeves in the round and a single crochet border around the neck and bottom edge.
I don’t know what kind of yarn I used because I got it from a fellow crocheter who couldn’t identify it either. I’m pretty sure it’s fingering or maybe even lace weight, and it came on a cone. I also think the fiber is natural, but for the life of me I don’t know what it is. If you can tell what this yarn is from the photo below, please let me know in the comment section.
Too bad I didn’t have enough yarn to make a top that fits me (sigh), but it’s a good example of one that’s essentially made from two big granny squares and a nice example for my class, if it ever runs.
You could also use other square motifs to create some really nice tops. I have another cone in green that I may use to create a top based on a different motif. Hopefully, I’ll have enough yarn so the top will fit me.
Granny Square Bags and Cozies
You know how much I love to crochet small bags, purses, and cozies. Granny squares are perfect for these kinds of projects. The bags in the photo above were inspired by three pins and are made with either worsted weight acrylic or cotton yarn from my stash:
- A lined crochet mobile bag featured on a Danish site (view the site in Google Chrome, and it will translate the text).
- A cute crochet book bag, the inspiration for a smaller, cozy-size version
- An adorable crochet mp3 cozy that only takes a couple of hours to make.
The granny square book bag is the only one of the three that includes a pattern, but again, these are really easy to make. You simply crochet two granny squares to the size bag you want. Then you stitch up three sides, and as you’ll see below, there are a number of ways you can do this. Finally, you single crochet or double crochet a top section, working a few rounds and adding a button loop on the final round. You can also crochet several rows on one side of each granny square to create the top section and then sew the side seams together.
I used a “granny strap” pattern to create the strap for the turquoise and lavender bag. The strap on the green bag is several rows of single crochet with a picot edge on the final row. The yellow and blue mp3 cozy has a little chain-stitch loop on one side. As with all my bags, I’ll eventually get buttons on them.
Granny Square Kindle Cozy
I still don’t have a Kindle yet, but I figured I can get ready for when I do get one (hopefully by the end of July) by crocheting a cozy for it. The one above consists of four granny squares, two for the front and back each, sewn together, and a border of several rounds of single crochet to top it off. I pinned some velvet black buttons on the front, but I intend to replace these with more colorful buttons.
I’m not totally satisfied with this Kindle cozy, so I will probably experiment with some more designs until I come up with one I really like.
Some Methods for Sewing Side Seams
Another great thing about Pinterest is that you can pin all kinds of “how to” information on your boards. My “I Heart Crochet” board includes several pins on how to sew granny squares together to create a larger piece of fabric. Here are three methods you might want to use to sew yours together:
You can also sew your granny squares together, using yarn and a tapestry or yarn needle. I like to use the overhand of whip stitch because it’s easy and it creates a nice, flat seam that you can hardly see.
So what granny square projects are you working on? I’d love to hear about them.